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The Catholic World, Vol. 09, April, 1869-September, 1869

The Catholic World, Vol. 09, April, 1869-September, 1869
Author: Various
Title: The Catholic World, Vol. 09, April, 1869-September, 1869
Release Date: 2018-07-03
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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[Transcriber's Notes: This production was derived from https://archive.org/stream/catholicworld09pauluoft/ catholicworld09pauluoft_djvu.txt Page images are also available at https://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/moajrnl/browse.journals/cath.html To view the tables in several places use a fixed pitch font.]


The Catholic World.

Monthly Magazine

Of General Literature And Science.

Vol. IX.

April, 1869, To September, 1869.

New York: The Catholic Publication House,

126 Nassau Street.


S. W. Green, Printer,
16 and 18 Jacob St., N. Y.



  Aubrey de Vere in America, 264.  A Chinese Husband's Lament for his Wife, 279.  Angela, 634, 756.  Antiquities of New York, 652.  All for the Faith, 684.  Bishops of Rome, 86.  Beethoven, 523, 607, 783.  Catholic and Protestant Countries, Morality of, 52.  Catholicity and Pantheism, 255, 554.  Chinese Husband's Lament for his Wife, 279.  Council of the Vatican, The Approaching, 356.  Columbus at Salamanca, 433.  Council of Baltimore, The Second Plenary, 497.  Church, Our Established, 577.  Charms of Nativity, 660.  Conversion of Rome, The, 790.  Daybreak, 37, 157, 303, 442, 588, 721.  Duration of Life, Influence of Locality on, 73.  De Vere, Aubrey, in America, 264.  Dongan, Hon. Thomas, 767.  Emily Linder, 98, 221.  Educational Question, The, 121.  Filial Affection, as Practised by the Chinese, 416.  Foreign Literary Notes, 429, 711.  Faith, All for the, 684.  General Council, The Approaching, 14.  Good Old Saxon, 318.  Heremore Brandon, 63, 188.  Ireland, Modern Street Ballads of, 32.  Irish Church Act of 1869, The, 238.  Immigration, The Philosophy of, 399.  Ireland, A Glimpse of, 738.  Jewish Church, Letter and Spirit in the, 690.  Linder, Emily, 98, 221.  Lecky on Morals, 529.  Letter and Spirit in the Jewish Church, 690.  Leo X. and his Age, 699.  Little Flowers of Spain, 706.  Morality of Catholic and Protestant Countries, 52.  My Mother's Only Son, 249.  Man, Primeval, 746.  Moral Aspects of Romanism, 845.  Matanzas, How it came to be called Matanzas, 852.  New-York, Antiquities of, 652.  Nativity, The Charms of, 660.  Omnibus, The, Two Hundred Years Ago, 135.  Our Established Church, 577.  Pope Joan, Fable of, 1.  Problems of the Age and its Critics, 175.  Pope or People, 212.  Physical Basis of Life, The, 467.  Primeval Man, 746.  Paganina, 803.  Rome, The Bishops of, 86.  Ravignan, Xavier de, 112.  Ruined Life, A, 385.  Roses, The Geography of, 406.  Religion Emblemed in Flowers, 541.  Rome, Conversion of, 790.  Recent Scientific Discoveries, 814.  Spain, Two Months in, 199, 343, 477, 675.  Spiritism and Spirits, 289.  Supernatural, The, 325.  St. Mary's, 366.  St. Peter, First Bishop of Rome, 374.  Spanish Life and Character, 413.  Sauntering, 459, 612.  Sister Aloyse's Bequest, 489.  St. Thomas, The Legend of, 512.  Spiritualism and Materialism, 619.  Spain, Little Flowers of, 706.  Scientific Discoveries, Recent, 814.  St. Oren's Priory, 829.  The Woman Question, 145.  The Omnibus Two Hundred Years Ago, 135.  To those who tell us what Time it is, 565.  The New Englander on the Moral Aspects of Romanism, 845.  Woman Question, The, 145.



  A May Flower, 282.  A May Carol, 373.  Faith, 540.  Lent, 1869, 31.  March Omens, 97.  May Flower, 282.  May Carol, 373.  Mark IV., 587.  Mother's Prayer, A, 673.  Our Lady's Easter, 197.  Sick, 852.  To a Favorite Madonna, 564.  The Pearl and the Poison, 710.  The Flight into Egypt, 766.  The Assumption of Our Lady, 789.  Vigil, 405.  When, 72.  Waiting, 323.

New Publications.

