We all knew that the Disney purchase of ABC would have an effect--and sure enough, ABC is now producing "news" shows from Fantasyland.
Similar to its take on the controversial "Da Vinci Code," ABC News "Primetime" gives credence to the claim that a woman disguised as a man served as pope in medieval Rome.
Titled "On the Trail of Pope Joan," an ABC promo says, "Diane Sawyer takes you on the trail of a passionate mystery. Just as intriguing as 'The Da Vinci Code.' Chasing down centuries-old clues hidden even inside the Vatican. Could a woman disguised as a man have been pope? Thursday night. One astonishing Primetime."
ABC's take was fashionable at one time:
But Catholic writer Philip Jenkins, in his book "The New Anti-Catholicism, calls the "Pope Joan legend" a "venerable staple of the anti-Catholic mythology."
"Though it has not the slightest foundation," he writes, "from the sixteenth century through the nineteenth, the tale was beloved by Protestants, since it testified to Catholic stupidity. ..." Today, he says, "Pope Joan enjoys a lively presence on the Web, where feminist anti-Catholics celebrate her existence much as did seventeenth-century Calvinists."
The posting on the Newsbusters site said: "That a major network like ABC would lend credibility to such a vicious anti-Catholic smear is deplorable."
Did Mary Mapes find a new job?
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