John XXIII part 8


From “Vatican II Exposed as Counterfeit Catholicism”
by Frs. Francisco & Dominic Radecki, CMRI

On December 8, 1945, Pope Pius XII, fearing the conclave following his death would be split between two camps, determined in his Apostolic Constitution, “Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis,” that a two-thirds majority plus one was required in a papal election. Since he believed that the Traditionalists still held a slight edge, the two-thirds majority plus one would make it more difficult to elect a Modernist. It precluded the possibility that an unscrupulous cardinal would vote for himself to obtain the necessary number of votes. Thus, in the 1958 conclave, 35 votes would be required to elect a new pope.

The method of electing popes varied greatly in the Early Church. Some popes were elected by the Roman clergy, often with the assent of the populace. Other papal elections were approved by emperors (such as Justinian) or other rulers. In 1059, Pope Nicholas II established the College of Cardinals to avoid possible outside interference. In 1139, it was determined that cardinals alone have the right to conduct papal elections. The papal conclave, during which the cardinals are locked in a room until an election takes place, began about a century later, following the death of Pope Clement IV. Intense rivalry between Italian and French cardinals resulted in a deadlock. This caused the longest interregnum or vacancy of the papacy until now, lasting for two years, nine months and two days. Finally, local citizens took matters into their own hands:

Impatient with the endless debates…[they] walled up the cardinals inside the one-room hall where they were meeting. As time dragged on, they also removed the roof, hoping thereby to hurry the decision. Finally, they rationed the cardinals’ food. Through the assistance of the Franciscan cardinal, St. Bonaventure, Pope Gregory X was elected finally in 1271. The Throne of Peter no longer vacant.

When Pope Pius XII died on October 9, 1958, there were only fifty-five cardinals. This was the lowest number in many years due to the fact that Pope Pius XII knew many bishops and cardinals were suspected Modernists. Realizing that his successor would be chosen from among these cardinals and since so many bishops and archbishops had liberal tendencies, he was left with few choices of whom he could raise to the
cardinalate. As a result, only 51 cardinals took part in the 1958 conclave. Their average age was 74.