Talk:Pope John XXIII/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Last edit:

remove borders around pictures

Why? It was clearer before. Is there a Wiki-policy on that? --Ann O'nyme 22:55, 29 Aug 2003 (UTC)

This is free media, and it is in public interest to know that this pope was involved in covering up sexual abuse

The 69-page Latin document bearing the his seal was sent to every Catholic bishop in the world, with instructions to cover up cases of sexual abuse or risk excommunication [1].

It focuses on sexual abuse initiated as part of the confessional relationship between a priest and a member of his congregation. But the instructions also cover what it calls the worst crime, described as an obscene act perpetrated by a cleric with youths of either sex or with animals - Zoophilia.

Bishops are instructed to pursue these cases in the most secretive way... restrained by a perpetual silence... and everyone... is to observe the strictest secret which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office... under the penalty of excommunication.

Texan lawyer Daniel Shea : "These instructions went out to every bishop around the globe and would certainly have applied in Britain. It proves there was an international conspiracy by the Church to hush up sexual abuse issues. It is a devious attempt to conceal criminal conduct and is a blueprint for deception and concealment.'"

British lawyer Richard Scorer, who acts on behalf children abused by Catholic priests in the UK said: "We always suspected that the Catholic Church systematically covered up abuse and tried to silence victims. This document appears to prove it. Threatening excommunication to anybody who speaks out shows the lengths the most senior figures in the Vatican were prepared to go to prevent the information getting out to the public domain" [2]

Read the 1962 Vatican document (PDF file) here [3].

There are two reasons.

  1. Borders existed in publishing to mark the location where a picture would be inserted in the printing process. That was there only function, in the days of hot metal. Computer pages don't need them.
  2. Borders don't always appear cleanly on some browsers. Some of us some months ago had a problem where the border would not line up correctly around some pictures. On occasion pictures would not be centred in the box but appear to the left or the right, leaving a hideous overly large border on one side of the picture and throwing captions into chaos. It was discussed and it was agreed that the border command was not necessary and was simply a design hangover from the hot metal pre-computerisation days that people, copying the look of pre-DTP newspapers. The options were either to go through a pointless and tedious process of designing a whole new set of commands to ensure borders worked OK on all browsers and then changing tens of thousands of commands around pictures, check every picture placed on a page in every conceivable browser to make sure it worked, and if it didn't go through an equally pointless exercise of continually changing the specifications to get it right through a time-consuming process of trial and error, or simply remove a command that in practice had no design benefit, was irrelevant to computer layout but which simply threw up problems for some people using some forms of some browsers.

Brion specifically said the command could safely be removed, having been told of the problems arising. Since then, few users include the command (given that most cut and paste the command list from past articles and most articles written in the last few months dropped the command). Where the border exists it is usually in old articles that predate the discovery that it could go hideously wrong on some browsers. Where it is found it is generally removed. (Similarly the old tab commands that were used for pictures is where found is being replacing by the <div></div> command, because the tab command mucks up pictures or lets text overwrite images occasionally. And the idea of leaving out a pixel specification has also come unstuck when it turned out that the presumption that the picture would automatically be placed correctly proved incorrect, as pictures shot off the page and again collided with text.

Leaving out the border command makes the page cleaner, less hot metal looking and makes the picture appear correctly in all browsers. Keeping it in involves the risk that someone on some form of browser may be presented with a deformed page, with a picture to the left or right in the box, sometimes indeed bigger than the box, and with captions all skewed all over the place. I hope that clarifies the situation. FearÉIREANN 01:56, 30 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Thanks. --Ann O'nyme 03:24, 30 Aug 2003 (UTC)

A Christian in Saint Peter's Chair

Speaking as a Catholic who stumbled on this article, it's shocking and disgusting to me that it doesn't include anything, really, about Vatican II. John XXIII was one of the greatest popes ever, and his wikipedia article only glances on his greatest achievement, an achievement that has brought the Church immesurably closer to Jesus. Someone needs to fix this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:41, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Charles de Gaulle and Roncalli's Red Hat

It looks highly unlikely that de Gaulle bestowed the red hat on Roncalli. At that time de Gaulle was in the middle of his Desert Crossing and was not President. The French President in 1953 was Vincent Auriol and it looks like he was the one that bestowed the red hat on Roncalli.

