Oh, why not …

I formally rejected the Catholic church many years ago, after I realized I had been going through motions for a long time, and hadn’t really believed many of its tenets.  Still, I have found myself fascinated by papal conclaves and the selection of a new Bishop of Rome.

I literally had tears in my eyes yesterday as I watched the live stream from Vatican Square, and heard the Cardinal Protodeacon announce “Habemus papam!”  I couldn’t tell what he said immediately afterward; was it “Francesco” or “Francisco”?  

Almost immediately, Twitter came alive with “Pope Francis I”.   

Maybe it’s my love of a multi-cultural world, maybe it’s my respect for others’ languages, maybe it’s my despair of Americans wanting to Anglicize everything, but I was terribly disappointed that “Francesco” became “Francis”.  Is it so terrible to refer to Pope Francesco?

I’ll also admit that I didn’t feel the same disappointment that John Paul i (or II) was not Giovanni Paolo, or that Benedict was not Benedicto.  Perhaps it’s because those names are not common in American life, but Francesco certainly is.

Though I don’t believe in the primacy of the Pope, or his church, I was taken by his apparent humility in his initial remarks, and wish most heartily his god will guide him. I wish as well the best for those who choose to follow him.

But I’ll probably still refer to him as Francesco (Primo).

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Published in: on March 14, 2013 at 8:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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