Popes and baby naming

You might have wondered about this bit in “Guest Post: Ana on Baby Naming” linked to in one of my previous posts:

“… one day my wanna-be theologian husband came home and told me that the Pope had written some beautiful letter on the importance of Catholics using names of great saints in the Church when naming their children …”

I believe Ana was referring to an oft-misrepresented homily by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in which he said:

“It is not by chance, in fact, that every baptized person acquires the character of the Son, starting from their Christian name, an indisputable sign that the Holy Spirit brings man to be born again from the womb of the Church. Blessed Antonio Rosmini says that ‘the baptized person undergoes a secret but most powerful operation by which he is raised up to the supernatural order, he is placed in communication with God.'”

My favorite take on the misrepresentations is by the Baby Name Wizard herself: Pope Benedict on Baby Names: A global game of telephone. And Pope Benedict isn’t the only pope in recent memory to have had an impact on naming discussions — Pope Francis caused quite a stir when he chose Francis as his papal name, the first pope to have ever done so, and since then has taken the baby name world by storm. Some examples:

Pope Francis inspires baby names

Naming the Pope

The 2013 Name of the Year

Papal Baby Names: Possibilities beyond Pius and Innocent

The Pope Francis Effect: ‘Francesco’ now Italy’s most popular baby name

What do you think of Francis or Frances or any of the other variations of the name for boys or girls? What about Benedict and John Paul? Or how about their birth names: Karol (Charles, Carl) (JPII), Josef (Joseph) (BXVI), or Jorge (George) (PF)?

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