Dead right. in 'I will be called John' Roncalli is recorded joking with Vincent Auriol. I've made the correction.

Conspiracy Theory Stuff

I erroneously included this pope in the History of Unfulfilled Prophecy by Christians because of an alleged prophecy he made about the end of the world occurring in 2000. My reserach seems to prove that this was erroneous - and as a result of this research I added this new section to the article. For the full discussion on this prophecy go to: Talk:History of Unfulfilled Prophecy by Christians.

One Salient Oversight 00:04, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Is there too much on the conspiracy theories in the contect of the article? They must take up one third of the text.--Ror 00:02, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

I quite agree that there is far too much on unfounded conspiracy theories in this article - a brief mention would have sufficed. (Boojie 21:54, 2 April 2006 (UTC))

Archbishop of Canterbury talk

In this article, it can be read that John XXIII was the first Pope to meet an Archbishop of Canterbury. The same claim is made in the Paul VI article. I don't know which one of them is true (probably, John XXIII's), but this should be clarified and corrected.

Disparity regarding Paul VI in articles on Paul VI and John XXIII

The article on Pope John XXIII states in regard to Pope Paul VI (Giovanni Montini): "Though he was named to head one of the most ancient and prominent archdioceses in Italy, Pius had refused to elevate Montini to the rank of cardinal."

But the article on Pope Paul VI says of Pope Paul VI: "To the surprise of many, Montini never received the red hat (as the appointment to the cardinalate is often called) before Pope Pius's death in 1958; what was not known was that at the Secret Consistory in 1952 Pope Pius revealed that Montini had declined the cardinalate."

I have no certainty which of these is correct, but presumably one OR the other is, and this should be made consistent by someone who does know. [My money's on paragraph 2.] BTW, these Pope articles are fascinating, have turned my into an instant Wiki fan. Thank you all.

Best wishes to all in Wikiland,

Andy Hansen

The reference in the footnote to the Vatican website article, citing that Tardini and Montini refused cardinalatial hats in the 1952 secret consistory, refers to a time when Montini was being appointed to a curial position. The fact that both of these internal curial appointees refused the red hat suggests that it was because of a principled decision connected with their particular office. However, once Montini was moved to Milan, it would be the accepted norm that he would be given the red hat. And indeed he did not refuse once it was given to him by Pope John. What seems strange is the suggestion that they were asked if they wanted to be cardinals. As I understand it cardinals are named without being consulted. (Boojie 21:57, 2 April 2006 (UTC))

When was he dug up?

JPII is usning his tomb apparently. Rich Farmbrough 16:15, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

January 16, 2001 according to this article from the Catholic Herald. -- Arwel 20:20, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)


A clarification is needed for editors: the correct use of the title "Blessed" for a person who served as pope places the term before the full name. This pope would then be called "Blessed Pope John XXIII" not "Pope Blessed John XXIII," as it has been written over and over again despite corrections by various editors.

When a pope achieves the title of "Saint" then the term is placed after the title of "Pope." For example, Pope Pius X became "Pope Saint Pius X" not "Saint Pope Pius X." --Gerald Farinas 04:02, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Styles infobox

A discussion occurred at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (biographies)/Style War proposed solution about a solution to the ongoing style wars on Wikipedia. The consensus favoured replacing styles at the start of articles by an infobox on styles in the article itself. I have added in the relevant infobox to this article. FearÉIREANNCoat of arms of Ireland.svg\(caint) 23:13, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Camauro (the other red hat)

John XXIII revived the Camauro, the fur trimmed red hat recently re-revived by Benedict XVI. Allegedly John preferred the Camauro because he could not get the white skull cap to stay on his bald head. Does anyone have proof? Stroika 23:10, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Conspiracy theories about Cardinal Siri

