Most people believe that the Roman Catholic church's position on abortion has remained unchanged for two thousand years. Not true. Church teaching on abortion has varied continually over the course of its history. In 1140, Gratian compiled the first collection of Catholic canon law that was accepted as authoritative within the church. Gratian's code included the canon Aliquando, which concluded that "abortion was homicide only when the fetus was formed." If the fetus was not yet a formed human being, abortion was not homicide. In 1581, Pope Gregory XIV revoked the 1588 Papal decree of Pope Sixtus which mandated excommunication and death for both the abortion provider and the pregnant woman. Gregory XVI instated a "quickening" (fetus moving can be felt by the mother) test, which he determined happened 116 days into pregnancy (16½ weeks). Up until the "quikening" could be felt, the fetus was not consider alive and could be aborted. It remained the official church position until 1869. Only since 1869, did the Catholic Church maintain that life began at conception.
Saints Sergius and Bacchus were both soldiers in third century officers in Roman Army. They were married to each other in a Christian Church in the ritual of Adelphopoiesis ("brother-making", euphemism for "lovers" ). They were martyred and are saints. Their feast day, October 7, is still celebrated in the Eastern Rite Orthodox Catholic Churches and the Roman Catholic Church has never contradicted their sainthood.
From the mid-13th century onwards, the story of a female Pope was widely disseminated and believed. She was Pope JohnVIII (John Anglicus) who was Pope for two years, seven months and four days. Today, she is referred to as Pope Joan or Joanna. Bartolomeo Platina, a scholar who was prefect of the Vatican Library, wrote his Vitæ Pontificum Platinæ historici liber de vita Christi ac omnium pontificum qui hactenus ducenti fuere et XX in 1479. The following is his account of the female Pope: