Pope Francis could have been Pope John XXIV

Pope Francis originally wanted to be named Pope John.

The revelation comes in a recently published book called the “Diary of a Papist”, by author and journalist Gianluca Barile.

The book, full of news and information about the Church and papacy, carries a rumour from Cardinal Francesco Marchisano, a good friend of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, recalling that had Bergoglio been elected he would have taken the name Pope John.

Quoting Cardinal Marchisano, “John, I would have called myself John, like the Good Pope; I would have been completely inspired by him”, writes longtime Italian Vaticanista Gianluca Barile.

RNS reports that at the 2005 Conclave to elect a pope, after three rounds of voting, Bergoglio received 40 votes and ran second to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who received 72 votes.

78 votes were required for Ratzinger to be elected by the two-thirds margin.

Again according to RNS, hoping to avoid prolonging the conclave and creating divisions, Bergoglio apparently signalled his supporters not to back him, leaving the way free for Ratzinger to be elected.

In the intervening eight years Bergoglio obviously changed his mind on what name he would take, and instead of being Pope John XXIV he became the first Pope Francis in history.

With only one miracle attributed to John XXIII,  Pope Francis, in April, will canonise John XXIII.


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