- Unbeliebable: White House turns Bieber petition response into immigration screed
- Obama signs law denying Iran ambassador’s visa, but says law is ‘advisory’
- Mich. judge to laughing convicted killer: ‘I hope you die in prison’
- Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
- Fla. man charged with killing 16-month-old son to play Xbox undisturbed
- Drones from the deep: Pentagon develops ocean-floor attack robots
- Michigan mayor slaps back atheists’ try to erect ‘reason station’ at city hall
- PHILLIPS: Where is the conservative establishment?
- 7.5-magnitude earthquake shakes southern Mexico
New pope’s choice of name indicates direction he’ll take the Church
Once the cardinals select the new pope, in this case Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the real decision-making begins: That pope will have to settle on a new name.
“In the Bible, when you get a new job from God, you pick a new name or you’re given a new name, and that’s the [same] idea — they feel they’ve chosen to do this very weighty job and they need a name that will sort of help them and inspire them,” said William Portier, the chair of Catholic theology at the University of Dayton, in a CTV News report.
Newly elected popes “can choose whatever name they want,” Mr. Portier said.
Popular history shows popes began changing their names in 533, when Pope John II — named Mercurius at birth — didn’t want to have a pagan god’s name in his new church role. But others say the practice originated earlier. Biblical stories point to the renaming of Simon to Peter, as he morphed from fisherman to apostle of Jesus and brought into existence the Roman Catholic Church. Some in the Church consider Peter the first pope, CTV News says.
History aside, the name change is considered important. It sends a message of how the pope will lead, and what direction he will take the Church.
“They’re thinking about something when they choose the name,” said Mr. Portier, in the CTV News report. “It is possible to read too much into it, but definitely it has a meaning so it’s not frivolous to try to figure out what it is.”
If the new pope chose Pius, that would send a message of a return to church tradition and the end of modernization, Mr. Portier said.
“If he chose that name, Pius, that would be a real surprise,” Mr. Portier said, in the CTV News report. “To choose the name Pius would be to look back. It would be kind of scary to me and I think it would be scary to a lot of people.”
Pope Benedict XVI chose his name based on prior church leaders who inspired him, CTV News says.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Cheryl Chumley is a continuous news writer for The Washington Times. Previously, she was part of the start-up team for The Washington Times’ digital aggregation product, Times247. She’s also a 2008-2009 Robert Novak journalism fellow with The Phillips Foundation. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Military urged to stay away from National Day of Prayer event
- Ole Miss fraternity shut after 3 accused of tying noose on statue of black student
- Michigan mayor slaps back atheists' try to erect 'reason station' at city hall
- Nancy Pelosi washes immigrants' feet in humble Holy Week act — then promotes on Twitter
- Ben Carson presidential PAC outpaces Hillary, GOP
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- EDITORIAL: Mark Warner running scared?
- EDITORIAL: Republicans finally fight back in phony 'war on women'
- EDITORIAL: More Lerner smoking-gun emails at IRS
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Critics rail against liberal bias for commencement speakers
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.