Rorate Caeli

A True Prince of the Church: Cardinal Siri

The website of the Institute of Christ the King has a new gem in its collection: a photo album of His Eminence Giuseppe Cardinal Siri. Most of the pictures apparently date to the post-Conciliar era and show how the Cardinal never abandoned pre-Conciliar prelatial dress and vestments for his liturgical functions. (He is quite aged in these photos. Furthermore, the PDF file on "Spoliations dans l'art liturgique", located in the page dedicated to some of the Cardinal's writings, notes that the picture of Cardinal Siri in winter cappa magna [with biretta in hand] that can be found in this page of the photo album, was taken during the celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of his cardinalate -- that would have been in 1983.)


There is also a page in the ICRSS website dedicated to some of the Cardinal's writings (translated into French).

25 comments:

Father G said...

il papa non eletto...

great photos of a great prince of the Church...

ToS said...

If only he was elected Pope in 1958..

Anonymous said...

Yes, too bad he was not elected Pope in 1958.....but then again there are strong indications that he was, but was forced to decline. Therefore the College of Cardinals elected Angelo Roncalli (John XXIII). The rest is a history of disaster....not caused by John XXIII but by those who followed.
None of it would have happened had Siri been elected and served as Pope till 1989.

It is a mark of the high regard John Paul II had for Cardinal Siri, that he was allowed to continue on as Archbishop og Genoa till he was 80. Something John Paul II almost never allowed for.

Genoa had close to 300 seminarians during the high point of Cardinal Siri's reign (all thru the 1950's), but declined to 50-60 after Vatican II. Still, under Siri, Genoa had about 50-60 seminarians when some other dioceses had declined to 8-7.

It says much for the esteem in which Cardinal Siri was held, that after his retirement, and the "Vatican II" crowd took over...that vocations collapsed. They were relatively stable under Cardinal Siri...despite Vatican II...but collapsed after his retirement almost immediatly.

And the situation has never recovered since....not even a little bit.

Samuel Ferraro said...

Cardinal Siri was one of the Church's greatest Princes. I have done a great deal of reading on the "Siri Thesis". While it certainly seems plausible on the surface, it falls apart upon further research and examination.

Father Anthony Cekada said...

"Most of the pictures apparently date to the post-Conciliar era and show how the Cardinal never abandoned pre-Conciliar prelatial dress and vestments for his liturgical functions"

----------------

On the other hand, I recall some cleric who had connections with Genoa telling me the following anecdote, which may be taken for what it's worth:

Siri was such a stickler (no pun intended!) for following the new liturgical regulations that, after Paul VI issued the reformed rules for prelatial dress, Siri was observed during Pontifical Mass scoping out the footgear of the rest of the clergy in the sanctuary — to insure that no one was wearing the abolished buckled shoes!

Quam speciosi sunt pedes evangelizantium simplicitatem, simplicitatem nobilem!

Anonymous said...

"Siri was such a stickler (no pun intended!) for following the new liturgical regulations that, after Paul VI issued the reformed rules for prelatial dress, Siri was observed during Pontifical Mass scoping out the footgear of the rest of the clergy in the sanctuary — to insure that no one was wearing the abolished buckled shoes!

Quam speciosi sunt pedes evangelizantium simplicitatem, simplicitatem nobilem!"

If Siri did this, then he's gone down 50% in my esteem. What a childish waste of time to insure that noone had buckles on their shoes!!
Today, many of the younger clergy (including some bishops), are ignoring Paul VI's radical and meanspirited, dictatorial and totally false supression of ancient styles for ecclesiastical dress.

Anonymous said...

The Cardinal appears to have accepted some of the changes to prelatial dress that took place between 1952 and 1970.

It does not appear from the photographs that he had a watered silk 'summer' scarlet cassock. His cassocks are without a train etc.

j.g. ratkaj said...

"Paul VI's radical and meanspirited, dictatorial and totally false supression of ancient styles for ecclesiastical dress."

very true. Paul VI was an enlightened despot in the sort of Joseph II (HRE) with no sense of touch for grown customs and traditions. What has developed through centuries was abolished with a scratch of the pen by an icecold officialdom.

Anonymous said...

Of course, if Cardinal Siri choose not to accept the election than either he was a good man following the dictates of the Holy Spirit and it was good he was not pope or a man who at least at the moment was not open to God's will.

By the way, if he was such a stickler on prescribed prelatial dress than he would have gone ballistic over Fr. Wach's (ICK Superior) much publicized pretenses in prelatial dress!

Anonymous said...

He's the main point in a great Con-Siri-cy regarding the Papacy.

:-)

Anonymous said...

A quote from His Eminence near the end of his life:

“I say this because I have great remorse. I have faith in the forgiveness of the Lord, and, therefore, I am at peace. During the first two conclaves in which I participated, my candidature was presented by an influential cardinal. He himself told me that all the French were behind him. The others, then, followed the French. The Germans held back, but gradually, along the way, joined the rest. I said no, and if you elect me I will say no. I have made a mistake, I understand it today. Today? For some years. I did wrong, for I would have avoided completing certain actions. . . I wish to say — but I am afraid to say it — making certain mistakes. Therefore I have had great remorse and I have asked forgiveness of God. I hope that God forgives me.”

Cruise the Groove.

Sirian said...

While Cardinal Siri was indeed one of the last of the "old guard", he seemed to do the same thing as Cardinal Ottaviani and give into the choas that ensued - even berating Lefebrve and approving of his excommunication.

