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30 Sep 2015 News USA No comments

Pope asks young people to perform works of mercy in build up to World Youth Day

World Youth Day 2016 will take place next July in Krakow, Poland Pope Francis has asked the world’s young Catholics to perform spiritual and corporal works o…

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20 Oct 2016 News Comments (3)

Christian town captured by ISIS and citizens used as human shields

We are subjected to every kind of hardship, but never distressed; we see no way out but we never despair; we are pursued but never cut off; knocked down, but st…

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01 Jul 2015 Articles Resources Comments (29)

Meet Father Salvatore, the young priest whose life moved the Pope

The life of Father Salvatore Mellone, who died on Monday 26th June 2015, was touching to thousands of people. He was to have at least two more years of seminary…

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02 Jul 2016 Articles Comments (2)

Apologetics with St. Irenaeus

The early Church Fathers are indispensable resources for Catholic apologetics, helping to bridge the gap between our own time and the age of the apostles. Not o…

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09 Mar 2016 Americas News Comments (1)

Archbishop of Toronto urges Canadians to help defeat suicide proposals

Lead official in Archdiocese of Toronto, Cardinal Thomas Collins has called on the federal government to protect the vulnerable and the dying. "Dying is simp…

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16 Dec 2016 News No comments

Coptic Christians refuse to give up - But who are they and what do they stand for?

Following the horrific attack on St. Mark's Cathedral, many are hearing about Coptic Christians for the very first time. According to the Coptic Encyclopedia…

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10 May 2016 Articles No comments

If You Want Justice, Work for Chastity

At the height of the counterculture of the late 1960s and the flower-power desire for peace, Pope Paul VI said "If you want peace, work for justice." It remains…

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15 Dec 2015 News Vatican No comments

A dying woman finally receives the Papal blessing

Corinne Barber has finally after a long strive to see the Holy Father gotten more than she bargained for, she got a Papal blessing directly from the Holy Father…

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17 Jul 2015 Articles Q&A Comments (8)

Who are the Seventh Day Adventists? Just in Case

The Seventh-Day Adventists were founded by William Miller (1782-1849).  Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on February 15, 1782, he was a veteran of the War of 1…

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Is the purpose of the “Room of Tears” to confirm that a newly elected pope is male?

Full Question

A non-Catholic told me that when a new pope is elected he is taken to a “Room of Tears” and checked to make sure he is a man because once a female pope named Joan was elected by mistake. Is any of this true?

Answer

The purpose of the Room of Tears is not to examine the pope’s body; it is to allow the new pope to change into papal vestments before receiving the pledges of obedience from his fellow cardinals and then being introduced to the people of Rome and to the world from the loggia above St. Peter’s square. The room is nicknamed the Room of Tears because new popes have often been overcome with emotion at thought of the heavy burden that has been given them. The story of Pope Joan is a legend, roundly dismissed by serious historians as unworthy of belief. (See “The Popess Who Just Won’t Go Away” in the January 2008 issue of This Rock)









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