Names test patience of a Saint, says Pope
Published 11/01/2011 | 05:00
POPE BENEDICT has warned parents against giving children celebrity-inspired names and urged them to turn to the Bible for inspiration instead.
While names such as Sienna and Scarlett have become fashionable in recent years, Pope Benedict XVI called for a return to tradition.
During Mass at the Sistine Chapel, he said: "Every baptised child acquires the character of the son of God, beginning with their Christian name, an unmistakable sign that the Holy Spirit causes man to be born anew in the womb of the church." He added that a name was an "indelible seal" that set children off on a lifelong "journey of religious faith".
Meanwhile the names which celebrities give their own children can be even more exotic. Bob Geldof has daughters named Pixie and Peaches, while Victoria and David Beckham called their first son Brooklyn, after the district of New York. Katie Price, the glamour model, named her daughter Princess Tiaamii.
In Italy, the name of a child has particular significance. Children are often named after saints, who are considered a guiding force in their life.
The tradition, however, is increasingly under threat. Francesco Totti, the footballer, recently decided to call his daughter Chanel, while Flavio Briatore, the Formula One boss, named his newborn son Falso Nathan.
Cristina Odone, a former editor of 'The Catholic Herald' who grew up in Italy, said: "There are so many of the church's traditions which we have come to ignore and which are actually meaningful and have a big spiritual significance.
"To deprive our children of that sense of having a protecting saint is to rob them of something very significant. Many of today's names are not just un-Christian but they are also crass and consumerist." (© Daily Telegraph, London)