Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Film epic to examine legend of female pope

A new film has revived the story of Pope Joan — an Englishwoman who, legend has it, disguised herself as a man and became the only female pontiff.

The film will fuel the debate over whether Pope Joan really existed or whether, as the Catholic Church maintains, she was a mythical figure used by the early Protestants to discredit and embarrass Rome.

The epic stars German actress Johanna Wokalek as the female pope, John Goodman as Pope Sergius II and the Lord of the Rings actor David Wenham as her lover.

The church has long argued that Pope Joan is not mentioned in contemporary records and that the tale is a fantasy, cooked up by scheming Protestants.

'L'Avvenire', the newspaper of the Italian Bishops' Conference, dismissed the story as “a hoax”.

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Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Capricorn:

Your dry humour will be very popular. It's always difficult bringing a large group of people together. Everybody feels like they are walking on eggshells. After cracking a few jokes, you'll put the group at ease. Resist the temptation to make fun of relatives, especially the more sensitive members of the group. Nobody likes feeling singled out. Watching a light hearted comedy can also be a great way to generate a festive atmosphere. This is a time when people can put their differences aside.More