More Papal Tidbits

posted by Adam (Southern California) on April 20th, 2005

The last pope before John Paul I to use a new papal name was Pope Lando in 913. They say he was also the last pope to use his given name as his papal name. [See comments–ed.] There has been no Pope Chewbacca.

On the radio I heard the morning DJs joke that the new pope could have chosen any name for his papacy, even Cletus. Little did they know that the third pope ever was Pope St. Cletus.


There is some debate over whether Benedict XVI is the first German pope since the 11th century or the 16th century. Victor II (1055-57) was the last pope from land that is in present-day Germany (Calw), but Adrian VI (1522-23) had been from Utrecht, which is now part of the Netherlands. At the time, though, Utrecht was part of Germany, the Netherlands did not exist as a separate country, and the Dutch people had not fully differentiated themselves from the Low Germans.

Some guy secured the domain name BenedictXVI.com a couple weeks ago! His strategy was to squat on six of what he felt the most likely names the new pontiff would choose, like Leo XIV or Pius XIII. JohnXXIV.com and JohnPaulIII.com were already taken. He points out that the Vatican briefly issued a special series of stamps for the vacant papal see.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Comments Leave a comment.

  1. On April 20, 2005 at 19:52 Adam (Southern California) said:

    I haven’t found a primary source for this, but various vegetarian websites are noting Ratzinger’s statements of concern for factory farming of animals:
    http://www.sentientbeings.org/notables.htm#card

  2. On April 22, 2005 at 15:46 Mike (Worcester, USA) said:

    Pope quote from the Catholic Peace Fellowship site:
    “New Pope a Strong Critic of War”

    There were not sufficient reasons to unleash a war against Iraq. To say nothing of the fact that, given the new weapons that make possible destructions that go beyond the combatant groups, today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a “just war.”

    Which is not to say the pope is a pacifist, any more than his purported comments on factory farming make him a vegan. Yet these comments are encouraging, and help distinguish the thought of this “conservative Catholic” from that of “conservative Americans.”

  3. On April 22, 2005 at 23:08 Adam Villani said:

    Good point. Western left-wingers and right-wingers who don’t understand the Church hear that Benedict is a “conservative,” and they think he’s a George W. Bush clone. I guess within the Church I’d be considered a liberal, but whatever label applies, far more unites Catholics than divides us.

  4. On April 30, 2005 at 11:47 Joshua said:

    Actually, the last pope to use his given name as his papal name was Marcellus II in 1555. Before him, Adrian VI had done the same in 1522.

  5. On April 30, 2005 at 12:33 Adam Villani said:

    It looks like one more things that unites us is choice of automobile. Pope Benedict’s old VW Golf [the same car I drive] is for sale on eBay:
    http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=68191&item=4545301886&rd=1

  6. On May 1, 2005 at 21:29 Adam Villani said:

    Aha! That’s what I get for trusting Wikipedia.

Leave a comment