Do you personally know anyone by the name of Francis? How about Francisco or Franz?
The next baby shower you attend may be a celebration for a child named after our Church’s new leader, Pope Francis.
A recent satire on CatholicVote.org explored the concept of “conclave babies,” a trend of similarly-named babies who enter the world in the wake of thrill and faithfulness associated with a new Pope.
“We just thought what a great opportunity to show our support for whomever the new Pope would be,” one (fictional) woman said in the article.
Her husband explained further, “We saw the white smoke, and then we saw the little cardinal come out on the balcony to announce the name of the new Pope. As soon we heard the name ‘Francis,’ we both looked at each other and just knew.”
Dr. Kevin Williams, Professor of a (made up department) from Catholic University of America, commented in the article: “While not new, this has really picked up in the last three or four decades, beginning nine months after the election of John Paul II when the population of Poland nearly doubled overnight. We witnessed the same effect in Germany in the January 2006.”
Jokes aside, even as a cradle Catholic, this trend of naming children after our Holy Father is completely new to me.
Time will tell if the birth rate in Argentina will really reach epic proportions, or even other regions with a high percentage of Catholics. The name game that all parents unwillingly enter is less shocking as many names gain additional popularity when a prominent figure, much less a new Pope, arrives on the scene.
As single Catholics, what do you think of this trend? Do you know anyone who was named John Paul or Benedict?