I just removed an entire section containing conspiracy theories about how really Cardinal Siri was elected but somehow he was prevailed upon to refuse. Since Card. Siri himself denied it and it was taking up an enormous proportion of the article I preferred to delete it. As a nod to the tin hat brigade (should that be tin biretta?) I left a reference to the Siri article at the bottom. Talk please before putting it back or I will revert without warning. Stroika 20:24, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

I have reinserted it. If it was simply claims by a few right wing nutcases then it could be removed. But the fact that it is mentioned in diplomatic documentation means that it has to be mentioned. It may be a lot of codswallop (IMHO it is) but if something has a verifiable source then it has to go in to an article. To decide to leave out a sourced claim would breach NPOV because it would be editorialising. The fact that claims have been made about the conclave that elected John means that they have to feature in an article about Pope John.
Some other of your edits were highly questionable too. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 01:30, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
Note that this "codswallop" is third hand at best. The editor who included it was relying on the author of a book who was relying on a declassified file the author of which was relying on what?......a conversation with one of the cardinals? I don't buy it. Aren't the FBI restricted to the USA? if so another reason for ignoring the allegations as relying on an impossible source.
As for my other "highly questionable" edits. Which do you mean? If they are so questionable please revert them, if not then don't make snide remarks. Perhaps you mean my removing the photographs. Do we really need two photos of John in a Tiara (one of which is rather poor quality although someone has put it back) and two of him as a corpse?
Stroika 10:50, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

It may be copswallop in your view (and mine, for that matter) but it is sourced and the FBI files do exist, so taking it out is not an option as that would breach POV through editorialing. If something is sourced then under NPOV it has to be covered. Whether something is third hand is relevant. Wellington's view that Queen Victoria's mother was having an affair with her Comptroller, Sir John Conroy, is third hand. Much of the information about Eisenhower and Kennedy is third hand. Many of the accounts of the Black Death are third hand. If you seriously believe that third hand sources aren't acceptable than 90% plus of what is in every history book on the planet isn't acceptable. Historians use third, and fourth, and fifth hand information all the time. First and second hand accounts of most things are rare except in organisations that kept detailed records, yet even these are not necessary first or second hand but third and fourth hand — someone told the minister who told his Private Secretary who told the Under-secretary who opened a file on the matter and recorded it.

As to the pictures, your edits showed that you either didn't actually read what you edited. One of the images is of him wearing the tiara he was presented with as pope so of course that goes in. Another is an image of his coronation, and in coronations popes . . . um . . . wear the coronation tiara. However in reality the guy almost always wore a different one. As he is widely recognised in historic shots wearing that it makes perfect sense to show it. All that ties in with the fact that he was the last pope to use the traditional papal ceremonial (the 5 hour coronation — Pope Paul and a short new one and the successors none), and the last pope to wear the traditional papal tiaras (again Pope Paul had his own which he stopped wearing after a few months and no other pope since wears them). So as they were the last public wearing of these tiaras, the last traditional coronation using the 1877 one and John was given his own one also, it makes elementary sense to show them.

As to the corpse claim — that really is ridiculous. Popes traditionally are laid-in-state in public. Where Wikipedia can it shows these images. It is standard. In this case, the Catholic Church dug the guy up thirty years later and paraded his body around St. Peter's Square in a glass coffin. That fact was covered in every newspaper on the planet. So of course as it was a news event about the guy 30 years later it has to be covered on Wikipedia. It would be one thing to post a series of pictures of his corpse in 1963 or in the 2000s. But they are two different images — one a standard death image, one a news event staged by the Catholic Church 30 years later. They are different images, both factual and so both relevant. If tommorow the British dug up the Queen Mother and paraded her remains in a glass coffin around the streets of London, and the event got worldwide coverage of course WP would cover it.

