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The Porphyry Chair and Pope Joan

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The word porphyry has a definition of a rock with multi-faceted grains, and it is befitting that this particular chair be designated as the Porphyry Chair because the Catholic Church was founded on Peter, a disciple of Jesus. Peter, when defined means rock. What do the Porphyry Chair and Pope Joan have to do with the tidenow swelling regarding the Catholic religion from revelations of sexual abuse of priests against young children?

It is another piece of the rock that revelations of priest pedophiles being unmasked in the United States, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and now the latest in Latin America and South America. Here in the U.S., we have a number of scandals with dioceses paying large sums of money to those who experienced the sexual abuse. The history of the Catholic Church is rife with unsavory events and persecutions. It appears that their motto is "Do as I say, not as I do." Is this rock of Peter crumbling?

What other secrets has the Church hidden? This article is about one of those secrets involving Pope Joan. This is one ofthe Church's embarrassments and they have planted material alleging it is nothing more than a myth. From my research, I am putting forth that this is a covered-up event in the history of the Catholic Church.

When I first began researching material for my book Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls, I found many items of interest regarding the deceptions of the Catholic Church and one is the story of Pope Joan, a woman. The Catholic Church alleges there was not a Pope Joan and that it is a myth that began two hundred years after the event. I found material that indicates she was a real person. She was born of English missionaries who lived in Germany approximately in the first half of the 7th century. The Christian movement began in Ireland and spread into Europe around 590 A.D. Ireland and Britain sent missionaries out to Christianize the pagans, and this included on what we call Germany now. Therefore, Joan would probably have been born in Germany.

Joan must been taught to read and write and this would indicate her thirst for knowledge of Christianity. As the story goes, Joan traveled to Athens with a male companion where she became active in church affairs and rose to the position of a curia secretary. With her status elevated to a curia secretary, she moved to Rome with her male companion. Joan used the word John Anglicus while masquerading as a male. The people loved her as John and it was the people who elected popes during this period. When Pope Leo IV died, Joan known as John Anglicus became the elected pope. Thus, we have Pope John VIII.

There are many articles decrying this as being myth, however there is always some truth in a myth. Some allege that she is not mentioned in earlier manuscripts in the Vatican Archives. Of course not because it would be in their interest to eradicate all mention of her. It is similar to their attempt to almost obliterate the fact that Mary Magdalene was married to Jesus and they had children. Truth eventually does comes out.There are several versions of what happened to Pope Joan whowas pope from 854 or 855 AD. If this is so, then it is possible that she could have been Pope John VIII circa 854-855 AD. According to Chronicon, John Anglicus, born in Mainz, Germanywas Pope for two years plus. The Chronicon is a chronicle of historical events attributed to Martin of Opava, Chronicon Pontificum et Imperatorum, and John Anglicus received a high opinion from those who lived in Rome. When Joan accepted the papal role, she also brought with her the male companion who was also her lover. Therefore, sex enters the picture and Joan/John became pregnant by her lover. She almost pulled it off by wearing the long papal robe.

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The version of the story I am writing about reveals that it was possible through ignorance of those times to know when the actual date of delivery was to occur. Pope Joan/John was on her way to the Lateran Basilicain a procession traveling on a lane formerly named Via Sacra, which now is known as the shunned street. This street is currently between the Coliseum and St. Clements's church. She was riding a horse when she went into intense labor. Of course, it would be plausible that she had to get off of the horse and in the middle of the street gave birth to a baby boy. Whether she was killed on the spot or lived isolated in shame and repentance are several versions.

The pope who succeeded Pope Joan had the pleasure of possibly being the first to use the Porphyry Chair, also known as the sella stercoraria or chaise perce'e thathas a keyhole in the seat resembling a potty chair. The tradition became that when a new pope was elected, he had to sit on the chair and a cardinal would manually examine his testicles and say, "Testiculos habet et bene pendentes" meaning "He has testicles and they hang well." When the verification was completed, the cardinals helped raise the chair and carried him to his investiture. No pope has been required to do this since Leo X (1513-1521 AD). Pope Pius VII gave the last chair to King Louis XVIII in appreciated for returning many works of art confiscated by Napoleon. The chair is in the Louvre Museum in Paris with a duplicate chair in the Vatican Museum.

There are disagreements regarding the origin and the uses of the Porphyry Chair, with no reasons given that appear valid. Why would a pope have to have his testicles viewed in order to prove he was a male? This is one reason why I think it is a strong possibility that the saga of Pope Joan had everything to do with it.

Located in the National Gallery, Washington, D.C. is a Tarot woodcut design of an untitled Popess, late 15th or early 16th century. There are allegations from medieval writings that an actual statue of a female Pope was created and later destroyed. History is fluid and can be altered and even erased, but not entirely. There are books on the subject of Pope Joan. Diane Sawyer did a television program on Pope Joan a few years ago when Donna Woolfolk Cross' book Pope Joan was being made into a movie. There are other potential clues to Pope Joan. In some documents she is called Joanna and in others Agnes.

According to Wikipedia.org,"In the year 2001 a rigorous study was made by the Catholic Church into the history of the papacy which "prompted almost 200 corrections to the existing biographies of the Popes, from St. Peter to John Paul II."Therefore, it is possible for the era of Leo IV and John VIII to be changed and others obliterated.

The Truth will out. ~ The Merchants of Venice, Shakespeare.

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Bettye Johnson is the award-winning author of Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls, an Independent Publishers Book Award Winner 2006. Moving from the cotton fields in Texas to the embassies of Paris and Tokyo, Bettye Johnson has a woven tapestry of (more...)

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