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Pope Benedicts of the past

Associated Press

Vatican City — Benedict, the name of the new Pope, is one of the more frequent choices made by pontiffs. A look at some previous Benedicts:.

– Benedict XV (reigned 1914-1922): He was chosen as a contrast with his predecessor Pius X, whose theological crackdown against “modernism” had roiled the church. His accession coincided with the start of the First World War.

– Benedict XIV (1740-1758): He was a compromise choice after an arduous six-month conclave. Like former professor Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he was considered a scholar.

– Benedict XIII (1724-1730): A rare pope from a religious order, the Dominicans, he remained head of his former Italian diocese as well as the bishop of Rome.

– Benedict XII (1335-1342): He was one of the French popes who reigned from Avignon instead of Rome, considered a bleak era for the papacy.

– Benedict XI (1303-1304): Also a Dominican, he was considered scholarly and a peacemaker among church factions.

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