All the images are relevant — his coronation, an image that was strongly associated with him, him wearing his personal crown, his remains after death, a public event involving his death 30 years later. All the information is relevant — claims made about the events surrounding his election, with standard historical sources and references. I really don't see what your problem is. All I see is your unhappiness with claims made. The article does not claim Siri was pope. It merely says that this is claimed. Here is the sources for those claims. Everything in it follows normal standards of encyclopaedic writin, NPOV and the normal standards for using images. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 00:33, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

My main complaint was that owing to the careless way the pictures were placed on the page the [edit] tags were getting piled up and (depending on the width of the browser window) sometimes running into and obscuring the text. If you are responsible for the improved layout, my compliments. As for the pictures one tiara looks pretty much like another. It would be just as simple to write about John's practice vis á vis tiaras as to present three pictures would it not? - lest the reader think the most important thing about JXXIII is what he wore on great occasions. When I first edited this article Vatican II was entirely absent from the introduction.
As for sources. I don't think the significant detail about the Siri affair is any alleged FBI file. A cardinal in the fifties I reckon would be more likely to confide in a member of the Roman aristocracy. (It was such aristocrats who assisted/supported Cardinal Ottaviani with the ill fated Ottaviani Intervention against the new Liturgy). Therefore I'd give more weight to the story told in the opening paragraph to this article. But notice that according to this source some Cardinal left the Conclave to meet with representatives of B'nai B'rith! Aaah its all down to the Jews! We are already in the realm of paranoia.
I didn't make a "corpse claim" I just think two pictures of the subject being dead is excessive. Is Wikipedia a picture book? Again my problem was with the sloppy layout. If you fixed this, again my compliments.
I don't see why you needed to fire off such a broadside. I left your re-edits alone. In fact I even supplemented them. Perhaps you hadn't noticed that I took the trouble of finding an online copy of "The Pope: Could He Be Cardinal Siri?" (and I just replaced the link).
To sum up on the Siri affair we have a book by a seasoned investigative reporter (not a canon lawyer, not a theologian) reporting on the reports by FBI operatives in Rome (!) about events they couldn't possibly have witnessed based on sources to which they are culturally and institutionally distinct (secularised representatives of a modern post enlightnement democracy dealing with the aristocratic/hieratic fringes of the last monarchy to survive the Ancient world). Otherwise we have nothing. No wikipedia editor can look at the declassified files and a good thing too (original research). I cannot find a whisper of a hint of any full discussion from the other side (nothing at all apart from a pietistic dismissal on Nobody that I can find has gone to take a second look at these files.
As someone with more wikipedia experience than me I'll take your word for it that this one book is sufficient for "it is claimed" with respect to such an astounding allegation but if that's the case so much the worse for wikipedia. Stroika 13:53, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
I must apologise. Although I provided a link to an oinline copy of an article already referred to I did not read it thoroughly. This article clamis that Cardinal Siri was elected in 1963 and 1978. It makes no mention of the conclave of 1958 and therefore has no bearing on the election of John XXIII. I should have been more alert. I have corrected it and sorted out the footnotes. Stroika 06:23, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Whether this is rubbish or not, unfounded or not, this section takes up far too much of the whole article. Something evidently controverted taking up a third of an encycolpedia article about the Pope who convoked the Second Vatican Council is evidently revealing a bias, and a lack of balance - I support the reduction of this to a mere mention. Anyone so convinced of the conspiracy should write a whole new article on it and link to it from this one. (Boojie 21:53, 2 April 2006 (UTC))

Conclave groups

To what does this term refer - the link is to Papal conclaves?

Given the nature of conclaves there will always be arguments about some - and does anyone argue the case against the election of Pius X, who #was# the substitute choice?