  Allies's Formation of Christendom, 283.  Anne Sverin, 286.  Auerbach's Black Forest, 424.  Ark of the Covenant, The, 427.  Ark of Elm Island, 428.  Alice's Adventures in Wonder Land, 429.  Alice Murray, 570.  Appleton's Annual Cyclopaedia, 719.  An American Woman in Europe, 856.  A German Reader, 859.  Brickmose's Travels, 140.  Bacon's False and True Definitions of Faith, 422.  Banim's Life and Works, 716.  Costello, John M., 143.  Conyngham's Irish Brigade, 720.  Cantarium Romanum, etc., 856.  Dublin Review, The, 426.  Dolby's Church Embroidery and Vestments, 427.  Dotty Dimple Stories, 428.  Die Alte und Neue Welt. 575.  Die Jenseitige Welt, 715.  Divorce, Essay on, 860.  Eudoxia, 286.  Free Masons, The, 426.  Fernecliffe, 428.  Fnlon's Conversations with de Ramsai, 573.  Glimpses of Pleasant Homes, 423.  Hewit's Medical Profession and the Educated Classes, 423.  Herbert's, Lady, Love; or, Self-Sacrifice, 574.  Heat, The Laws of, 576.  Habermeister, The, 719.  Juliette, 429.  Life and Works of AEngussius, 141.  Little Women, 576.  Lover's Poetical Works, 859.  McSherry's Essays, 142.  Montarges Legacy, 286.  McClure's Poems, 288.  Manual of General History, 288.  Martineau's Biographical Sketches, 425.  Mller's Chips from a German Workshop, 571.  Mental Photographs, 576.  Mother Margaret M. Hallahan, Life of, 714.  Meditations on the Suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ, 856.  Nature and Grace, 574.  Notre Dame, Silver Jubilee of, 858.  Nora Brady's Vow, 859.  Oxenham on the Atonement, 568.  Pastoral of the Archbishop of Baltimore, 571,  Problematic Characters, 717.  Reminiscences of Mendelssohn, 428.  Report on Gun-shot Wounds, 857.  Sunday-School Class-Book, 287.  Studious Women, 287.  Salt-Water Dick, 428.  Sogarth Aroon, 719.  Service Manual, Military, 857.  Thunder and Lightning, 284.  Twelve Nights in a Hunter's Camp, 427.  Taine's Italy, Florence, etc., 574.  The Fisher Maiden, 576.  The Two Schools, 859.  The Irish Widow's Son, 860.  Veith's Instruments of the Passion, 141.  Wonders of Optics, The, 284.  Why Men do not Believe, 284.  Wiseman's Meditations, 421.  Winifred, 575.  Warwick, 716.  Walter Savage Landor, 718.  Wandering Recollections of a Busy Life, 718.  Way of Salvation, The, 859.  Young Christian's Library, 719.


The Catholic World.

Vol. IX., No. 49. April, 1869.

The Fable Of Pope Joan.

"But avoid foolish and old wives' fables."—I Tim. iv. 7.

Every one is more or less familiar with the story of a femalepope, which runs thus: Pope Leo IV. died in 855, and in thecatalogue of Popes Benedict III. appears as his successor. This,claim the Joan story-tellers, is incorrect; for between Leo andBenedict the papal throne was for more than two years occupied bya woman. Her name is not permitted to appear in the list ofpopes, for the reason that historians devoted to the interests ofthe church desired to throw the veil of oblivion over sosacrilegious a scandal, and here, say they, is the true accountof the affair.

On the death of Leo IV. the clergy and people of Rome met toelect his successor, and they chose a young priest, a comparativestranger in Rome, who during his short residence there hadacquired an immense reputation for learning and virtue, and who,on becoming pope, assumed the name of John VII., or, according tosome, John VIII. [Footnote 1]

[Footnote 1: And it was the most convenient one to take. Before 855 there were seven popes named John, and at the period when the story began to spread there had been twenty-one.]

Now, the pope so elected was, in fact, a woman, the daughter ofan English couple travelling in Germany. She was born in Fulda,where she grew up and was well educated. Disguised as a man, sheentered the monastery at Fulda, where she remained undiscoveredfor years, and from which she eventually eloped with a monk. Theyfled to England, thence to France and Italy, and finally toGreece. They were both profoundly versed in all the science ofthe day, and went to Athens to study the literature and languageof that country. Here the monk died. Giovanna (her name was alsoGilberta or Agnes, according to the fancy of the writer)[Footnote 2] then left Athens and went to Rome, where herreputation for learning and the fame of her virtue soon spread.

[Footnote 2: Her maiden name was for the first time given at end of 14th century. It was then Agnes.]

She gave public lectures and disputations, to which she attractedimmense crowds of hearers, all delighted with her exemplary pietyand astonished at her matchless learning.


All the students of Rome, and even professors, flocked to hearher. On the death of Leo, she was elected pope by the clergy andpeople of Rome from among many men preminent for their learningand virtue. After governing with great wisdom for more than twoyears—there being not the slightest suspicion of her sex—sheleft the Vatican on a certain festival at the head of the clergy,to walk in procession to the Lateran; but on the way was seizedwith the pains of labor, and in the open street, amid theastounded bishops and clergy and surrounding concourse of people,then and there gave birth to a child—and died. After thisoccurrence, it was determined that the pontiff in processionshould never pass that desecrated street, and a statue was placedon the spot to perpetuate the infamy of the fact, and a certainceremony, minutely described, was ordained to be observed at theconsecration of all future popes, in order to prevent thepossibility of any similar scandal.

Of course there are numerous versions of the narrative,infinitely varied in every detail, as is apt to be the case withany story starting from no place or person in particular andcontributed to by everybody in general.

As told, this incident is supposed to fill every polemicalProtestant with delight, and to fill convicted Catholics withwhat Carlyle calls "astonishment and unknown pangs."

Now, granting every tittle of the story as related to be true, wesee no good reason for delight on one side nor pangs on theother. We

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