cheery_j. wrote:In the end the cardinals were put on a bread and water diet in order to encourage a quick decision, but the citizens of Viterbo had to take the roof off the building, where the election took place.
Yes, that farce helped establish the conclave rules, to encourage the Cardinals to actually reach a decision. Conclave literally means 'with a key', they are effectively locked up and shut off from the outside world.
Will of Lancre wrote:
The Pope Joan legend had lots of currency during the Reformation as one of the Reformers' arguments against the papacy ("...and of course one of them was really a... woman!"
). Which just goes to show that using made-up stories to back up a rotten argument wasn't invented by the Daily Mail.
I'm reminded of the second Defenestration of Prague, where three Catholic officials were thrown out of a window in 1618, helping to precipitate the Thirty Years War. Amazingly, all three survived the seventy foot drop. The Catholics claimed that they were supported by angels; the Protestants that they fell into a dung heap. There was at least some compensation for the secretary - he was later appointed 'Baron of Highfall' in memory of the incident.
History... you really can't make this stuff up.