Hollywood on His, um, I mean, Her Holiness

Brace yourselves: A new and sensational attack on Catholicism is about to be unleashed in a theater near you. No, it's not the latest Dan Brown potboiler. It's even worse: It suggests that in the ninth century there may have been a female pope!

The UK Guardian headline suggests that the film will "spark a Vatican row" (Oh, the British–I love how they use "row" for fight). Belietnet blogger John Kennedy says the film is "stir[ring] Catholic controversy." Oh for God's sake.

Really? Anyone who gets their papal undergarments in a twist over this film should have their heads checked. In the first place, it's based on a legend so old that no one could ever establish its veracity. Second, the book by Donna Woolfolk Cross is as much a romance as a work of historical fiction. If you like either genre, you should read it because it's perfect light summer reading. And third, it's just silly to get all worked up over a movie.

But, if you want to get in a lather over Pope Joan, there's a Pope John (Paul II) story you might want to read, about a musical written by two priests about the late pope. Since it's a musical (which many people hate) and it's at least three hours long, there should be plenty to complain about.