We use our own and third party cookies to improve your user experience; by continuing to browse, we understand that you accept their use. You can get more information on our cookies policy.

Rome Reports

You are using an outdated browser

In order to deliver the greatest experience to our visitors we use cutting edge web development techniques that require a modern browser. To view this page please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer 11 or greater

Dutch scholar argues that Pope Francis should have chosen the name “Adrian”

Exactly 500 years ago, in 1522, he was elected Pope Adrian VI.

He succeeded Pope Leo X, a pontiff from the Medici family, who was more interested in art and political power than in spirituality.

In Rome, Pope Adrian VI denounced corruption in the Church and set in motion a number of reforms founded on a need for conversion.

That's why Dutch academic, Van Geest, whose research focuses on this 16th-century pontiff, is convinced that Bergoglio missed his mark when he chose the name Francis.

Tilburg University (Netherlands)
“Both have in common the concern for the poor, the option for the poor. And therefore I suggested that if Pope Francis would have known that Pope Adrian had the same concern for the poor as he has, he maybe could have chosen the name of Pope Adrian.”

Adrian of Utrecht was the last non-Italian pope until John Paul II. His pontificate lasted no more than a year and was very difficult. Many cardinals didn't accept his attempts to remove some of their privileges.

Tilburg University (Netherlands)
“What Pope Adrian said in his first consistory, to the Cardinals, was that one of the problems lies in the Rota. They sold Justice for a price. And he said, ‘I cannot allow it.’ And the other things he did, as a reformational Pope, was kicking out the palace cardinals out of the Vatican palace.”

Another expert on Adrian VI is Professor Markus Graulich, who also sees many similarities between the two pontiffs.

Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts
“Some parts of the discourses that Pope Francis has given to the Curia could have been written by him. They have the same spirit of pastoral ministry, outreach to the poor, giving offices to the people that are suitable, that are learned, and so on… So there is very much similarity.”

The celebration commemorating 500 years since Adrian VI's pontificate was organized in Rome by the Embassy of the Netherlands to the Holy See.