Find the Pope In the Pizza


A new pope has supposedly been elected, but we must be cautious: Today, for the second time in two days, crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square believed they saw white smoke emerging from the electoral stovepipe, causing a moment of confusion about whether a new pontiff had actually been elected.

This may have seemed like just another quaint Catholic absurdity. But sedevacantist conspiracy buffs could only look on with bitter recognition, recalling the disputed elections of 1958 and 1963, both of which were marred by white-smoke false alarms. This fueled speculation that Federico Cardinal Tedeschini was elected in 1958 and Giuseppe Cardinal Siri (who even allegedly went so far as to briefly take the title Gregory XVII) was elected in 1963—but that their elections were blocked by B'nai Brith, the Freemasons, the Soviets, or all three. In 1958 the confusion lasted a half hour, lending support to the less conspiratorial thesis that somebody other than Angelo Roncalli (John XXIII) actually was elected, but declined. Others take a more dim view:

Besides Scortesco's admission that Cardinal Tedeschini was elected in 1958, and Cardinal Siri in 1963, there is evidence showing that Cardinal Siri was also elected before Cardinal Tedeschini and Angelo Roncalli [John XXIII] in 1958. In other words, Cardinal Siri wasn't only elected in 1963, as Scortesco revealed, but also in 1958. Adding credence to this is the fact that the phenomenon of the false-smoke-signals occurred in both 1958 and 1963! According to The Sheboygan Press of June 20, 1963, the white-smoke/black-smoke phenomenon-of-confusion occurred for 8 minutes in the 1963 conclave. The false-smoke-signal-phenomenon occurred in both conclaves precisely because the same thing happened in both: a true Pope was elected only to be intimidated into not accepting the office so that the enemies of the Church could implant their own man.

Couldn't the cardinals solve this problem by getting some smoke markers from the Coast Guard?

They haven't brought out the new pope or antipope yet, so in the last few minutes I'll make my prediction and say it's Arinze.

NEXT: Can Thousands of Patients Complain More Loudly Than Sidney Wolfe?

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  1. Uh, that’s why John Paul II implemented the bells to go along with the whole white smoke thing after the 1978 election – to avoid incidents like this.

    And it looks like accounts are saying the white smoke was accompanied by bells.

  2. If-a you gotta more than an ounce, it’s a mortal sin. If-a you gotta less than an ouce, it’s a venal sin…

    Nice headline.

  3. Perhaps they ought to switch to using those really brightly colored smoke grenades you always see them use to signal helicopters with in the movies.

    If the smoke is Dayglo Green, they’ve chosen a new pontif, if it’s Dayglo Red, they still have to make a decision. Something like that.

  4. Well, according to the Onion, this means the end of our little vacation from virture:

    Papal Election Brings End To Worldwide Unsupervised-Catholic Sin Binge

    VATICAN CITY?In the interim between Pope John Paul II’s death and the election of his replacement, unsupervised Catholics seized the opportunity to sin without fear of reprisal, sources confirmed Tuesday.

    “For two weeks, it was like Mardi Gras all over again,” said Bryan Cousivert, a Catholic from Arizona. “People were drinking, cursing, and engaging in premarital or even extramarital sex. More importantly, everyone was being totally open about it. No one was worried about doing any penance at all!”

  5. antipope? You mean a pope whose election is in dispute -kinda like Bush could’ve been referred to as an “anti-president elect” right after his first election. Or does “antipope” mean something else? Not trying to be funny-I’m really wondering about the term.

  6. Rick — See “Avignon Papacy” or “Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy” e.g.:

  7. Hey mediageek

    No ethnic slurs allowed here.

    Oh wait….you said “Dayglo Red”

    I thought you were talking about my grandpas wine.

    Never mind.

  8. I thought Charlie Stross was The Antipope. 🙂


  9. I was hoping the new pope would be Scottie from the movie Eurotrip.

  10. Why all the hocus-pocus anway? Why can’t they just have a press conference?

  11. Habem pablum?

  12. I believe that when the Coptic Christians elect their leader they release a somewhat different type of smoke.

    Mo, you’re Egyptian, do you know anything about this? ;->

  13. To A. the Q. about ‘antipope’ It is someone claiming to be pope while the real pope is living. If Siri was elected in 1958 then all following were antipopes, as he died in 1987. This new one then cannot be an antipope but since his heresies show him to be against the Church I guess that makes him an antichrist.

  14. The last true pope was PPXII, but he lost the papacy not in 1958 at his death, but in 1951 when he fell into the heresy of NFP. Go to for the truth you need. Repent, convert and abjure. Philip of JMJ

  15. It’s time for the circus to end, since 1958.

  16. If Pius XII was a heretic (he wasn’t) then why didn’t Roncalli aka John XXIII, if he were a true pope, solemnly pronounce him so?

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