Pope rails against rise of un-Christian names

From the article:

The Pope has warned parents against giving children celebrity-inspired names and urged them to turn to the Bible for inspiration instead.

While names such as Sienna and Scarlett have become fashionable in recent years, Pope Benedict XVI called for a return to tradition.

During Mass at the Sistine Chapel, he said: “Every baptised child acquires the character of the son of God, beginning with their Christian name, an unmistakable sign that the Holy Spirit causes man to be born anew in the womb of the Church.” He added that a name was an “indelible seal” that set children off on a lifelong “journey of religious faith”.

Sir Bob Geldof has daughters named Pixie and Peaches, while Victoria and David Beckham called their first son Brooklyn, after the district of New York. Katie Price, the glamour model, named her daughter Princess Tiaamii.


Cristina Odone, a former editor of The Catholic Herald who grew up in Italy, said: “There are so many of the church’s traditions which we have come to ignore and which are actually meaningful and have a big spiritual significance. To deprive our children of that sense of having a protecting saint is to rob them of something very significant. Many of today’s names are not just un-Christian but they are also crass and consumerist.”

… continued at link: telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/the-pope/8251791/Pope-rails-against-rise-of-un-Christian-names.html

So, how do you feel? Do you agree with the Pope, or not? :popcorn:

I’d love to hear all responses :slight_smile:

*** PLEASE NOTE*** Just wanted to say that I’m not advocating disagreement with the Pope on infallible matters (faith or morals), but I don’t think this topic falls into that category, so I hope it’s OK :slight_smile:

If anyone is offended, please know that this was not my intention at all. :o

I guess with my kids being Nadine Elizabeth, Scott Aaron & Nathan Michael I’m in the Pope’s corner on this one.:smiley:

We’re naming our daughter after our mothers and after my recently deceased grandmother. Originally we were going to give her the middle name “Therese” after St. Therese, but after my Grandma’s passing in October all I could think about was how my little girl won’t ever know this wonderful woman who I was so close to. I do believe there is a St. Beatrice, but I still want to focus on telling my daughter about my Grandma Bea. Grandma Bea taught me how to pray when I was little and spent hours in adoration praying for her family. She may not be as perfect as a saint, but I want to share my love for my grandma with my daughter.

If we had been having a boy, however, we were thinking of naming him Thomas after a number of St. Thomases all of which my husband is fond of. We were then going to give him the middle name Roland after my Dad, my grandpa and my great grandpa and who knows how far back that name goes. Maybe next time.

I do like the idea of focusing on the saints and biblical characters. I think its pretty pathetic that so many little girls are being named Bella after the character in “Twilight.” Its such a fad.

I was entering my teen years when the trendy baby name fad came along so non-traditional names sound just unique enough for me to notice but not weird enough for me to be annoyed. Nowadays, choosing a traditional name like Mary is seen as being non-comformist and unique! Seriously, I was talking to another young woman my age who was thinking of variations on the name Mary to give her child because she didn’t want to be like everyone else and name her kid something like Brooklyn. She wanted to be different.

I think it’s important for parents to give their child’s name a lot of serious thought. They need to consider whether the name will be appropriate at every age and stage of life, as well as whether they could be taken seriously if they try to become a lawyer or politician with a silly name. They also need to remember that a child’s name gives them their identity and that picking a saint or a beloved family member as a namesake is better than naming them after a celebrity or a character in a trendy book.

However, I don’t think every child necessarily has to be named after a saint or a Biblical character. I know plenty of people with non-traditional names that absolutely love them and are glad they don’t have a common name. As long as it’s not blasphemous or silly, I don’t think having a unique name is automatically bad. I do understand where the Pope is coming from on this, though. It’s worth thinking about. I suppose not having a patron saint doesn’t bother me much because I didn’t grow up Catholic, though I have adopted my grandma’s patron saint as my own.

Personally, I’m giving my daughter traditional names. Veronica as a first name (I’ve always just liked the name, but it’s also supposed to be the name of the woman who wiped Jesus’ face as he carried the cross to calvary) and Catherine after my mom as a middle name.

