I don’t see why anyone even cares...
Papal history is full of stuff like this.
“Otto I subsequently summoned a council which demanded that John present himself and defend himself against a number of charges. John responded by threatening to excommunicate anyone who attempted to depose him. Undeterred, the emperor and the council uncanonically deposed John XII, who by this time had gone hunting in the mountains of Campania, and elected Pope Leo VIII in his stead.”
“Edward Luttwak, The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire, (Harvard University Press, 2009), 150.”
[Otto I] didn’t like what Pope John XII was doing so he deposed him and put in his own Pope, Leo VIII. Doh!
So why all the denial? Pope Joan is pretty small potatoes compared to all the other little “oopsies” with which the Catholic Church has to contend.
Not everyone has the suspension of disbelief required to be a Mormon sympathizer.