Right. On top of that, he was the first pope to be the first of his name since Pope Lando in 913—over a thousand years previous. And he was the first pope ever to have a double name. That is certainly historic.
Dying. Which gave us JPII
Unlikely. According to his brother, he had contemplated taking the name Pius XIII, but chose not to because of how it might be perceived or exploited:
“Once,” he [Edoardo] recalls, "it was the summer of 1931, just as we were intent on this work, I told him [Albino, later Pope JPI] that the fascists had snatched the badge of Catholic Action from me. He then explained to me how at that time Pius XI was in bitter conflict with fascism because of Catholic Action. He also told me that the popes named Pio were the ones who had suffered the most. This came back to me after his election, when he confided to us that his first thought was to take the name of Pius XIII, but then he gave up, thinking of the sectors of the Church that would have exploited this choice ".
That was probably the plan. When I say “restore” the TLM, I am not necessarily suggesting that the Novus Ordo would be abolished.
Society did not always have the expectation it does now, that everyone is more or less equal, and that any pretensions of hierarchy are pompous and not at all people-friendly. The regal “we” was meant to place a distance of respect between the ruler and his people, and to emphasize that the role of the monarch (or pope) was somehow more than just a person, a person like you and me, talking or teaching.
Many years ago I even knew a pastor who spoke in the regal “we” when delivering a sermon. Talk about retro! (He did speak of himself as “I” in normal conversation, though.)
“Pius” is not a common name in the modern world. The reaction might well be “what kind of a name is that?”.
Thankyou! I wrote that he chose the name “John Paul”, expecting that he would not have called himself “John Paul I” and that the number was only added later, but I’ve discovered that in fact he chose it himself. He was also the first Pope to add the number “I” to his name, but, that would seem to be a minor point when (as you point out) he is also the first pope since since Pope Lando in 913 to be the first of his name. A very interesting “first”!
He lead the way for Pope John Paul II. I think Pope John Paul I knew his fate and the future when he chose his Papal name. He actually chose John Paul I, intentionally choosing the “I”. Really, he chose the “I” and wasn’t called that just because he proceeded John Paul II.
In my opinion we would have never had Pope JPII without Pope JPI. Someone said he was very warm and people really responded to him. After that we got JPII. The only possible replacement. Praise God! The first non Italian pope in 500 years. The Holy Spirit planned this. That is what I thought then and I am more convinced now!
I can see that more with monarchs. In Shakespeare plays, for example, monarchs almost invariably speak in the plural. But that would presumably be quite normal for monarchs, who were normally the son of a monarch or at any rate a close relation of the monarch or the head of a rival dynasty that had long entertained hopes of power. If you had grown up your whole life hearing your father speak about himself in the plural and you had always had the expectation that you would yourself succeed as king, it would be quite natural to speak that way.
But with popes it’s quite different. Popes have often been drawn from very humble backgrounds. Although some popes have been members of the nobility, others have been peasants. And nobody knows that he is going to become pope. Even to become papabile one has to be quite old. Pope John XXIII was one of 13 children of sharecroppers. He didn’t become cardinal until the age of 71. I wonder how he would have adjusted at the age of 76 to becoming “we” when nothing in his background would have prepared him for having to learn to speak like a monarch.
Why don’t Popes use the phrase we anymore anyways? If he speaks for the Church as a whole, especially in cases where it is in his official capacity as Pope, I think it makes total sense to say we as opposed to I. I like the new translation of the Missal compared to before 2011, but I don’t like how they changed the word of the Creed from we to I either, seeing as the Creed as Nicene in 325 and then expanded at Constantinople in 381 clearly says We believe. If at mass we are one body wouldn’t it make sense to say we in an objective form as opposed to I which is subjective?
Yes, it is certainly peculiar that the liturgical form of the Creed, in both Greek and Latin, using the first person singular, whereas the original Greek text from the councils uses the first person plural.
As for popes, I think the reason for their having historically used the plural was not that they were speaking on behalf of all Catholics but simply because it was conventional for them to do so. It’s the same reason why Queen Elizabeth II still uses this form: “NOW KNOW YE that We have consented and do by these Presents signify Our Consent to the contracting of Matrimony between Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales K.G. and Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton.” It’s not because she is speaking on behalf of all her subjects, but because as a monarch she refers to herself as “we”. Of course, she normally uses the singular like any other person, hence all those speeches which begin “My husband and I”, not “Our husband and we”.
He exuded it, and was loved in return.
The normal “royal” usage would in any event be “Ralph, first of that name” (or forty-seventh, or whatever).
Also , as far a the plural, it’s “the imperial we” used by sovereigns.
Perhaps that convention has come into effect in the thousand years since it was was last a question in naming a pope.
Or maybe not? I think the European royal dynasties have been more or less continuous since the Carolingian dynasty (ie. preceeding Pope Lando), albeit not in one country or one line from then till now.
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