Catholic World News

Vatican official criticizes title ‘Pope emeritus’

May 04, 2017

The president of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization has said that he objects to the use of the title “Pope emeritus” for Benedict XVI.

Archbishop Rino Fisichella said that the title “theologically creates more problems, rather than solving them.” He said that he respects the title, but “I will not use it.”

The former Pontiff himself has indicated that he was not happy with the title, and wanted to be known simply as “Father Benedict,” but did not have the strength to resist demands by Vatican staff members.


For all current news, visit our News home page.

Further information:
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: brenda22890 - May. 05, 2017 6:04 AM ET USA

    While I believe that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, due to his humility, was not comfortable with the title, there is really no other designation that fits the profound gratitude and respect the rest of us do (or should) feel toward him. And shame on Fisichella.

  • Posted by: - May. 04, 2017 11:27 PM ET USA

    Why not honor Benedict's request and call him Father Benedict since Pope Emeritus Benedict doesn't like the title either.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - May. 04, 2017 3:51 PM ET USA

    I just added this to my personal list of things to worry about. At the very bottom.