Talk:Pope Stephen/Renaming, Archive I

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This is an archive of previous discussion, moved because of its excessive length. Responses to it should be made elsewhere, normally at Talk:Pope Stephen, rather than on this archive page. Quoting relevant portions elsewhere, especially when commenting on it, is of course appropriate. Summarization and/or refactoring of it, elsewhere than on this page, would be a service to the community.

Renaming page[edit]

The only reson this change has not been considered on Wikipedia (except in French, German and Dutch versions) is the lists are based on the 1913 edition of the catholic Encyclopedia because it's in the public domain!

  • This is an utterly horrible way of attacking a problem that may or may not have a simple solution. This editor has edited Pope Stephen (a dab) and the List of people by name: Step page piping one number of pope to link to a differently numbered article. (Now reverted.) The reasoning seems to be that everything written before the Vatican changed its mind and asserted its power to change history means everything written about these guys, in the last 1300 years in some cases to the last 900 in others is now wrong. It may be that historians have gone along or it may not. This needs much more thoro discussion than what led to the changes so far.
    --Jerzyt 02:49, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
    • Stephen IX used the number IX when he was living (in the 11th century). His number has been changed to X by the end of the 16th century, when Stephen (ephemeral pope) was added as "Stephen II". This was reverted in 1961. I can't see any reason we should continue to use the ancient system of numbering. The only reason for this is not (as I read all over Wikipedia) that the move was controversial.

The reason there are still ten popes Stephen on some versions of WIkipedia is the source used is in most case the 1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia only because it's a public domain source! Švitrigaila 11:10, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

