Many years ago, when I was first starting to work in apologetics, I was reading an article by an Italian journalist—I think it may have been Andrea Tornielli—who referred in passing to “Pope Wojtyla,” meaning John Paul II.
“How disrespectful!” I thought.
At the time, I was only used to referring to popes by their regnal name (the one they choose when they become pope) either preceded by the word “Pope” (i.e., “Pope John Paul”) or followed by their regnal number (i.e., “John Paul II”) or both (i.e., “Pope John Paul II”).
And that was only if there was a name involved at all. More generic designations were also possible—like “the holy father” or simply “the pope”—but not other combinations...READ MORE