I have been watching the news about the new Pope Benedict, and wondering where each pope gets their name from. So in his "previous life" (as I've heard it referred to) as a Cardinal, he was Joseph Ratzinger; now he's Benedict XVI. So how does one become the other? Why is he not Pope Joseph? An item on the news indicated that he chose the name. So they all get to choose? Hypothesise: you become pope. What name do you choose? Could we ever have Pope Fred? Or do they have to be names of biblical figures? Or of a saint? Or does God "tell" him his new name? Can anyone explain how this works?
Did he have to go to a solicitor and get a change of name deed for it? Sorry, enough being silly.