Pope Francis: Jorge Mario Bergoglio Chooses Completely New Papal Name
New pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76 of Argentina, has chosen the papal name, Francis. He is the first ever to choose that name. He is the first Latin American pope in the history of the Church.
Bergoglio may have chosen a first papal name to indicate a willingness to embark on a fresh start, given the Church's troubles with numerous sexual abuse scandals.
When he was chosen by the College of Cardinals, he was asked, as is customary after the election, "Do you accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff?"
The assumption of special papal names goes back to 533, when Mercurius chose the name John, because of the pagan connotations associated with his birth name.