Year of Youth 2018

August 1978: The Summer that Changed the History of Conclaves

Last edited 19th August 2013

With temperatures high up in the thermometer, August in Rome can be very unpleasant. And 35 years ago, cardinals had to endure one of the most intense summers the Church has gone through in recent memory. They had not one, but two conclaves, about a month apart. The first elected John Paul I, while the second chose John Paul II. Casa Santa Marta did not yet exist, and so the cardinals experience some unique struggles.


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