Friday, March 8, 2013

Six names which the new Pope won't choose!!!

based on a liberal translation from with my pics and extensions.

Six names which the new Pope won't choose!!! 

Pontifical onomastics

The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI evoked our curiosity especially to the name his successor will choose. Pius, Gregory and John seem like good contenders, but there are also names that the new Зope probably will not use. We present here six of them.

Peter / Petrus

The Catholic Church considers the apostle Peter (c. 33-67) as the first pope. He would have been bishop of Rome until he was crucified upside down because he allegedly wanted to die the same death as Jesus.

Peter is one of the most important figures in Christianity, but his name has since been disliked by popes. Several popes who called himself Peter, have deliberately chosen a new name.

The first was John XIV (983-984):

His original name was Pietro Canepanova, but he took the name John XIV to avoid being linked to St. Peter himself (George L. Williams, Papal Genealogy: The Families And Descendants Of The Popes, McFarland & Company, 1998, p. 232.)

Sergius IV (1009-1012)

... born in Rome as Pietro Martino Buccaporci... His birth name is believed to have been Pietro Martino (Peter Martin) Buccaporci. This name essentially translates as "Peter Pig's Snout." Pietro adopted the name Sergius IV upon accession to the pontificate. (Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to Benedict XVI, HarperCollins Publishers, 2000, p. 168.)

Except such a historic background there is a good reason not to choose the name Peter II. It's related to the predictions of the St. Malachy (1094-1148).

The Prophecy of the Popes (Latin: Prophetia Sancte Malachiae Archiepiscopi, de Summis Pontificibus) is a series of 112 short, cryptic phrases in Latin which purport to predict the Roman Catholic popes... The alleged prophecies were first published by Benedictine monk Arnold de Wyon in 1595...
Given the very accurate description of popes up to 1590 and lack of accuracy after that year, Catholic historians generally conclude that the alleged prophecies are a fabrication written shortly before they were published. The Roman Catholic Church also dismisses them as forgery. The prophecies may have been created in an attempt to suggest that Cardinal Girolamo Simoncelli's bid for the papacy in the second conclave of 1590 was divinely ordained.
Proponents of the prophecies claim that Pope Benedict XVI corresponded to the pope described in the penultimate prophecy. The list ends with a pope identified as "Peter the Roman", whose pontificate will allegedly bring the destruction of the city of Rome and usher in the beginning of the Apocalypse (Sieczkowski, Cavan (14 February 2013). "St. Malachy Last Pope Prophecy: What Theologians Think About 12th-Century Prediction". Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved 17 February 2013:


The next Pope that we do not wait for is a new Sixtus. On the is noticed that this Latin name, which literally means "the sixth", has already been used by five Popes. On the WiKi it's explained otherwise:
Sixtus was a Roman name, a corruption of the Greek name "Ξυστος," meaning "polished," and originally Latinized "Xystus." It is not to be confused with the common Roman name "Sextus," meaning "sixth," though not necessarily denoting a sixth child.
Notable people named Sixtus include five Popes of the Roman Catholic Church, the first three of whom are called "Xystus" in the most ancient records:
Pope Sixtus I (115/116–125)
Pope Sixtus II (257–258)
Pope Sixtus III (432–440)
Pope Sixtus IV (1471–1484)
Pope Sixtus V (1585–1590) 

Should the new Catholic pastor choose this name, then he, as Sixtus VI, will be literally 'the sixth Sixth'. That is strange and for some languages it will be a sort of the tongue twister. Sixtus VI in Latin Sixtus Sextus, in Italian Sisto Sesto, in English Sixtus the Sixth, in French Sixte Six, in German Sixtus der Sechste, while in Russian Сикст Шестой sounds pretty well ))))))). However, this reason is weighty enough to avoid such a cacophonical name.