I’m named after my two grandmothers (my mom took the first letters off both names), and as far as I know, there are no saints with my name. I would want to give one of my daughters my mom’s first name as a middle name. My mom was a wonderful woman, I’m sure she is a saint. :stuck_out_tongue: I do like having my grandmother’s names, it feels like a close connection to them, even though they are gone.

I’m not too sure about this one. While I have enormous respect for the Holy Father, I think there are better things he could do than worry about this.

For the record, I don’t like silly names either, but I think it’s fine if you want to name your kid something a bit off the beaten track.

Personally, I totally agree with the Pope. Many of these new and “trendy” names are just downright stupid and ignorant sounding to me. If I ever get married and am able to have children, I am going to give my child a traditional name. I will either name my child after someone in the Bible or I will name him/her after a saint.

Oh, I forgot to add that while I do find some names to be really stupid and ignorant sounding, I don’t judge a person based upon their name. I may not like a person’s name but a name doesn’t exactly define a person.

The only thing I could think is that he picked on the name “Sienna” and we named our daughter “Siena.” But the name makes me think of St. Catherine of Siena. So, that counts as Catholic, doesn’t it?

Well, if that’s not Catholic enough, her middle name is Elisabeth. Can’t argue with that one. :smiley:

That’s a very pretty name. Haven’t heard that one before.

Interestingly enough… Bella is short for Isabella.

Bella generally means Beautiful.

Isabella, is Hebrew for God’s Promise. St. Isabella is the Patron St. of Brides…

Bella in Twilight is actually SHORT for Isabella Marie Swan (according to the book)… Marie of course being a french Variant of Mary… Both versions appropriate. I wonder if the authur did any research on that name… alot of her character could be described by her entire name… hmmm…

So, actually 2 VERY appropriate Christian as well as St. Names names… never mind the fad… The name has been around A LONG LONG time… There’s a 7 y/o Bella around the corner from me… not sure if it’s short or not…

RE, the OT

We went through a lot picking the names for our twins. I always had a girl name and a boy name in mind. Never expecting to need 2 boy names right off.

We ended up picking a name off a show that we liked… But it too is a Saint’s name. The show… Not so much. It will also be long gone by the time my kiddo is an adult.

I think the types of names that are just bizarre are names that are really sounds, and not of any language, or named after things… Like “Apple”… I mean I GUESS that’s biblical… Straight from Genesis… but ick (IMO)

ETA: My terrible spelling… I think my hands speak a different language

Our first Childrens names will be Paul & Veronica

What about Chinese, Indian, Muslim, etc converts who want to pass on a family name? Different cultures put different emphasis on family names. Anyone have a list of Chinese, Indian, Indochinese, etc saints that it would be ok to name a kid after? If not then I guess it is up the parents.

I agree with the Pope, although I think it’s a bit sad that the majority of Christians will not hear his message. It’s only when the left wing media picks up on something he says or does that they can twist out of context like the frauds they are that they really ever mention him.

Is Jack still okay? Because a lot of those Old Testament names sound goofy and are hard to pronounce :o

Jack is a “form” of John. (biblical…)

But Jack is my formal name, not John.

That’s doesn’t really matter… It’s like a translation so to speak… Jack is derived from John… that was done before you were born…

I would think the Pope has other issues to worry about.

As with everything the Pope says, I’d rather hear/read his actual words and not someone’s interpretation of them.

On the subject of names though, I wonder how many of those who voted 1 & 2 ever taken a class in semiotics and realize how value-less names are? (And by names, I mean the symbols and sound strings that is their physical make-up.)

People get different ideas when they hear names. For instance, when you hear the name Logan. What comes into your mind? If you’re like me, chances are this guy comes first.


Let’s try a biblical name now. How about James? Well guess what, you get people thinking of characters like this:





Let’s try another one shall we? How about… Luke?

plays Star Wars theme

I know a few more too (though they’re more popular in my circle than outside it).

(Luke Ainsworth from The Sacred Blacksmith)

(Luke fon Fabre from Tales of the Abyss)

Oh and don’t even get me started on foreign names (e.g. Andres, Talim, Mei-Ling, Sakura etc)

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