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"For, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." (Romans 1:22)


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MhFM's 1958 Papal Conclave Allegation:
White Smoke Antipope

When Joseph Natale (1933-1995), the founder of Most Holy Family Monastery (MhFM), was alive ... his religious community actively supported and circulated numerous right-wing conspiracy theories.

One such conspiracy theory purported that the election of Cardinal Angelo Roncalli (John XXIII) at the 1958 papal conclave, was not only illegitimate but was actually the culmination of an intricate international plot by Freemasons and Communists to seize control of the Roman Catholic Church

Natale was not alone in endorsing the unattested accusation that on October 26, 1958, when white smoke started billowing out of the Sistine Chapel’s papal conclave at the Vatican, that it was actually conservative Cardinal Giuseppe Siri who had been duly elected as Bishop of Rome and not modernist Cardinal Angelo Roncalli.

As a result of those suspect 1958 allegations, did Natale believe that all popes, since the death of Pope Pius XII, were "ipso facto" heretical Antipopes?

Not at all!

It is common knowledge that a framed photograph of John Paul II hung prominently, in a place of honor, on the wall behind Natale’s desk at the Berlin, NJ, monastery; which should be ample proof that neither Joseph nor his religious community subscribed to the Sedevacantist position on the matter.

Ask yourself ... Why would the MhFM's founder, Joseph Natale, feel it necessary to petition for a “canonical provision” from the Camden Diocese (1968) and then to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Vatican (1969) ... if he actually believed that the Roman Church had been "Eclipsed" in 1958?

Note: Both Natale's 1968 and 1969 petitions for “canonical provision” were formally rejected by the Roman Catholic Church.

Shortly after Natale’s death in 1995 … Frederick Dimond (Brother Michael) self-anointed himself as the MhFM’s religious Superior and moved Joseph’s religious community out into the rural backwoods of Fillmore, NY, where he and his sibling, Robert (Brother Peter), abandoned the community's founding theological position.

The Dimond Brothers' “appeal to rebellion” eventually led them to “sell out" Natale and book passage on the Sedevacantist “1958 conclave conspiratorial” bandwagon; which, since 1996, they've successfully used to drum up a lucrative “business of religion” for themselves.

The suspicion of "foul play" within the 1958 conclave was a godsend for “Sedevacantists”, like the Dimond Brothers, who without raising conceivable doubt of the conclave's legitimacy, would themselves be reduced to being considered little more than a schismatic group of disgruntled Catholics.

Sedevacantists are correct in that: If Cardinal Siri had been duly elected pope on October 26, 1958, but was afterwards coerced into withdrawing his name, and his rightful pontificate was then perniciously given to Cardinal Roncalli ... then the conclave would have become illegitimate; with the "false claimant", Cardinal Roncalli (John XXIII), becoming an Antipope.

If it can be established that John XXIII colluded to usurp the Chair of Saint Peter; then Sedevacantism receives the legitimacy it seeks and provides the Dimond Brothers with undeniable justification for vehemently denouncing, as heretical, the liberal theologies, ecumenism, secular liturgies, and ethical pluralism promulgated by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). But, that’s a big “IF”.

In the Dimond Brothers' article “Cardinal Siri Elections in Brief - relating to the Papal Conclaves and the Invalid Elections of John XXIII [1958] and Paul VI [1963]” one sees that these siblings, understand what's at risk, and so they have carefully “cherry picked” their answers to support the Sedevacantist position on this issue.

Fred and Bob Dimond use what's called “shotgun argumentation” in support of their assertions, believing that the more uncorroborated suppositions (buckshot evidence) they shoot out in defense of their position, the higher the probability that others will accept them regardless of how ridiculous the suppositions may actually be.

They are banking on an assumption that the sheer volume of hearsay evidence being presented may prove itself to be enough, in the end, to convince others that something strange, criminal, and/or diabolical transpired during the 1958 papal conclave.

The “problem" with that line of defense is that regardless of the amount of buckshot evidence shot out in support of their "allegation", it is in no way indicative of the veracity of the allegation itself.

Let's look at the October 26, 1958 “White Smoke / Black Smoke” incident:

In 1958 “black smoke” was produced by burning wet straw with the collected ballots and “white smoke” by burning dry straw the collected ballots.

Is it not conceivable that, due to a “human error”, someone mistakenly placed “dry straw” instead of “wet straw” in the stove along with the ballots; and once the blunder was discovered required 5 long stressing minutes to correct?

The same evening, Vatican Radio did announce that a mistake had been made (white smoke) but reiterated that no pope had yet been elected.

Admittedly, such a mundane alternate scenario isn’t as exhilarating, exciting, intriguing, and/or “deliciously wicked” as the end-times “Eclipse of the Church” scenario purported by the Dimond Brothers. But, come on, isn’t such an alternate scenario plausible?

In their article, the Dimond Brothers present line after line of fanciful hearsay but do not provide any substantive, conclusive, evidence in support their presumptuous assertion of “foul play” having taken place during the 1958 papal conclave.