Pope Soter (166-174) is well known,  his name is derived from the Greek word "σωτήρ" (sōtēr), meaning a "saviour" or "deliverer". Officially the church has nothing against; for istance, in Italy and Spain we can find some persons named Salvador and Salvatore respectively, but, anyway, after Jusus a pope who proclaims himself saviour aims at the moon.


A pope called Formosus (891-896) is not very known. The meaning of his name is "handsome" or "good-looking". Such a name is not much suitable for a prelate.

Furthermore, he had been put on trial in the notorious Cadaver Synod:
Pope Stephen VI, the successor of Boniface, influenced by Lambert and Agiltrude, sat in judgment of Formosus in 897, in what was called the Cadaver Synod. The corpse was disinterred, clad in papal vestments, and seated on a throne to face all the charges from John VIII. The verdict was that the deceased had been unworthy of the pontificate. The Damnatio memoriae, an old judicial practice from Ancient Rome, was applied to Formosus, all his measures and acts were annulled and the orders conferred by him were declared invalid. The papal vestments were torn from his body, the three fingers from his right hand that he had used in consecrations were cut off and the corpse was thrown into the Tiber. (Friedrich Wilhelm Bautz (1990). "Formosus, Papst". In Bautz, Friedrich Wilhelm (in German). Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). 2. Hamm: Bautz. cols. 70–71. ISBN 3-88309-032-8.)


There have been eight Popes and Antipopes named Alexander:

  • Pope Alexander I (c. 106 – c. 115)
  • Pope Alexander II (1061–1073)
  • Pope Alexander III (1159–1181)
  • Pope Alexander IV (1254–1261)
  • Antipope Alexander V (1409–1410) (Considered to be an Antipope; however, the next Pope Alexander took the name Alexander VI due to confusion over Alexander V's status at the time.)
  • Pope Alexander VI (1492–1503)
  • Pope Alexander VII (1655–1667)
  • Pope Alexander VIII (1689–1691)

Usuallay, who says the Pope Alexander, surely evokes Borgia. The name of Alexander VI (1492-1503) aka Roderic de Borja has become synonymous to intrigue, murder, incest and similar niceties.
He is one of the most controversial of the Renaissance popes, and his Italianized catalan surname Borgia became a byword for libertinism and nepotism, which are traditionally considered as characterizing his papacy.

There are two more popes after Alexander VI who ruled with the same name, but they were few memorable and didn't faded the memory of Borgia. In the globally successful TV series The Borgias, which starts soon the third season, the extravagances of Alexander and his clique are well demonstrated.


The reputation of Alexander's predecessor Innocent VIII (1484-1492) is not much better. The name itself is charactonym and means "the innocent", what in light of scandals is absolutely unappropriate, but Innocent VIII is also one of the most infamous popes in history.

During what is known as the Little Ice Age, Innocent VIII, in his papal bull Summis desiderantes (5 December 1484) instigated severe measures against magicians and witches in Germany. The grip of freezing weather, failing of crops, rising crime, and mass starvation was blamed on witches. He issued the bull to inquisitors Heinrich Kramer and Jacobus Sprenger to systemize the persecution of witches.
He was also friend of Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada, who was against Jews and Muslims in Spain and therefore ordered to burn thousands of them.

So, let's wait just a couple of weeks and we will get to know what will be the new Papal Name. 

Faites votre jeu! Enter your stake! 


  1. You're wrong, and exposing yourself as uneducated. Sixtus does not mean "sixth", otherwise it would be "Sixtus Sixtus", not "Sixtus Sextust"

    1. It was just a repost from VERNOEMING.NL, so please, be so kind to contact them not us. By the way, we have commented that Sextus meant "the sixth" not Sixtus by means of quoting from Wikipedia. It was not to be found in the original text. So to say, we have improved the Dutch Text. Well, your comment is irrelevant from two viewpoints. That is why we are sorry about your education (moreover, about your good manners)

    2. Haha remarkable that you issued a response considering the article is 8 years old