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Nicknaming the Pope: FSJ?

He does need a nickname.JPII . . . B16 . . . FSJ.I realize it will not be unanimously approved. But it has a certain ring to it, doesn't it? And the seal of the Jesuits is very prominent on his coat of arms.

About the Author

Cathleen Kaveny is the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor in the Theology Department and Law School at Boston College.



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I have been calling him Papa Paco.

But I do like FSJ. Nice ring to it

I prefer a simpler Pope F1

I don't know if he needs a nickname. "Pope Francis" is only three syllables ( Pope Benedict the Sixteenth is kind of a mouthful). Though I guess when writing about him, FSJ is shorter. But I do really like that his name is evocative of St Francis, such a fabulous saint, so I will keep using his full name.

I look forward to saying, "Lighten up, Francis" whenever he says something irritating.

He signs his documents simply as "Francis." That seems to do the trick for me.

I prefer punctuation for clarity: F,S.J. But whatever will be will come out of practice. And I doubt diminishing accounts for more than 1 or 2% of the interest in the name. Jesus, recall, called His Father "Abba."

"Francis" is bold and personal. Using it familiarly - like the short handed names of the prior three which we grew accustomed to due to double names- can sound strange, but I like it also.

Although it was meant to be contemptuous, it always made me laugh when Pope John Paul II was referred to as J2P2. I think it was a columnist for the Village Voice who popularized the abbreviation. It was, of course, a play on R2-D2, the robot in the Star Wars movies.

"Frank." It is down to earth, short, and sounds like the guy who comes in to clean up the mess.

Papa Pancho but sort of like Frank, also - my grandfather's name

@Abe: You are just the most amazing source of memorable lines from forgettable movies. But I doubt that "Psycho" ends up being the nickname of choice.

For now, "Francis" is OK with me. On the other hand, if, like B16, Francis "diminishes" himself, I may refer to him simply as "F".

Let's steer clear of F1. It sounds like a stealth fighter. Besides, a number isn't necessary when there's only one. It's just King John and Queen Anne. But plain F won't do either. FSJ, three scarcely euphonious syllables, is a needless and possibly invidious descriptor, suggesting that the SJ part is an essential mark. It could also prove to be a distressing precedent if a Dominican is ever elected and chooses the name William.It's never impolite to call people what they ask to be called. So I'd go with Francis. Or The Pope.

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Irene, that offended me more than anything anyone said in the gay marriage thread down below. Forgettable? Stripes? C'mon...

I'm told that the name Francis was actually a nickname for the famous friar of Assisi, whose given first name was Giovanni; as it was relayed to me, "Francesco" was a nickname signifying something like "Frenchy" in English, and was a name be earned in his pre-conversion names for his dandified attire. (I'm sure someone will correct me if this isn't quite on the money; I'm retrieving from my memory something heard years ago in a homily, so there are multiple ways that this could be not quite factual).Anyway, if this is anywhere close to true, then his name already is a nickname.

"... and was a name *he* earned in his pre-conversion *days" ..."Sorry.

That sounds right about the nickname, if not necessarily about the reason for it.

Assisi1 ... and done

I am lobbying for PFSJ.

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