ABC News airs 'female pope' claim
Catholics say 'Joan' a myth used historically to ridicule church
Similar to its take on the controversial "Da Vinci Code," ABC News "Primetime" gives credence to the claim that a woman disguised as a man served as pope in medieval Rome.
Titled "On the Trail of Pope Joan," an ABC promo says, "Diane Sawyer takes you on the trail of a passionate mystery. Just as intriguing as 'The Da Vinci Code.' Chasing down centuries-old clues hidden even inside the Vatican. Could a woman disguised as a man have been pope? Thursday night. One astonishing Primetime."
But the media-watchdog weblog Newsbusters points to research by scholars hundreds of years ago that debunked the claim and cites recent books that have repudiated it further.
Catholic Church records have no indication of a pope by any of the names ascribed to her, and there are no gaps in the history. Another problem, scholars say, is there was no mention of such a pope in any historical account until the 13th century, about 400 years after her presumed reign...
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I don't know what it's going to take to get Americans to stop watching the trash now broadcasted by our nation's alphabet networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC). In this case, ABC couldn't have done a better job slapping Catholic Americans in the face, unless they just came out and said the following. "We here at ABC News absolutely despise the Roman Catholic Church and everything it represents. So to show our disdain for our Catholic Americans viewers, and everything their vile religion stands for, we promise to air any story (truth or fiction) that puts Catholicism in as bad a light as possible. Goodnight, Happy Holidays, and thanks for watching ABC."