Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
Of all the possible advice I could give to a new Pontiff, perhaps the most important would be on the subject of name selection.
I wouldn't presume to tell the new Pope what name to pick, but I feel very qualified to tell him which names not to pick. All of the names below are previous names of Popes that should not be repeated. Let's just say they would send the wrong message or offer too many opportunities to detractors.
Picking this name is just asking for trouble. Trust me, Holy Father, it will be very difficult for you to be taken seriously. Why give them such easy ammunition? You might as well call yourself Pope Chuckles I. Not a good idea.
While simplicity can be a virtue, I just don't think I could bear years of Bill Maher simpleton jokes. It is just too easy, why give it to them?
Again, just too easy. Popes are already routinely mocked for being 'severe.' Why give them this. Besides, there is a whole segment of the population that will think the Pope is a character in a J.K. Rowling novel. The geeks and cranks will routinely photoshop the pope into black robes and long greasy hair. If we wanted that, we would just elect Ozzy Pope. So no.
Again, no geeks references. No Star Wars names, period. Sorry, Pope Luke is out too. No Pope should have to endure comparisons to Billy Dee Williams or even Darth Vader. Frankly, I am not sure which is worse.
Seriously? Do I even need to explain this one? Let's just say this name makes it increasingly difficult to promote traditional marriage. Best if avoided.
No, no Adrian either. Too much like a girls name and it kinda sounds British, which when you think about it is kinda the same thing.
Absolutely not. The best thing about this surprise Papal election is that it might finally put the fake St. Malachy prophecy geeks out to pasture. Oh sure, a small subset of people will cling to it in the face of all evidence to the contrary, However, if the new Pope chooses Peter, we will never hear the end of it. Please no. Choose any of the other six terrible names, but don't choose Peter.