On 26 October 1958, white smoke coming out from the famous Vatican chimney for five minutes indicated that a new pope had been elected after the demise of Pius XII. Somewhat later, however, this was reported a mistake; the conclave went on. The advocates of the so-called Siri Thesis mean that Guiseppe Cardinal Siri, the archbishop of Genoa, was legally elected at the conclave, and not the Patriarch of Venice, Angelo Roncalli (John XXIII).
The opposition to Siri is generally explained by “Jewish-Masonic powers’” influence on the Curia. According to the thesis, Siri was elected on the fourth ballot of the first day and accepted the office, announcing that his papal name would be Gregory XVII. Then, there is supposed to have been a secret meeting, where it was planned that Cardinal Roncalli should be made pope at all costs. Roncalli was also the man who appeared to the world as the newly elected pope, but according to the Siri believers, he was not the real one. After this chain of events, the advocates think that Siri was kept hostage during the remainder of his life.
The thesis seems to have become more known by the end of the 1980s when Siri was still living. According to his own testimonies, the traditionalist Vietnamese priest Peter Khoat Van Tran, met Siri on various occasions in 1988 and 1989. Still, not even in the interviews published by the advocates of the Siri Thesis, the cardinal stated that he was elected in 1958 and thereafter was kept a prisoner. This omission was explained with the vow of secrecy taken before the conclave. Fr. Khoat, however, was convinced that Siri was the real pope and offered to take him the United States, but according to the Vietnamese priest’s testimony, Siri was convinced that if he went, “they” would kill him, meaning the Vatican clerics (“Masonic agents”), whom Khoat saw as the true pope’s prison guards.
According to Khoat, he also had contact with Archbishop Arrigo Pintorello, whom he claimed assisted him in his contacts with the cardinal. Cardinal Siri died on 2 May 1989. Khoat claimed that he was killed by Masons, but he also maintained that Siri shortly before his death had appointed a number of cardinals, a hidden curia that should be able to convene a lawful conclave after his death. There are also a few sources that indicate that Father Khoat Tran thought that he was made “a secret pope” by Siri, and that he had a right of succession. Still, at least today, Khoat Tran does not claim that he is, or has ever been, the pope.
Site by an advocate of the Siri theory: www.thepopeinred.com