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Pope John XXIII
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Religious Figure
    (November 25, 1881-June 3, 1963)
    Birth name was Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli
    261st Pope
    Some conspiracy theorists (mainly those who disagree with the Vatican II reforms) claim he was not legitimately elected Pope.
    During the 3rd ballot of the 1958 Papal Conclave, Cardinal Giuseppe Siri walked towards the balcony of the Sistine Chapel right as smoke was emitting from the chimney, thus leading some to believe he was the new Pope.
    No one will ever know the truth, as all the Cardinals who participated in that conclave are now dead.
    If any of them had come forth about the truth, they would be excommunicated.
    He was elected with many believing he would be a 'transitional Pope.'
    He excommunicated Fidel Castro.
    He came from a working family to become one of the most beloved Popes of all time.
    He initiated the Vatican II reforms, which among other things, allowed Catholic Mass to be conducted in the vernacular language, removed the communion rail that separated the congregation from the clergy, and make the Church more 'people friendly.'
    He was Beatified (one step below sainthood) by Pope John Paul II.
    When First Lady Jackie Kennedy visited the Vatican in 1962, she genuflected and addressed him (correctly) as 'Your Holiness.' He responded by jovially yelling 'Jackie!' and hugging her.
    Those who worked with him or even met him just once always described him as friendly, loving, generous, and personable.
    He was known by many as 'Good Pope John.'

Credit: Blossman

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