Benedict XVI: All Rights Reserved

Declaration Made on Use of Pope’s Name

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 21, 2009 ( If a university or foundation wants to name itself after Benedict XVI, they are going to have to check with the Vatican first.

An announcement made Saturday by the Vatican press office declared that that “the use of anything referring directly to the person or office of the Supreme Pontiff — his name, his picture or his coat of arms — and/or the use of the title ‘Pontifical,’ must receive previous and express authorization from the Holy See.”

The communiqué noted that in the past years, there has been a “great increase of affection and esteem for the person of the Holy Father,” as well as a “desire to use the Pope’s name in the title of universities, schools or cultural institutions, as well as associations, foundations and other groups.”

“Occasionally,” the note explained, “attempts have been made to attribute credibility and authority to initiatives by using ecclesiastical or papal symbols and logos,” or “for ends and activities which have little or nothing to do with the Catholic Church.”

The Holy See affirmed that it “alone has the right to ensure the respect due to the Successors of Peter,” as well as the corresponding right “to protect the figure and personal identity of the Pope from the unauthorized use of his name and/or the papal coat of arms.”

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