After all, the chances of the new Pope bringing in a completely new name are pretty slim. (John Paul hardly counts, even for disco-era Italy.) But why not reach back into the treasury of barely used papal names?
John is so worn, the Roman numerals look like they could belong to the Super Bowl. And from the end of the Thirty Years’ War forward, it’s pretty much Benedict, Innocent, Clement. Wash, rinse, repeat. At least until the recent run on Pius, which zoomed from VI to XII from the time the US Declaration of Independence was signed until the last version emerged a bit singed from the middle of the twentieth century.
What’s the most recent name that doesn’t yet have a successor?
“A native of the Sabina, and the son of Taino, elected pope seemingly in July or August, 913; d. in February or March, 914, after a reign of a little over six months. Nothing more is known of him except that he was a worthy man, and granted a privilege to a church in his native Sabina.”
Pretty much tabula rasa. (And bonus points for Jedi ecumenism.)