General Question

Strauss's avatar

What is an ex-Pope called?

Asked by Strauss (20379points) February 11th, 2013

What happens to the title when a pope abdicates? Does the Pope become Pope Emeritus, like tenured college professor? Or maybe he just goes back to being “Cardinal Ratzinger””.

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44 Answers

zenvelo's avatar


I couldn’t resist. Anyway, we don’t really know what he’ll be called, since it’s been 600 years.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Traditionally an ex-pope has been called “dead and buried”,

Bennie’s resignation makes all sorts questions important:

Suppose he and the new pope disagree – the pope is supposed to be infallible – who does the Church listen to?

What does he wear? he can’t wear his papal robes

Does he get free transportation? If he travels, what sort of honors does he receive?

And so on.

mazingerz88's avatar

Heard a report saying he will retire to a monastery to write. If he writes a horror story then he could be called Edgar Allan Pope. If he decides to open an ice cream shop, it will be named Ben and Dick’s. : )

picante's avatar

A little fish in a big See??

thorninmud's avatar

Petered out?

diavolobella's avatar

I suspect that, like a former President, he’s still called Pope.

thorninmud's avatar

Your Refallibleness

mazingerz88's avatar

ex-Pope who wears black – Darth Pope
ex-Pope chasing photographers – Poparazzi
ex-Pope who does silly things – nincompope

antimatter's avatar

Dope – Pope?

Jeruba's avatar


Pachy's avatar

I can’t come up with a better answer than some of the ones above, but here are a few Papal-isms… with respect…

His Holiness with a camera – Popearazzi
His Holiness out in the cold – Popecycle
Pontiff wearing cologne – Popepourri
Candidate for next Holy Father – Any Pope in a storm
Papal sandwich (formerly fish)—Popeboy

ragingloli's avatar

This one; hitler youth pedo priest protector.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Pope Emeritus?

The German Guy Formerly Known as The Pope?

Aryan Master Priest?

susanc's avatar

Plain Brother Benedict, or… what was his first name before he was Pope? Plain Brother That.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@susanc Wouldn’t it be Father Whatever?

CWOTUS's avatar

It would be funny if he became Bernadette.

Sunny2's avatar

Mr. Pope?

filmfann's avatar

My guess is he will no longer carry a title, but is to be addressed as “your Holiness”.

Fun fact: There were 3 Pope Benedict XIV’s! The first 2 are now considered Anti-popes.

this is really in General?

mazingerz88's avatar

At IHOP, in honor of His would be former Holiness, they are now serving Ex-Benedict with bacon and hash browns.

Jeruba's avatar

@mazingerz88, not too many posts get an actual LOL from me, but that one did. GA.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Papal ex!!!! Papex!!!!!

Roby's avatar

Pooped Pope?

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Do you know what Yogi Berra said when he met the Pope? “Hi, Pope!”

elbanditoroso's avatar

If they take away all of his priestly goods, have then been ex-pope-riated?

picante's avatar

He’s a holy-owned subsidiary ;-)

Strauss's avatar

@filmfann Yes, I posted this in general. but…well…

thorninmud's avatar

@Yetanotheruser Thanks for tolerating the nonsense

LostInParadise's avatar

This question has got me thinking about the pope selection process. Does a person who is chosen as pope have to formally agree to becoming pope? If so, does the white smoke get sent up only after the person chosen has accepted? Has anyone ever refused?

thorninmud's avatar

@LostInParadise Since 1139, the pope has always been chosen from among the cardinals, so the prime candidates—the papabiles—will be there among the voting cardinals. Since there are many rounds of voting, I would think that a cardinal who isn’t willing to be pope would make that known when his name started appearing in early votes.

SamandMax's avatar

What’s a retired pope called? I dunno…a quitter?

mattbrowne's avatar

Retired bishop of Rome.

Strauss's avatar

Since he was a Cardinal before he was elected Pope, I think he would go back to being a member of the College of Cardinals. He would probably not be assigned (at least administratively) an archdiocese, so he could retire to end his years writing and praying, as I heard one report say.

ragingloli's avatar

more like preying

antimatter's avatar

Your Popiness?

antimatter's avatar

Love it or not it’s funny @janbb, @mazingerz88

Bellatrix's avatar

If this news story about an investigation into cronyism and corruption in the Vatican is to believed, you would have to call him a coward. It argues he resigned after being presented with the report that outlined how bad the situation is.

mazingerz88's avatar

Emeritus Pope the White. Tolkienishly speaking.

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