How Many Johns in the Vatican?

I submitted this question to ‘Ask an Apologist’ and it was ignored - with no apology, so I’ll ask it here:

Will the next pope to choose the name John be John XXIV or John XXVI?

We all remember John XXIII, of course, but there have been two popes who have subsequently taken that name. Do they count in the numbering system?

John XXIV.

There is only one Pope named John XXIII. There is also an antipope named John XXIII who’s “reign” lasted from 1410 to 1415. If another Pope takes that name John, he will likely be known as John XXIV.

You may be right, Will, but you may have misunderstood the question. Since JPI and JPII were also Johns, will they be counted as Johns in the numbering system? If so, that would make the next John the twenty-sixth pope - discounting antipopes - to reign under that name.

To make matters even more complicated, I believe there was an earlier antipope John whose number was NOT taken by the next legit pope John; as I recall, there was John XIX, and then an antipope John XX, and then the next pope John reigned as the XXI.

In cases where such ambiguity exists, does each new pope get to choose his number as well as his name?

John Paul I was the first by the name of John Paul, not the 24th by the name of John. A future Pope John would be the 24th of that name, just as a future Pope Paul would be the 7th of that name.

It makes sense that a Pope John who followed near in time to a false Pope by that name would take a different number, too, in order to avoid confusion. If enough time had elapsed and if the anti-Pope were insignificant enough to be forgotten, it would undoubtedly be a different matter.

I thought this was a question asking how many restrooms were in the Vatican:D :stuck_out_tongue: :blush: :shrug: :smiley:

lol I thought this was about ‘Johns’ as in the guys who hire prostitutes. I was about to be insulted, they saw the OP.

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

I concur.

Well regarding the ignoring of the question. Lets take a look at some scenarios regarding the wording of you question.

  1. How many Johns are in Candlestick Park (small bladder?)
  2. How many Johns are in Ozone Park (postitution central in NYC)
  3. How many Johns in the Vatican. ( 23 Popes name john?)

Me too. :stuck_out_tongue:

And I don’t know the answer – But I used the one on the roof when I was there…


Yep, same here.

Considering that you’re William II, you ought to know! :smiley:

I thought the same thing. My mind is always in the gutter. :rolleyes:

Because of my numbering, right? :tiphat: That’s cool.

If that were the case, I would want to know how many female johns /vs how many male johns are in the Vatican

We’re the only ones! Now I feel like I’m nasty for thinking of it :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :shrug:

Hopefully a John in the Vatican would be something along the lines of:

:thumbsup: :o

In that case John Paul I would have been John Paul XXIV/VII and John Paul II would have been John Paul XXV/VIII

Since JPI was, as far as I know, the first pope to take more than one name, there is really no precedent.

I’m guessing that the next pope John will have the opportunity to settle the matter by taking the number, XXIV or XXVI, that he thinks is more appropriate.


Because there’s already an established custom of referring to the two John Pauls as I and II of a new name, the next John should be XXIV and the next Paul should be VII. Otherwise people will wonder where the “missing” ones went. Pity the poor Church historians and apologists of the future, who would have to try to explain that bit of strangeness in 100 or 1000 years…

If I’m remembering correctly, the new Pope doesn’t actually pick his “number,” just the name by which he will be known. He naturally receives the next “number” in line for that name. When Cardinal Ratzinger chose his papal name, did he just say “Benedictus,” or did he add the Latin for “the Sixteenth”? (Even if it was the latter, I expect a quiet correction would have been issued if he’d picked the “wrong” number.)