Popess Joan.

What exactly is the straight dope on Popess Joan? In case you don’t know, some people claim there was a female pope (Joan, as I said). I don’t know all the details off-hand. But if I find anymore on the internet, I will post it without delay.

Speaking of the internet, I also recall reading somewhere (again I forget exactly where or when) that nowadays, when they elect a new pope, he has to sit on a special seat with the bottom cut out. Then they feel underneath. And if he is a male, they say (in Latin): ‘He has testicles and they hang well!’ I am not making it up. What is the straight dope on that too? There is a lot of mystery still involving the election of the pope. Do they really do this? If anyone has a link to offer for this too, feel free to post it:).


I think you’ll find answers on the internet quickly enough. Wikipedia’s a good start.

The legend of the pierced chair is strong enough for there to be a variety of fig in France known as “Couilles du Pape”: indeed, one can buy jars of “Pope’s Bollocks” jam.

The actual Straight Dope.

The chair is called the Holey Seat and its purpose is to verify the new pope has a proper bishoprick…

You are confusing it with the seat he brings into the woods.

Once looked at, one cannot un-See it.

For those who aren’t clicking the link:

The straight dope is that there was never a pope Joan.

Also, thought that column doesn’t mention it, there is no checking of the popes balls.

But it was shown right in the first episode of the epic HBO documentary series,* The Borgias*.
Habet duos testiculos et bene pendentes

There are chairs that apparently don’t have bottoms, but there is no evidence that they have anything to do with testicles. That would be nuts though.

But then simply anybody could show up with false balls. (Which one would need to if one had had them pulled off in an accident?)


PatrickLondon, the whole point of General Questions is that the folks starting threads are finding answers on the Internet. That only works if the people responding to threads provide information. “Check Wikipedia” is not providing information. If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say it.

I first heard the legend when I came across a yeast roll recipe called “Pope Ladies” in, believe it or not, an old Betty Crocker cookbook. Even Betty said it was a myth, so it’s no crocker shit. I was bummed there were no Pope’s chair recipes but decided there was no reason to get teste.