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Friday 15 Apr 2005: Pope John XX
Although the last pope named John (Johannes in Dutch, Iohannes in Latin) was John XXIII, there has never been a Pope John XX. This is most likely due to historians being confused by a number of antipopes in the early Middle Ages. Some regard the absence of a Pope John XX as evidence for the existence of a female "Pope Joan" in the 9th Century. Supposedly, since her time, any candidate for the pope undergoes an intimate examination to ensure he is not a woman (or eunuch) in disguise. This would involve sitting on a chair which has a hole in the seat. On a "positive" result, the examining cardinal would declare "testiculos habet" and the all others would reply "Deo Gratias".

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