    • _ _ AFAI can tell, the only problem Šv is interested in solving is how to have our list of popes match the Vatican's, and have the articles be compatible with that. This also may explain how they can say, presumably with a straight face, that "I read all over Wikipedia [apparently that means not all over this WP, but in de:, fr:, & nl:; see Šv's 1st msg on this page] ... that the move was controversial" while insisting that no controversy is possible. Doesn't disagreement about there being a controversy imply a controversy by definition? The problem that Šv apparently is blind to is that of a user who comes in looking for (to take a handy case) Pope Stephen X to follow up on something they've read. Šv is apparently so intent on telling this user they are wrong as to be happy dumping them into an article that has "Pope Stephen IX" at the top. Many intelligent users will read no further, say "OK, Wikipedia is like the rest of the Internet", and go Googling for sites that know that IX and X are two different numbers.
    • _ _ I'm also curious as to whether there is a French transistive verb "to revert", or whether Šv just assumes WP's use of "revert" as a term of art implies there's a standard-English word consistent with it. In any case, their assumption seems to be that a presumptuous transvestite can stand on a balcony and click on "rollback", wiping out millions of documents by, uh, fiat. Being an "accepted" list in Šv's opinion cut no ice. Not in the world WP's users live in, and i think most editors keep that in mind.
      --Jerzyt 07:17, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
    • I felt some obligation to respond directly to Sv before posting about alternate approaches, but the language difficulties, and perhaps overconfidence on Sv's part, are making that a slow process for someone of my personality. But setting that aside for the moment, my first thots have much in common with 132's (although each of us arrived where we did without seeing the other's work):
      _ _ What should have occured to any experienced editor (and perhaps to anyone who approached the problem as a problem for users rather than out of a conviction that a pope is unquestionable when he says anything related to his church), is that the 8 terms "Pope Stephen II" thru "Pope Stephen IX" are ambiguous. ("Pope Stephen X" is not ambiguous, but does reflect a PoV.)
    • since any interest in him is presumably bcz of his being elected Pope. Pope Stephen (ephemeral) is true but confusingly far from the point: arguably John Paul I was ephemeral, but the point, without PoV, is that this Stephen was that rare bird, an unconsecrated pope.
    • It also has the advantage of fitting well visually into the Pope Stephen Dab, and of saying, fairly NPoV-ly, that he's got some claim to have "Pope" in front of his name, yet stands in clear contrast to the usual case of consecrated popes. Note that the numbers are just ways of telling popes apart, so there is IMO no need to get "II" into the title of his article.
  • What my scheme offers that 132's does not is that mine is agnostic on two questions:
    1. The truth of the claim that Sv makes somewhere, that most historians have adopted the Vatican's version. In fact, i think proposals that treat "1961" as normative face a greater burden than that, bcz most historians who have had to take a stand may well be employees of Catholic educational institutions. If most historians who owe no intellectual loyalty to the post-1960 popes concur, it would suggest that the PoV problem is solved; for 132's version i think that would be necessary.
    2. Whether the historians from the Renaissance thru 1960 can be written off. Since they did the heavy lifting, the modern scholars may well be a marginal factor in the whole literature, limited to specialized areas where new tools offer a chance to turn a corner of the field on its head. In fact, if the trend to close Catholic primary and secondary schools in the U.S. heralds troubles ahead for American Catholic post-secondary education, and the relative influence of Third World Catholics continues to grow, interest in the medieval church may see further decline: post-1960 scholarship on these people may never be a noticably more significant part of the whole than it is today.
    Mine also has more detail on the aspects that 132's and mine have in common, which may by analogy help flesh out 132's scheme in Sv's mind.
    --Jerzyt 05:11, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
    • Sir,
    First of all, I want to apologize if my attitude here seems agressive. I's not my aim, and my lack of trust in my knowledge of english may be an aggravating factor. I lack time to answer entirely, but it will force me to be brief.
    As I already said, when you look at the names of popes Stephen in the different language versions of Wikipedia, you'll see that some number them as Stephen I to X, and the other from I to IX. In French, popes Stephen are numbered from I to IX and it's not the result of my actions. The ephemeral was at first called Étienne II (752) and I moved it to Étienne (pape éphémère). For sure, one can always find a better name. But Étienne III (pape) has always been Étienne III (pape).
    I think the lack of correspondances between the different language versions of Wikipedia is a problem. When you are on Pope Stephen IV and you see it's french name is Étienne III (pope), his polish name Papież Stefan IV (with a redirect to Stefan IV), his german name Stephan III. (Pabst) and his dutch name Paus Stephanus III (IV) (sic), you understand there is a problem of continuity. The consistency of the "Stephen-I-to-X-system" adopted in the english Wikipedia is apparent only if you ignore the links to the other languages. I wanted to add some consistence here.
    The problem is most of foreign language versions of those articles are simply the translations of the english one. Compare for exemple this old version with dutch, italian or portuguese. I thought if I rename the popes Stephen in english, the other languages will follow.
    There is no "official list of popes" but the list of the Annuario pontificio is considered the "reference list". And nowadays, this list counts only nine popes Stephen (it's not really true, there are footnotes on the list... I'll hope to translate in English the introduction of an article in french I wrote about the subject). So, who's right? Who's wrong?
    To decide if "the ephemeral Stephen" must be counted or not counted as a pope is not our affair. There are a lot of far more questionnable choices in the lists of popes. For exemple, most historians consider Pope Silvester III as an antipope, but the list of the Annuario pontificio apparently doesn't (but there are footnotes again...). On Wikipedia, he's still called a pope. Why? Is that a PoV from the redactor? No: it's just because he is refered as a pope in the reference list and so, it's simpler to call him a pope with a redirection from Antipope Silvester III. He may be a pope, or he may be an antipope, but the important things are:
    1. To find him easily on Wikipedia,
    2. To explain in his article why there is a controversy on him.
    So, what about our Stephens?
    My answer is exactly the same:
    1. They must be easy to find,
    2. The articles must explain why there is a controversy and why "Stephen the ephemeral" must not be simply called "Pope Stephen II".
    For the second point, I think I've made the maximum I can! For the first one, I totally agree that the title Stephen (ephemeral pope) sounds bad. The problem was encountered in different languages with different awkward solutions found. If you have any better title, it's good. I accept all the suggestions you can make, and I'm ready to participate in the redirections of the linked articles.
    But the problem is for the further popes Stephen. The two problems are the same: they must be easy to find and the article must explain the controversy. For the second point, we use on French Wikipedia a template that informs rapidly there's an ambiguity and links the article to the ephemeral Stephen's one for the explaination.
    But I disagree with you when you propose to use titles such as Pope Stephen (II or III) and so on, and to keep Pope Stephen III as a Dab. Because a Dab is a question asked to the reader: "Which Pope Stephen III do you want?" And that question will be asked every time the reader wants to read, when it ought to be asked only once. If the reader wants to avoid the question, he must write a complicated and unusefull formula Pope Stephen (II or III)... and what about Pope John (XXI or XXII or XXIII or XXIV)? (counting or not Pope John XVI, Pope John XX and Antipope John XXIII)... that's not what I'm waiting from Wikipedia. As you said it yourself: "the problem is a problem for users rather than out of a conviction that a pope is unquestionable".
    I really prefer the popes Stephen to be titled like every other popes with only one number, and only one Dab line at the beginning of the article (such a line can be seen on Pope Benedict XIII; note that Benedict XIII redirects into Pope Benedict XIII, not into Antipope Benedict XIII). If the reader writes Pope Stephen III, without knowing anything about him, he'll see there is a pope Stephen III, but there is another guy sometimes known too by the same name.
    Of course, in this case we must keep a simple redirect from Pope Stephen X to Pope Stephen IX.
    I think It's not that difficult to make something relatively simple and efficient. It's not at all a matter of PoV. Facts themselves are not controversial in that controversy! It's just a matter of clarity and of explaination to the reader.
  • In fact, the change of numbering of popes Stephen is contemporary of the Second Vatican Council. There's apparently no relations between the two facts, but I think it's not just by chance. Stephen had been added on the list approximatly at the era of the Council of Trent. At this time, the church is reformed, it's glorified as the only truth with the role of leading the world and the pope is no longer a priest like the others. He becomes a real prince and, as such, he must begin to reign as soon he's designated by God. It was already true by facts (see Pope Celestine IV for exemple) but it's getting true by principle. The Second Vatican Council has a totally different philosophy.
    I confess I strongly suspected you to be hostile against my move (that you call "your plan" and even "horrible and premature plan") because of your disregard of the Vatican Council in general. Doesn't the Tridentine Mass date back from the 16th century before having been replaced in the 1960s? Doesn't your encyclopedia assert the mass is said in latin? But maybe I was wrong and you're not a traditionnalist...
    That's all I can say today, it has taken far more time than I hoped. I'me very tired now. If you have any other question or remarks, I'll answer them.
    Švitrigaila 19:14, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't think this is a case for a WP:RM, but rather something you should work out consensually. Come back to me or any other admin (unless one of you is one) if you need help after having found a solution. Cheers! —Nightstallion (?) 09:33, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

This is an archive of previous discussion, moved because of its excessive length. Responses to it should be made elsewhere, normally at Talk:Pope Stephen, rather than on this archive page. Quoting relevant portions elsewhere, especially when commenting on it, is of course appropriate. Summarization and/or refactoring of it, elsewhere than on this page, would be a service to the community.

This archive of discussion continues at Talk:Pope Stephen/Renaming, Archive II.