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Pope Joan
by Cross, Donna Woolfolk
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1. "Pope Joan" is a work of fiction. Do you think a real Pope Joan existed?

2. The position of women in society has changed since the days of Pope Joan. Which areas have changed the most? What has changed the least?

3. Joan decides to disguise herself as her deceased brother after the Viking attack. How did her decision change her life? Did she have other choices at that time?

4. Joan's secret is discovered when she miscarries during the Papal procession. Would she have been discovered if this hadn't happened? Could she have carried her pregnancy to term in secrecy?

5. When Joan tries to improve the lives of women and the poor, she meets with resistance from Church and community leaders. Why did they oppose her actions?

6. What would Joan's life have been like if she hadn't been Pope? Which life would have made her happier?

Additional discussion questions from: Reading Group Guides
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