Skip to content

Let’s pick the best papal name ever

Papal Pandemonium 2015
Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 Results

For more info on Popes, visit New Advent's Catholic Encyclopedia

The semifinals have concluded, and we’ve narrowed our original list of 81 down to just 9.

Papal finals

In doing some research a few days ago, I put together a list of the most common papal names. I formatted it in the style of my Tournament of Champions standings (which you can see to your right).

The list turned out to be quite popular on Facebook – even though it listed mostly “boring” papal names, like John and Gregory and Alexander. What about those really absurd Latin names from the early days of the church?

With March Madness in full swing, I decided to create a tournament to determine the most awesome pontifical name: Papal Pandemonium.

Papal Pandemonium semi results

The format is simple. The 264 different popes listed in the Catholic Encyclopedia have used a total of 82 names. Removing one name gives us a nice round 81. I chose to remove Peter, the name of the first pope; by tradition, it has never been used again.

Much of the information on these popes comes from the Catholic Encyclopedia – a fascinating resource that can suck up a lot of your time if you’re not careful!

In each round, you will vote for your favorite 3 of the 9 names offered to move on to the next round. We’ll cut 81 to 27, then to 9.

Here are the results from the quarterfinals, with the finalists highlighted green.

Papal Pandemonium QF finalists

What do you think?