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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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JOAN, POPESS

Name of a legendary person who appears in history periodically as a female pope. There was a reference to her in a chronicle about 1250, but there is no possible place in the line of popes at that time where she could be placed, nor are there any grounds to support her existence. Her picture has never been included in the papal portraits, nor does Liber Pontificalis mention her. She exists only as a fable in Roman folklore.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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