"Inside the Vatican" Magazine's
The most recent issue, February 2006, of "Inside the Vatican" magazine, whose Editor-in-Chief is Dr. Robert Moynihan, includes an article entitled, The "Siri Thesis" Unravels which contains several really egregious errors.
In this article, which has also been published on their website at http://www.insidethevatican.com/ for anyone to read, the so-called Siri Thesis is attacked, not with scholarly, factual evidence, but with mostly ad hominem arguments, and innuendo.
Although our staff is working on a definitive, clear, and comprehensive rebuttal to their attack which will be published on this website in the very near future, it was felt necessary to at least warn those Catholics of good heart that they are, again, being subjected to the same kinds of falsehoods and outright prevarications which have come, for many years, from those who presently, unjustly, hold the offices of the Catholic Church in bondage, and their representatives.
One example of ITV's lack of precision in their attack is the following quote from the article in question:
"The "Siri thesis" is built upon one key point: the issue of the "white smoke" that appeared for a brief time on October 26, 1958, before changing to black."
Those who know the Siri Thesis, or have been involved with it for some time, can assure our readers that this is most definitely false. In fact, the article written by Mr. Silvio Negro, and printed in the Italian equivalent of "The New York Times", Corriere della Sera, or "Courier of the Evening", or, better yet, "The Evening Courier" which was mentioned by ITV a bit further on, is only one small bit of corroborating evidence that has been amassed over a span of more than 20 years of careful research on the subject of the 1958 conclave.
Furthermore, the “white smoke” didn’t appear for a “brief time”, but instead for 5 full minutes, and Vatican radio in particular, and other radios around the world, proclaimed that a pope had been elected for a full 30 minutes afterwards! Such an "error" has never happened before in the history of the Church!
To support our accusation of poor journalistic work on the part of ITV, we read the following statement:
"The proponents of the "Siri thesis," perhaps due to limited familiarity with the Italian language, had misunderstood Negro’s article, and concluded that he was writing about the 1958 conclave."
This also is, most definitely, false. This bit of misinformation was shortly followed in their article by this bit of . . . information:
"The entire "Siri thesis" was based on a simple misreading of an Italian newspaper article."
This is, flatly, false.
ITV’s assertion is that the article in question, rather than being about the 1958 conclave, was actually about the 1939 conclave in which Pope Pius XII was elected.
If anyone has “…misunderstood Negro’s article…”, it is ITV, not the “…proponents of the ‘Siri Thesis’…” whose early translator, eight years ago, consulted with native Italian speakers during the translation work, one of whom, among others consulted, was the son of an Italian diplomat, holding a University degree and who was teaching in the United States, and another of whom was the head Italian translator for a certain South American government.
After all, there are certain parts of the article in question that are difficult to understand and which can appear to be ambiguous, especially to American English readers.
Obviously ITV, or their consultant, has a problem with those.
One would think that a newsmagazine that prides itself on its journalistic accuracy, and among whose staff are expert Italian speakers, would have taken the trouble to ascertain the facts before publishing such incorrect information.
The original translators for the proponents of the Siri Thesis obtained microfilmed copies of the original "Corriere della Sera"-published, Silvio Negro-authored, article in question, and more.
Without giving them any details that might prejudice their results, copies of both the original newspaper articles in question, and MS-Word transcriptions of them, have been given to three native Italian speakers, two of whom are University Professors who teach Italian and Spanish (one of those is a retired professional translator), and they were asked to provide an accurate translation.
So far, these obviously well-qualified people, without exception, have said that the article refers almost entirely to the conclave of 1958, NOT to the conclave of 1939 as ITV so blithely asserts, although the article does, in fact, mention the conclave of 1939, in passing. Furthermore, they all, without exception, expressed some surprise that there was any doubt!
As anyone who has taken on the large task of accurately translating anything from any foreign language into easily readable, accurate, comprehensible English will know, the translator must be at least fluent in English. Things which are said in the foreign language in one manner, must often be written in English in a way that best conveys the true meaning of a passage, rather than word-for-word. This is called "literary" vs. "literal" translation. In fact, if one were to simply translate the words from practically any foreign language straight into English, i.e., “literally”, the passage that resulted would be almost impossible to understand, especially if it was complex.
For proof, if it is needed, simply plug any complex Italian sentence into Google's translation services and see what nearly incomprehensible, usually hilarious, near-gibberish results.
As of now, we cannot, and do not, endorse any translation of the Negro article which has been published, and the only one that fits that criteria is the one that appears on Novus Ordo Watch. We have criticisms of this translation, and the translator himself has appeared to be confused about its real meaning. At different times, he has given contradictory interpretations of the crucial paragraphs.
We will leave this issue for now, while our staff continues to prepare a comprehensive rebuttal, the first parts of which are now posted on this website in the article, "The Siri Thesis Under Attack".
Copyright 2006 by Kenneth Gregory Gordon