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  #1  
Old Jul 5, '04, 9:22 pm
kellie kellie is offline
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Default Why do Popes take new names?

Can you all explain to me why popes take new names?
And who decides on what name?
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  #2  
Old Jul 6, '04, 12:26 am
dominicsavio dominicsavio is offline
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Default Re: Why do Popes take new names?

peace be with you! i can't give you a complete answer, but i think i have the basic idea of it. maybe someone else can come elaborate on what i will put down here. well, when we are baptized we are given a name. when we are confirmed we get to add to that name by taking the name of some saint. but it isn't just saying we have devotion to a certain saint. taking that name helps to show that we are beginning a new period in our life...that we are really being transformed and taking on a new mission in the Church. when someone becomes Pope, i believe they take a name to symbolize that new mission in the Church. also, many women's and some men's religious orders have a tradition of taking a new name when they take the habit. this helps to symbolize the "putting off the old man" and the beginning of the new mission.

also in Scripture there were a few times when someone was given a new name. this symbolized being raised to a new status that corresponded to their new mission. for instance, Abram became Abraham. Sarai...Sarah. in the New Testament we see Jesus renaming Simon....Peter. these are some examples of the taking a new name. i think that Popes might do this as a tradition; just like Peter's name was changed so theirs is too. hope that helps!
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  #3  
Old Jul 6, '04, 3:08 am
kellie kellie is offline
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Default Re: Why do Popes take new names?

I thought about the whole Simon Peter issue, but St. Peter's name was changed before he was Pope.

I wondered too who chooses.
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  #4  
Old Jul 6, '04, 4:30 am
Mike Rainville Mike Rainville is offline
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Default Re: Why do Popes take new names?

His holiness, the Pope himself, chooses his new name. There don't appear to be any restrictions. The rules are set by the previous Pope.

Pope John Paul II, took the name of his predecessor Pope John Paul I, Albino Luciani, who was Pope for such a short time. John Paul I, took the names of John XXIII and Paul VI.

Someone else will have to confirm this, but
my recollection is that BOTH John Paul I and II saw their name as indicative of their mission, to continue the work of the Vatican Council, initiated by John XXIII and the teaching of respect for human life, which met such difficulty when Paul VI published Humanae Vitae.

There does seem to be another very practical consideration: the documents authored by the Pope are clearly distinguished from anything he produced before he was elected.

JOHN PAUL II
SUPREME PONTIFF

APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION
UNIVERSI DOMINICI GREGIS
ON THE VACANCY
OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE
AND THE ELECTION
OF THE ROMAN PONTIFF

Quote:

CHAPTER VII

THE ACCEPTANCE AND PROCLAMATION OF THE NEW POPE AND THE BEGINNING OF HIS MINISTRY
...
87. When the election has canonically taken place, the junior Cardinal Deacon summons into the hall of election the Secretary of the College of Cardinals and the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations. The Cardinal Dean, or the Cardinal who is first in order and seniority, in the name of the whole College of electors, then asks the consent of the one elected in the following words: Do you accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff? And, as soon as he has received the consent, he asks him: By what name do you wish to be called? Then the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, acting as notary and having as witnesses two Masters of Ceremonies, who are to be summoned at that moment, draws up a document certifying acceptance by the new Pope and the name taken by him.


88. After his acceptance, the person elected, if he has already received episcopal ordination, is immediately Bishop of the Church of Rome, true Pope and Head of the College of Bishops. He thus acquires and can exercise full and supreme power over the universal Church.
...
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  #5  
Old Jul 6, '04, 6:58 am
Br. Rich SFO Br. Rich SFO is offline
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Default Re: Why do Popes take new names?

We see peoples names change often in the Scriptures when God calls someone to his mission. Like as noted above with Peter
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  #6  
Old Jul 6, '04, 7:03 am
Mike C Mike C is offline
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Default Re: Why do Popes take new names?

Yes, the Pope takes a new name to show that he is a new person. Religious used to take new names too, but no longer.
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  #7  
Old Jul 6, '04, 8:48 am
larryo larryo is offline
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Default Re: Why do Popes take new names?

Originally, bishops of Rome kept their given names. This tradition continued until Pope John II (#56) in the 6th century, I believe. His given name was Mercurius. It was considered unfitting for a pope to be named for a pagan god. Mercurius chose to be called John. Another instance of this was Pope John XII in the 10th century whose given name was Octavian. Incidentally, his reign is considered by many to be the nadir of the papacy. There were also some men named Peter who took different names upon election in deference to St. Peter. One of these was Pope St. Celestine V at the end of the 13th century. Later it became customary to take the name of a previous pope who may have been a relative or who may have had a special place in the new pope's memory. The last pope to use his own name was Pope Marcellus II in 1555. It is true that John Paul I and John Paul II wished to honor the popes of the Vatican II Council, John XXIII and Paul VI.
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  #8  
Old Jul 6, '04, 8:56 am
dominicsavio dominicsavio is offline
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Default Re: Why do Popes take new names?

Mike C,

peace be with you! some religious STILL do take new names. my brother just received his new name 2 Pentecosts ago when he received the habit (he belongs to the Community of St. John). some monastic and contemplative orders have kept this tradition. there are some awesome Carmelites in Alhambra that still do, the Nashville Dominicans do, the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Boston and Missionaries of Charity. other male religious like the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the C.F.R.'s do as well.
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