How does a pope choose his new name?


#1

What are the criteria for the pope in choosing his new name? Are there restrictions on the names he can choose?


#2

[quote=DebbieB]What are the criteria for the pope in choosing his new name?
[/quote]

There are no criteria that are “set in stone,” so to speak, but a pope usually chooses to honor a predecessor or someone he otherwise admires (e.g., John XXIII sought to honor his father); or he chooses to give an indication of the course of his papacy (e.g., Pius XII sought to indicate that he would continue Pius XI’s work).

[quote=DebbieB]Are there restrictions on the names he can choose?
[/quote]

No. However, it is an unwritten custom that popes do not choose the name Peter. There is no rule against such a choice, but it is generally considered a matter of prudential judgment for popes not to invite comparisons between themselves and the first and original pope Christ himself chose.


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