If he really was elected Pope and declined, he must have died a very very sad man.

Anonymous said...

"
If he really was elected Pope and declined, he must have died a very very sad man."

I've read that he did. The quote from another poster in which Siri regretted not accepting his possible election as Pope and his refusal is true.

He regretted it till the day he died.
He put on a show of obedience for all that came after 1958, but he was tormented by what his refusal meant, and what might have been the outsome had he accepted!

Melchior Cano said...

Fr. Cekada,

All due respectr, but these personal anecdotes are unhelpful and unfair. No one can rebut them. And the effect is seen immediately: "If Siri did this, then he's gone down 50% in my estimation." Again, based on the hearsay of a (all due respect) sede-vacantist priest. Consider the source.

And, New Catholic and other moderators, for those who don't know, wouldnt' it be worthwhile to put (sedevacantist) after Fr. Cekada's name so his affiliations and stances are known from the outset.

LeonG said...

"And, New Catholic and other moderators, for those who don't know, wouldnt' it be worthwhile to put (sedevacantist)"

If this is to be done, which I deplore as a concept, then we ought to label those who are "neo-conservatives" and who imagine the current supreme pontiff is traditionalist. Once the labelling begins there will be no end to that.

Personally speaking, Fr Chekada has a perfect right to express his views here without being labelled.

Jordanes said...

"While Cardinal Siri was indeed one of the last of the "old guard", he seemed to do the same thing as Cardinal Ottaviani and give into the choas that ensued - even berating Lefebrve and approving of his excommunication."

Just because one cannot agree with one extreme doesn't mean one ought to agree with or approve of the opposite extreme. Had he been elected and enthroned, a Pope Siri might have been able to avert much of the worst of the afflictions and travesties of the past 50 years. We'll never know. But since he was not a pope, he could no more stop the post-conciliar deluge than he could stop Archbishop Lefebvre from committing his schismatic acts.

Jordanes said...

If this is to be done, which I deplore as a concept, then we ought to label those who are "neo-conservatives"

Or who some claim to be "neo-conservatives" . . . .

and who imagine the current supreme pontiff is traditionalist. Once the labelling begins there will be no end to that.

Yes, we'd also have to label those who are (or think they are) "traditionalists," those who are pro-sodomy, those who are anti-Semites . . . . Such an enterprise in comment moderation would be neither practical nor edifying.

Anonymous said...

"Just because one cannot agree with one extreme doesn't mean one ought to agree with or approve of the opposite extreme."

But because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth. (Rev 3:16)

Jordanes said...

Well, Anonymous, if you want to play the "out-of-context proof-text" game:

Decline not to the right hand, nor to the left: turn away thy foot from evil. (Prov. 4:27)

Keep therefore and do the things which the Lord God hath commanded you: you shall not go aside neither to the right hand, nor to the left. (Deut. 5:32)

And turn not away from them neither to the right hand, nor to the left, . . . . (Deut. 28:14)

Melchior Cano said...

LeonG,

As to those mistaken Catholics who are neo-cons, and those who mistakenly believe the current pontiff is a traditionalist, the point is, they are members of the Catholic Church. Fr. Cekada is not. He is a sedevacantist. Don't you think if there were an Orthodox priest commenting on this blog using Fr. So-and-So as his handle, there should be some clarity that he is not a Catholic priest, but a schismatic.

Thus, the Catholic lay-faithful who frequent this blog and are unaware would be forewarned to take everything said with a truckload of salt. Similarly, Fr. Cekada is a schismatic. I think it would be helpful for that to be known. Or, even better, simply remove Fr. Cekada's ability to comment.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately the reign of death under Old Testament is now over.

Jordanes said...

Melchior Cano, your concerns are appreciated, but as was explained here just the other day, Father Cekada does not proselytise for sedevacantism in his comments at Rorate Caeli, and is as welcome to post comments here as, say, Orthodox Christians who do not use their comments to propagandise for their distinctive beliefs.

Jordanes said...

Fortunately the reign of death under Old Testament is now over.

True, but irrelevant. Surely you do not wish to argue that under the New Testament we are now encouraged to "decline to the right hand or the left as seemeth right unto thee, and turn thy foot unto evil"? Or do you wish to argue that the Old Testament is not divinely inspired and inerrant?

LeonG said...

If Cardinal Siri had truly been elected pope and declined then it was a sorry day for the church. I have read many items giving different accounts.

Alternatively, when we witness popes in mosques & synagogues; popes giving the host to non-catholics; popes regularly appointing sexual perverts as bishops and archbishops; popes who do not keep ecclesiastical discipline and popes unable to speak The Faith in a clear sound orthodox & unequivocal manner then any Catholic who genuinely believes St Peter's Chair is sede vacante does so with some justification. Add to this the absolutely appalling chief indicators of The Church at this time and sedevacantists may be easily forgiven. To all practical intents and purposes the post-conciliar Church resembles a company without a chief executive in command.

I do not agree with sedevacantists today where this is concerned but their perspectives are understandable.

LeonG said...

Many NO are de facto schismatics but they would not have their opinions rejected here unless they were overtly advocating the characters of disobedience to ecclesiastical authority they represent. Finger-pointing sedevacantists would be sheer hypocrisy where that is concerned.

When I state "neo-conservatives" I mean just that. This is the nature of much neo-conservatism - cluelessness about what is traditional & what is not. They pose a danger to The Faith as well which is more subtle than sedevacantism.