Should the names popes take on election be a Preferred Name or a Nickname?

+9 votes
There is inconsistency in the way pope's elected names are treated.  Should we be consistent in using them as the preferred name (puts the name in brackets) or as a nickname "puts the name in quotation marks"?

I don't mind which way we go but would like a consistent approach.  I think preferred name would be a better option but I'm happy to go with the flow.  It would be the same for Kings and Queens I guess.  It seems they are a bit mixed up too.  See Hannover-19 George I and Stuart-19 James II.  Charles II has his official title (Charles II) as a preferred name and his nickname is "the Merry Monarch".  

It would be great if we could have a standard approach.
WikiTree profile: Charles Stuart
in Policy and Style by Deborah Talbot G2G6 Mach 6 (67.3k points)
Thanks Deborah, but when I had a look at James II and George I, they seem to be correct with the name they were known by as monarch with numeral in the preferred name field.

2 Answers

+16 votes
Best answer

The standard for monarchs is to use the preferred name (see Help:Name Fields for European Aristocrats). I think it should be the same for popes. After all, it is a lifelong position.

by Liander Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (444k points)
selected by Deborah Talbot
I agree, preferred name would be the better option.
Thank you.  I'll go in and standardise them all.
Sorry Deborah, I just thought of another complication - should the name be in Italian? Latin? Something else?  I suspect most of them currently are the English version.
If you go to the Vatican site it lists them in English.

Yes, Deborah, but that is because you are looking at the English version of the site. If you select another language (via the scroll box in the top right corner of the screen), you will see that the names change with each language. Here are the Latin versions.

This arguably makes sense for monarchs because their regnal name is nearly always one of their actual names, although not necessarily the first.

For Popes the nickname field makes more sense because Innocent or Benedict or whatever is not their actual name. Part of the problem is that nickname is a fairly casual word in English and cognomen - a name by which someone is known - would be better. Sadly not enough people know that word so it's no good either.

+9 votes
Popes don't change their names, they adopt an official style that happens to include a name.  Joseph Ratzinger, styled "Pope Benedict XVI".  Shouldn't appear as Benedict Ratzinger or Pope Joseph.

John Stewart, styled "King Robert III of Scots".  James Charles Stuart, "King James VI of Scotland", "King James I of England".  Albert Windsor, formerly Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, "King George VI".  Never George VI Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

As a matter of practicality, it works best not to mix and match.  Put the official style all in one piece in the nickname field and keep it out of the other boxes.
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (600k points)
Actually, they do assume the name not a style.  They sign all legal forms and encyclicals etc as their papal name e.g. Pope Francis signs Franciscus,  John Paul II signed Joannes Paulus PP II.  The EuroAristo standard is to put these names into the Preferred Name field and I have followed that standard.  This puts their titles into the Nickname field.  See Wojtyla-13 as an example  "Lolek, the Great" is a nickname.  This works the same for royalty.  See King George II [Hannover-17]

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