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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

Why do Popes change their name?

2013-03-13

The election of each name is a personal decision that can take into account several factors. One of them is affection. It is common for an elected Pope to take the name of a recent predecessor. John Paul I decided to combine the names of John XXIII and Paul VI. Juan Paul II followed by honoring his predecessor.

Benedict XVI referenced in his name Benedict XV, the Pope that had to mediate during World War I.

If the new Pope chooses to follow their example, he could very well choose the name Benedict XVII. It would signal the continuity of the past pontificate. Or with John Paul II, if his inspiration is the intrepid and pastoral spirit of the Polish Pope. He could also choose John XXIV or Paul VII, remembering the Popes of the Second  Vatican Council, which celebrates this year the 50 anniversary of its inauguration.

There are other great Popes that have also generated a great following among successors, like Leo. Leo XIV would be the name of the new Pope if he chooses to honor Leo XIII, the Pope that initiated the Church's social doctrine in the midst of the Industrial Revolution.

Gregory XVII could be the name for a Pope that wants to reform the structure of the Church to make it more efficient. St. Gregory the Great and Saint Gregory VII could serve as references.

However, there is also the chance the new Pope could break new ground and choose a new name. John Paul I did so after nearly 1,000 years. The last original name introduced by a Pope was Lando I in the year 913.

If the new Pope wanted to introduce a new name, he could very well opt for a name with a strong Christian tradition that has not been used before. Among the possibilities are Louis, Francis, Xavier, Ignatius or Thomas. They all evoke saints and would like be welcomed by Catholics.


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