Pope Francis: Was Going to Name Himself ‘John’ First Time Around

So David Gibson reports at RNS.


  1. I usually eat this stuff up, but this (from the linked article):

    “John, I would have called myself John, like the Good Pope”

    does not in any way whatsoever sound like something Cardinal Bergoglio would ever say to anyone, much less to a fellow cardinal who is a curial official.

    No way.

      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #3:

        I don’t know, Father; if he had said that to, say, a group of kids during a parish visit in response to their question (“What name would you have chosen if you had been elected a pope?”), then maybe, sure.

        But otherwise, I just can’t picture him uttering those words, or even speculating, “if I had been elected a pope…”, to some senior Italian cardinal who it seems is not particularly close to him. I mean, he’s not, like, Cardinal Scola or Turkson (both of whom, by most accounts, were not shy about letting it be known that they wanted to be a pope).

        He did reportedly say something to one of his close friends after the 2005 conclave to the effect of: “You have no idea what pain they put me through.”

        Anyway, I’m just happy he’s our pope now, with a name that suits him so well.

  2. Anyway, I am glad he didn’t this time round. Very happy that he got off the standard pendulum of name shibboleths for something entirely fresh. (I was thinking Joseph would be a nice papal name without a past, but Francis outpaced me big time – only a Jesuit or Dominican could have taken that name without it being off-key.)

  3. Didn’t St Francis’ mother want to name him John?

    The Pope’s tribute to John XXIII continues next week, when John’s secretary becomes a cardinal at the age of 99.

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