Consecrated to the Heart of the Redeemer under the patronage of the Theotokos and Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

20 February 2013

Name That Pope!

Fr. Z., of the blog "What Does the Prayer Really Say?" has a neat little contest going on, in which you--yes, you--get to choose the name of the next Supreme Pontiff.  Well, you get to suggest a name, or to guess what he might choose...and to view immediately the voting results.

My choice, if anyone cares to know, is Gregory (XVII).  The name comes from the Greek gregorios, "watchful," understandably related to the Latin grex, which means "flock" or "herd."  The Pope is always the vigilant overseer of the Lord's flock.  As such, it behooves him to be gregarious--readily willing to be among people, to identify himself with his own even as they look to him for direction and care.  It reminds me of a line from my favorite stanza from the Pange Lingua:

Nobis datus, nobis natus / Ex intacta Virgine,/ Et in mundo conversatus, / Sparso verbi semine, / Sui moras incolatus / Miro clausit ordine. 
Poetic translation:
Of a pure and spotless Virgin / Born for us on earth below, / He, as Man, with man conversing, / Stayed, the seeds of truth to sow; / Then He closed in solemn order / Wondrously His life of woe. 
"With man conversing": Literally, "having associated/consorted/dwelt with the world."  It can also mean "having turned over" or "pondered."  Following the predominant theme (and the approach) of the Benedictine Papacy: Jesus the Word Incarnate engages the world not as a stranger, but as His own true love, setting the pattern for our free and conscious response.

"To the extent that we nourish ourselves on Christ and are in love with him, we feel within us the incentive to bring others to him: Indeed, we cannot keep the joy of the faith to ourselves; we must pass it on.”(Address to the Rome Diocesan Congress, 23Jun06)
So, name your pope!  Perhaps you have a substantively meaningful reason for your selection; perhaps you just think it would be neat to hear Father say, una cum Papa nostro, Sergio, figuring, "It's been a millennium since the last one, so why the heck not?"  Leave your suggestion as a comment below for our readership to ponder, and then take Fr. Z's poll!

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