For other stories from this series refer to ‘Cardinal Stories‘ category from the sidebar (>>>) … scroll down, quite a bit.
Prior posts re. the once perennial papabile Cardinal Siri:
‘Siri’ Resurrected As New Voice Assistant On Apple’s New iPhone — Oct. 5, 2011.
‘The Pope In Red’
Website for those that want to learn more about the ‘Siri thesis‘ in that he was elected pope in 1958.
Giuseppe Siri was born in Genoa (Italy) on May 20, 1906. His father was a stevedore at the famous port. After minor and major seminary in Genoa starting in October 1916 (when he would have been 10 years old), he following in the footsteps of those destined for the higher reaches of the Church entered the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome) in 1926, graduating in 1929 with a doctorate summa cum laude in theology. He was ordained, September 22, 1928 (aged 22) in Genoa. He returned to Genoa and combined an academic career with some pastoral work. In March 1944 Pius XII (#261) made him Auxiliary of Genoa with a titular bishopric. He has claimed that he was a member of the Italian resistance during WW II and is said to have negotitated with Nazi troops.
He became the Archbishop of Genoa in May 1946 — 6 days prior to his 40th birthday. He was created a cardinal priest on January 1953. He, at 46, was the youngest cardinal of that time.
Siri was a noted conservative. Come the October 1958 conclave Siri, then all of 52, was one of the two conservative favorites, the older Alfredo Ottaviani the other. The popular choice was Montini (the future Paul VI (#263)) but he was not a cardinal (having declined to be created by Pius) — and it is well known that Siri broke his cardinal’s ring by smashing his hand on the table when the possibility of electing Montini was discussed at a pre-conclave General Congregation; his gripe, not so much the competition or resentment, but that doing so would violate tradition.
He, per his conservative credentials, was not a fan of Vatican II, though he was on its board of Presidency.
When the thorny topic of the “Church in today’s world” was being discussed he stated: “The church must not neglect her own problems in favor of the world”.
His final take on the Council, rather presciently in terms of what has unfolded, was: “They will never bind us”.