Their allegation of "foul play" is based on undeniable proof (televised news footage) which shows “white smoke” rising from the Sistine Chapel’s smokestack on October 26, 1958 ... but then unexpectedly changed into “black smoke”.

No one denies that the smoke that rose from the Sistine Chapel's smokestack, on October 26, 1958, changed from white to black.

No one denies that there are a myriad of published conspiracy theories, found on the internet and elsewhere, to bolster suspicion as to what actually did happened that day behind those sealed 1958 papal conclave doors.

No one has yet to come forward with the "proof" required by law, to back those claims of “foul play” beyond any reasonable doubt.

If someone did actually have corroborating "smoking gun" evidence of a papal conclave coup d'état; surely that information would have found its way by now to some reputable mainstream news media outlet that would have jumped at the opportunity to disseminate and exploit the "breaking news".

What Sedevacantists, like the MhFM, present to the public is not at all “breaking news”... it is instead deliberate disinformation ... “fake news”.

If you will but allow yourself to take a closer, more rational, unbiased look at the argumentation presented in support of their apocalyptic assertions and you will see that their defense strategy is primarily based on “hearsay evidence”.

"Hearsay Evidence" is testimony or documents quoting people who are not present in court to undergo judicial scrutiny through cross-examination; and thus those testimonies or documents become inadmissible as evidence because establishing credibility becomes impossible.

In short, the “hearsay” rule states that “secondhand” evidence is not admissible in a court of law.

As concerns the 1958 Papal Conclave … the scandalous criminal assertions of “foul play” being perpetrated by internal and external forces, colluding to manipulate the results of a pontifical election, and thus threatening the foundation and continued existence of Christ's Church (a coup d’état), is a grievously serious accusation.

Have Sedevacantists (the Dimond Brothers) gone mad?

It's one thing to have the courage and conviction to stand up and defend one's "traditional" beliefs. But it’s another matter altogether when those "traditional" beliefs condone the use of a 12th century rule, applied by the Roman Inquisition tribunals; which declared that suspects are: "guilty until proven innocent".

Was John XXIII a White Smoke Antipope?

The Catholic Encyclopedia defines an “Antipope” as being: “a false claimant of the Holy See in opposition to a pontiff canonically elected.”

First of all… what is the Role of the Holy Spirit during a papal conclave?

The role of the Holy Spirit in the election of a Pope is to prompt all Cardinal Bishops involved to cast their votes for the good of the Church, just as He has prompted all involved to form a proper understanding of the good of the Church. But the Holy Spirit does not choose the pope; that is left to the vagaries of men, and the vagaries of their response to grace.

In other words, the Holy Spirit does not arrange the votes to ensure that the best possible candidate is elected. There is no guarantee whatsoever that the choice conclave makes will reflect God’s active will, though the choice of a particular man as pope obviously fits within God’s permissive will. To put the matter concisely, the promptings of the Holy Spirit are as certainly real as they are frequently resisted.

It is not to be supposed, that the Cardinal Bishops attending conclave are “infallible” in their thoughts, actions and/or decisions when it comes to electing the “next” Bishop of Rome (Pope).

Outside of the Roman Curia and the College of Cardinals, no one can say, with any certainty, the extent that religious ambition and politics comes into play during conclave.

Yet, what is known is that the decision rendered by the Cardinal Bishops at conclave legitimately attests that the “new” pontiff has been “canonically” elected.

Now, if we consider the facts, excluding all the speculative, self-serving, hearsay surrounding the October 26, 1958 - "White Smoke Antipope” - allegation, we see that:

  • Cardinal Angelo Roncalli was canonically elected pope on October 28, 1958;

  • Cardinal Roncalli's feet were kissed by the other 50 attending Cardinal Bishops (including Cardinal Siri) thus confirming their support, unity and allegiance towards him as the Vicar of Christ;

  • Cardinal Roncalli was led to the balcony and stepped out to greet the Christian Faithful as Pope John XXIII.

Those are the "facts" and confirm that … John XXIII was indeed "canonically elected" and, as such, no one can legitimately refer to him as being an Antipope; no matter how convenient it would be for Sedevacantist to have it believed otherwise.

It may come as a shock to some, but ... the Roman Catholic Church is not a democracy. We, as the laity, do not choose and/or "elect" our Bishops and certainly not the Pope.

We are called on to accept, by faith, what is written in Canon 1556 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law; which states: “The First Chair is judged by no one.”

This simply means that none of the pope’s subjects are allowed to judge the status of him who has been canonically elected to sit in the Chair of St. Peter.

We may, of course, judge a pontiffs theology and his public acts, the same as we are bound to judge the beliefs and actions of everyone we come into serious contact with; but we may not judge whether a canonically elected Roman Pontiff is a legitimate pope.

  • The Truth doesn’t have versions, and that

  • Everyone is entitled to the own opinions ... but no one is entitled to their own facts.

Don't be deceived ... Like Sedevacantism itself, the Dimond Brothers' 1958 papal conclave "White Smoke Antipope" assertion is little more than another ... Enchanting Lustful Lie.


- Pax Tecum


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