In fairness, however, I can admit that my interest in being Pope would wane considerably after I'd picked my regnal name.* (Well, okay, and after I'd taken a ride in the Popemobile.) The whole idea of picking a new name for one's papal reign is fascinating to me, though admittedly I would do with a pretty boring choice --- my actual name. Yep, it would've be Pope Mark II, though if it was allowed, I'd just adopt my blog name completely and go as Pope Question Mark. Ooh, or, are symbols allowed? Just "Pope ?" would be totally badass.
* = And really, the Church is right to not choose me since I would totally troll them via my papal name. I'd become Pope Judas or Pope Ingmechanism or just Pope Pope or something silly.
You'll notice I'd be "Mark II" since there has already been a Pope Mark, way back in the fourth century. He was Pope for less than nine months and had a relatively innocuous reign, so I figure 'Mark' is way overdue for a comeback. I mean, Mark is one of the staple Biblical names yet it's almost never busted out (and Luke and Matthew have never been used) while "John" is the most popular (Popeular?) Pope name of them all. Not to mention that "Mark II" has a certain cutting-edge, technological sound to it, all the more fitting for the 21st century. We're already in an age where Popes have Twitter accounts and borrow sunglasses from rock stars, so it only makes sense that Pope Mark II carry a name that makes him sound kind of like a camera.
Mark is far from the only notable one-off Pope name, however. I would be more than satisfied if the new Pope skipped naming himself after me (or after the gospel or Mark Spitz or whatever) and instead took one of these past papal names that are ripe for a second instalment….
* Linus. Paying tribute to one of the most renowned religious speakers of our time! That said, the Catholic Church would balk at worshipping a false idol like the Great Pumpkin.
* Hilarius. "Why yes, your Holiness, I would be honoured to kiss your ring. I'll just…argh! Sputter! Was that seltzer water?! Oh, ha ha, Pope Hilarius, you got me again!" Downside: Pope Hilarius sounds like a Joker plot come to life.
* Severinus. Yeah, for the Harry Potter connection, even if the name isn't exactly the same. Frankly, forget being 'Severinus II' and just go with 'Severus,' new Pope. Also, someone should ask Alan Rickman if he wants to be Pope since that would be awesome.
* Zosimus. I dunno, just sounds kinda cool. Plus, after a particularly good edition of Sunday Mass, Pope Zosimus II could high-five his cardinals and say "Pope Zosimus is the awesomest!"
* Cornelius. Have you ever seen the design of some of those churches? Talk about extravagant. Lots of silver and goooooooooooooollllllldddd!
* Silverius. Same idea.
* Simplicius. All of his Sunday masses could be just a few words long and very to the point. Sure, the thousands gathered might be disappointed by the brevity, but what do you expect? The name of the game is literally Simplicius. Or, on the other hand, everyone could think that Pope Simplicius' brevity and use of mere aphorisms was a sign of real deep thought. Basically, I'm saying that Pope Simplicius would be Peter Sellers' character from Being There.
* Valentine. "Clad in his signature pink and red robes, Pope Valentine II was seen throwing rose petals off the balcony today. In a related story, the Popemobile's bubble has been re-designed in the shape of a heart."
* Hyginus. Misinterpreting the belief that "someone needs to clean up the Catholic Church!", Pope Hyginus II sets up Purell bottle stations all over the Vatican.
* Lando. I kid you not, there was actually a Pope Lando. This one absolutely needs a revival, possibly as a tie-in with Disney and the new Star Wars movies. There's a heaven/Cloud City joke in here somewhere but I can't quite put my finger on it.