What happened 58 years ago today?

Smoke Signals:
The White Conclave Smoke of Oct. 26, 1958

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We realize we’ve brought this up a few times before, and we don’t want to beat the topic to death, but there are probably a lot of new readers of our site out there now who may not be aware of what happened 58 years ago today at the conclave that was taking place in Rome to elect a successor to Pope Pius XII.

As happens after the death of every Pope, so too in 1958 the cardinals gathered in the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City to determine who would succeed the late Pius XII, who had died on Oct.

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The event that started it all…

Former FBI Consultant Claims: U.S. Intel Docs show Cardinal Siri elected Pope Gregory XVII in 1958

Former FBI consultant Paul L. Williams cites declassified U.S. intelligence documents allegedly showing that Cardinal Giuseppe Siri was elected Pope Gregory XVII at the conclave that, two days later, produced John XXIII.

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Oct. 26, 1958: White smoke indicates a new Pope has been chosen

 

In 2003, former FBI consultant Paul L. Williams published a book called The Vatican Exposed: Money, Murder, and the Mafia (Prometheus Books). Although the book deals with alleged Vatican corruption in terms of money and power and has a decidedly liberal flavor, Williams also — almost as a side note — includes some straightforward, objective information on the papal conclave of 1958.

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Information about the 1958 Conclave and
CARDINAL GIUSEPPE SIRI

Cardinal Giuseppe Siri of Genoa, Italy

(1906-1989)

Was he elected Pope Gregory XVII
on October 26, 1958?

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White smoke pouring from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel
for five long minutes on Oct. 26, 1958, two days before
Angelo Roncalli appeared as “Pope” John XXIII

There were certain irregularities about the election during that 1958 conclave, as Cardinal Tisserant has himself acknowledged. Some say Agagianian was elected, others Siri, others some other cardinal, and that the camerlengo [=chamberlain] then annulled the election. In any case, I’m quite sure John XXIII chose his name, the name of an antipope [of the 15th century], quite consciously, to show he had been irregularly elected.

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A “Siri Thesis” for Ratzinger Fans…

Resignationism 2.0:
Enter “Cardinal” Scola

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Things are topsy-turvy in Novus Ordo Land. Now they even have their very own “Siri Thesis.”

After the initial appearance in late 2013 of the position we have termed “Resignationism” — the idea that Benedict XVI’s resignation was invalid and therefore he is still Pope, and Francis a usurper — there followed a few rounds of additional theorizing by adherents of the thesis, especially after Ratzinger explicitly affirmed to a journalist that his resignation was valid indeed. At the time, we predicted that Benedict’s affirmation would still not put an end to the speculations, and we were proven right when Antonio Socci wrote his follow-up article “The Plot Thickens.” We ended our own commentary on Socci’s take with the words: “Stay tuned, everyone.

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It’s been 55 years now…

A Bizarre Anniversary:
White Smoke, Still No Pope on Oct. 26, 1958

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The Mysterious Conclave of 1958
Was someone else elected before John XXIII?

It’s where all the official trouble began, it’s the one event that started it all: the conclave of October 1958, which met to elect a successor to Pope Pius XII, and, after a great many ballots and some curious shenanigans, presented Cardinal Angelo Roncalli as “Pope” John XXIII on Oct. 28. What many people don’t know is that two days prior to Roncalli’s appearance as “Pope”, namely, on Oct. 26, white smoke rose from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel already.

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