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Why do Popes change their name when they are elected by the church? See details.

It is well known by everyone right from time that when a new Pope in the Catholic Church is elected, his name automatically changes.

Before now, Pope Francis was called Jorge Mario Bergoglio, his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI was born Joseph Ratzinger, his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, was born Karol Josef Wojtyla and this has been the order right time back.

This incident has led to many people asking why the Popes are changing their names after been elected.

The tradition of Popes changing their names dates back to 533 when a Pope was elected as John II, but his born name was Mercurius, he didn't think that bearing such a name (Mercurius), will be appropriate especially as a servant of God because that name was taken from a pagan god, so he decided to adopt his name from his predecessor.

Another fact for Popes changing their names may also date back to the biblical event during the time of Jesus, when Simon, a fisherman, was renamed as Peter and he was appointed to build the church thereby making him the first Pope in the Catholic Church.

In summary, Popes usually change their names to honor their predecessors or saints whom they love or admire inorder to continue the good work in the church. If you recall, Pope John Paul II (Pope Benedict's XVI predecessor), chose his name to honour Pope John Paul I.

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Benedict XVI Jorge Mario Bergoglio Joseph Ratzinger Pope Francis Popes


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