Want to know who the new pope is *seconds* before your friends?

You know you do.

What you’ll want to do is bone up on the Latin (accusative case) names of the possible candidates, compiled by CNS in this handy list.

After the cardinals elect a new pope, and assuming he isn’t the elected, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the senior cardinal-deacon, will appear on the St. Peter’s Basilica balcony to make the announcement in Latin (the official formula for the announcement is here). The first indication of who the new pope is will be his first name—so, “Angelum” for Angelo; “Franciscum” for Francis, Francisco, or Franc; “Timotheum” for Timothy; etc.

Of course, the usefulness of this list of Latin names will depend in part on who is chosen – if we all hear “Odilonem,” it will immediately be clear that the cardinals have elected Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer of Sao Paolo. If Cardinal Tauran announces “Ioannem,” on the other hand, it could be one of nine different cardinals named John, Juan, Giovanni, Sean, or Joao.

In that case, just sit tight and wait a few seconds for the announcement of the cardinal last name, and his newly chosen papal name.


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About Catherine Harmon 572 Articles
Catherine Harmon is managing editor of Catholic World Report.