Jackiespeel 16:57, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

  • It refers to conclavist sedevacantist groups. I am not sure how much detail you want in reply. Sedevacantists believe all Popes after Pius XII (usually, but it varies) were heretics before their elections and therefore could never be validly elected Pope. The sedes (Latin for see in the sense of diocese) is vacant. Conclavists go one step further and are trying to fill it. Some of those have already held a vote, received a divine mandate or whatever.
  • No question mark is raised about Pius X because it serves nobody's needs to do so. For one thing the SSPX are named after him. However the SSPX claim to acknowledge Benedict XVI (and all his predecessors) as real Popes. They just deny they have to obey him. It's a somewhat inconsistent postion and not dissimilar from the liberals they claim to despise. It is this inconsistency that drives people out of the SSPX into sedevacantism and conclavism. Remember that the thing that they all agree on is that the liturgical reforms since Vatican are a "bad thing". Sedevacantists/conclavists typically even reject the reforms of Pius XII , reforms which the SSPX accept. Ironically if someone rejects the liturgical reforms of the second half of the 20th century (on the basis that not even Popes have any right to change the liturgy in that way, something Cardinal Ratzinger used to suggest himself) he or she has to reject Pius X's breviary reforms (he completely changed the order the psalms were recited) as an identical abuse of power. Not to mention Urban VIII...
  • In any case the veto in the 1903 Conclave was exercised *before* Rampolla got the requisite number of votes. In ballot 2 he got 29 votes and needed only 13 more to win. (Conclaves work by snowball effect as everyone seeks to back the winner). At that point the Cardinal from Poland (JPII's predecessor as Archbp of Krakow intriguingly) announced the Emperor vetoed Cardinal Rampolla. In ballot 3 Rampolla got *30* votes which suggests the veto did nto quite have the desired effect. Meanwhile Cardinal Sarto's votes had been increasing with every ballot. Rampolla's vote stalled and ebbed away as everyone backed "the fat Pope" - i.e. a man of somewhat different style to his predecessor (to some people's surprise he actually said Mass every day) - instead of Rampolla who as Secretary of State was a close collaborator with Leo XIII (after a lean Pope a fat Pope, the proverb is usually the other way but Leo XIII was skinny and Pius X rather plump). Sarto won on the seventh ballot with 50 out of 62. I hope this makes sense. My source is The Election of the Pope by Jim Cantwell (St Pauls).
Stroika 18:55, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
I have amended this entry to read 'conclavist'. Also got rid of reference to them being 'on the right of the Catholic Church' as the Catholic Church is not a political organisation with right and left wings, despite secular media presenting it as such. Nor are these groups even in the Catholic Church as they are all schismatic groups who have separated themselves from communion with the Catholic Church. (Boojie 21:53, 2 April 2006 (UTC))


An Italian Pope will always be a Pope; Wikipractice is to avoid cluttering articles with categories. For example, he was also a bishop, a priest and an Italian, but those categories are not listed, either. Bill 18:14, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Section on Papacy

This whole section seems to me to be completely chatty and anecdotal, with no references to sources. Indeed it contains very little of any interest to a serious enquirer. References to calling Mrs Kennedy 'Jacky' sound like entries in Hello magazine rather than a serious encyclopedia. When I have time to do so I will research this section and replace it with something more worthy. Comments however welcome (Boojie 22:01, 2 April 2006 (UTC))

Allegations section

This section doesn't appear to be well written: zoophilia placed at the end of the line needs to be changed, the link to the pdf could be in external links. I don't have the expertise, but it needs doing. Jamesblythe 16:46, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Righteous Among the Nations ?

According to the article he was only considered "Righteous Among the Nations" by dome, but never received official recognition by Yad Vashem. If this is correct, should the category not be removed? DGtal 10:49, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm not saying he wasn't, but have you got a reference to that? There seem to be an awful lot of them.Ticklemygrits 17:16, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
I removed the category. I couldn't find anything in the web stating that JXIII was officially recognized by Yad Vashem (although I think he would deserve it). Gugganij) 12:58, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

"Criticism" section

There's a lot of important subjects that could or should be treated in this section, like John XXIII's "Ostpolitik", which was criticized during his pontificate and since. Instead, we have weird information about current integrists and fundamentalists who blame John XXIII for having existed. Who cares about a Washington State-based "true Catholic Church" currently headed by a lunatic who calls himself "Pius XIII"? This stuff is soiling the article. JBarreto (talk) 12:08, 13 December 2007 (UTC)


Could it be noted that his own father was named John (Giovanni)? Surely, that was of interest to his choice of regnal name, whether he admitted it or not.--Tim Thomason 04:22, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

His father's name is already given in the article, and as for its influence in his choice of regnal name, without a source it is speculative and OR. Carl.bunderson (talk) 08:23, 26 February 2008 (UTC)