Bella Dodd's "four Cardinals": here the names

Catholic blog OnePeteFive recently published an article about Alice Von Hildebrand, translated in Italian by Una Vox

This is the part that I want to analize:

The second conversation is one with Bella Dodd that I have already spoken about on previous occasions. We met her in the Fall of 1965 and she visited us here at New Rochelle, NY, where I still live, either in 1966 or 1967. She had been an ardent communist from her student days at Hunter College – a hotbed of communism. (That is why I was systematically persecuted there, as recounted in my book, Memoirs of a Happy Failure.) Bella had sown the seeds of this diabolical philosophy at Hunter, but converted in 1952 under the guidance of Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Let me repeat the conversation between her and my husband:

DvH:   I fear the Church has been infiltrated.

Bella:   You fear it, dear Professor; I know it! When I was an ardent communist I was working in close contact with four cardinals in the Vatican working for us; and they are still very active today.

DvH:  Who are they? My nephew Dieter Sattler is a German stationed at the Holy See.

But Bella, who was under the spiritual guidance of Archbishop Sheen, declined to give him this information.
We assume that those four persons called into question were Cardinals even before the conversion of Bella Dodd ("I was working in close contact with four cardinals [...] and they are still very active today"), but it could also be a misunderstanding, so that Ms Dodd meant "I was working in close contact with four clergymen [...] and they are cardinals still very active today". If we are to believe what refers Alice Von Hildebrand, we have to trust the validity of the first case.

To discover the name of four Cardinals mentioned by Bella Dodd, we need to do a simple calculation. These are the premises:
1. we know that Bella Dodds has been converted in 1952
2. we know that in 1965 Ms Dodd calls those persons "still very active"
We therefore deduce that they were Cardinals between 1952 and 1965.

We need to make a list of Cardinals living between 1952 and 1965,
Quindi occorre semplicemente fare un elenco dei Cardinali viventi tra il 1952 ed il 1965, i.e. at the turn of the pontificate of Pius XII, John XXIII and Paul VI. It 'something that takes time, but not impossible.

I have relied on the list of Cardinals created during the pontificate of Pius XII available on the Internet. We know that,

Sappiamo che, to the death of Pius XII, the Sacred College had 53 members (55 - 2 died during the vacant see). Of these 53, 26 were still alive in 1965.

This is the list:
  1. Krikor Bedros XV Aghagianian
  2. Benedetto Aloisi Masella
  3. Clemente Micara
  4. James Charles McGuigan
  5. Carlos Carmelo de Vasconcelos Motta
  6. Norman Thomas Gilroy
  7. Francis Joseph Spellman
  8. Jaime de Barros Câmara
  9. Enrique Pla y Deniel
  10. Josef Frings
  11. Ernesto Ruffini
  12. Antonio Caggiano
  13. Thomas Tien Ken-sin
  14. Augusto Álvaro da Silva
  15. Pietro Ciriaci
  16. Maurice Feltin
  17. Carlos María Javier de la Torre
  18. Giuseppe Siri
  19. James Francis Louis McIntyre
  20. Giacomo Lercaro
  21. Stefan Wyszyński
  22. Benjamín de Arriba y Castro
  23. Fernando Quiroga y Palacios
  24. Paul-Émile Léger
  25. Valerian Gracias
  26. Alfredo Ottaviani
Of those Cardinals, deducted members of Coetus Internationalis Patrum and other ones clearly conservative or irrelevant, remain:
  1. Krikor Bedros XV Aghagianian († 1971)
  2. Clemente Micara († 1965)
  3. Josef Frings († 1978)
  4. Giacomo Lercaro († 1976)
As we see, the names of four Cardinals are not a mystery.
What do you think?


  1. Apparently Lercaro was an outspoken critic of communism.

  2. That was Lercaro's first stage, let us say. Then he became sympathethic of communists. See in the web.

  3. Spellman was a bad bad dude. It's all out now. I would consider him/her for the list of four if the timing fits.


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