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Horse Chestnut
Happy Holly Days


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O.K. I did go to the Religion catagory and search for the word "testicles", and this subject did not come up - though how this could have been missed I can't imagine.

Anyway, here goes: is it true that when a new Pope is selected, one of the ceremonies he must go through is to sit in a crescent shaped chair, exposing his genitalia to the view and touch of the passing College of Cardinals? Supposedly each cardinal is supposed to recite "Testiculos habet et bene pendentes", which loosely translated means "Testicles he has and well-hung ones". This invasion of privacy is supposed to insure that neither a eunuch or - heaven help us - a woman ascends the Throne of Peter.

I first read about this ceremony in an historical novel about the mythical (maybe) Pope Joan. I have done a search on the web about this, but couldn't really find anything that confirms or refutes this story.

Posts: 1651 | From: Columbus, Ohio | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
The Ota Faction
Happy Holly Days


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I've never heard this one before, but I have often referred to things as being "useless as the Pope's testicles". Wikipedia seems to think its not true, and, quite frankly, neither do I; you'd think something like this, if it were to be checked, would be done a few steps below Pope.

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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The Catholic Encyclopedia thoroughly debunks the Pope Joan story; but then they would, wouldn't they. [Wink]

Four Kitties

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Horse Chestnut
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Four (2 squared) Kitties:
The Catholic Encyclopedia thoroughly debunks the Pope Joan story; but then they would, wouldn't they. [Wink]

Four Kitties

Exactly, Four Kitties. [Big Grin]

Horse "Next they'll be saying Jesus wasn't married" Chestnut

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AdmiralDinty
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Yeah, they made a movie about this. It was called "Yentl".

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LadyLockeout
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I have a book called "The Unexplained" by Dr. Karl P.N. Shukur that addresses a section to Pope Joan, and the chair with the hole in it. He doesn't say whether or not the practice was discontinued, or when it was discontinued if it ever existed, however he does debunk the rumour of Joan herself. He suggests instead that it may have been based upon Nicetas, who was a eunuch Patriarch in Constantinople, and that some writers might have willfully misrepresented him in a bid to badmouth the papacy.

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inkiemouse
Let It Wasabi


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I REALLY doubt this would be true. It's one of the weirdest and most ridiculous activities (religious or no) I've ever heard of.

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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What would be the problem with a Eunuch being Pope? Does that mean a person that is a eunuch because of testicular cancer for example is out? What if you are only a half eunuch?

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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Eunuchs, not by disease or force, are forbidden from the clergy (I Nicaea, Canon I):
quote:
IF any one in sickness has been subjected by physicians to a surgical operation, or if he has been castrated by barbarians, let him remain among the clergy; but, if any one in sound health has castrated himself, it behoves that such an one, if[already] enrolled among the clergy, should cease[from his ministry], and that from henceforth no such person should be promoted. But, as it is evident that this is said of those who wilfully do the thing and presume to castrate themselves, so if any have been made eunuchs by barbarians, or by their masters, and should otherwise be found worthy, such men the Canon admits to the clergy.


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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Doesn't the OT forbid those with damaged bits from entering the presence of God?

ETA: Found it! Deut 23: "He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD."

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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You're kidding. That sounds like a parody passage:)

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
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Heavy B
The First USA Noel


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Oh, no...Deuteronomy 23:1 is a classic! It's one that we used to quote often at church camp (when the kids weren't around, of course!) Chloe seems to have quoted the King James Verson. NRSV is a bit more...straight forward.

My favorite, though, is Ezekiel 23:19 and 20.

Heavy "like DONKEYS?" B

Edited to correct dumb mistake

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Elkhound
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Some early Christians subscribed to the dualistic idea that the body--especially sex--was bad, and therefore advocated castration to subdue the 'lusts of the flesh'.

However, the Church condemned this practice on the grounds that God made sexuality, and everything that He made is pronounced in the Bible as "very, very good." Sexuality can be misused, of course, but that is the fault of human beings who are very good at NFBSK-ing up good things.

Celibacy, for those who were called to it, is intended to be a continuous offering of one's sexuality to God; it was a decision that had to be made every day; hence, for a celebate to have himself castrated would defeat the purpose.

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"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

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