March 16, 2013
A Chicago lawyer says he bought the domain name popefrancis.com as a lark in 2010 and plans to give it to the Roman Catholic Church for free now that the new pope has chosen the name Francis.
Chris Connors, 39, said he had hoped a pope in his lifetime would choose the name Francis, after Italian St. Francis of Assisi, who lived a simple life in service to the poor. But just as several cardinals, including Chicago’s Francis George, expressed surprise that the name Francis was chosen, so did Connors.
“I thought that at some point in the near future that the names would get more relevant,” said Connors, a lifelong Catholic. “Nobody names their kids Innocent anymore. And I thought it’d be great if a pope chose Francis after the great saint.”
Connors contacted officials in the Chicago Archdiocese, and George told the Tribune on Friday that he had received the message. George said he passed on the good news to Monsignor Peter Wells, who works in the Vatican’s Office of the Secretary of State and had been considering domain names that the new pope could use.
“This is just delightful,” George said.
When Connors bought the domain name three years ago, for “just a couple bucks” a year through the domain name registrar GoDaddy.com, he didn’t have a plan for it. He bought it as a sort of bet with himself, secretly hoping that George would someday be guided by the Holy Spirit to the position of pope and keep his baptismal name.
Having an Argentine pope select the name for the first time in the church’s 2,000-year history — not even Connors could predict that.
Connors, who is with the Connors Law Group and represents clients who are whistle-blowers, has long thought the selection of Francis for a pope’s name would be appropriate, because of the 13th-century saint’s much-needed message of simplicity and humility in today’s fast-paced world.
“I just think he’s got a good message of simplicity, and he embraces poverty,” Connors said of St. Francis. “I really liked the fact that he lived life quietly.”
Although he’s been contacted by several people interested in the domain, Connors said he wants to “give Pope Francis dibs first.” In the spirit of St. Francis, Connors doesn’t plan on asking for any compensation.
“(Cardinal George is) busy right now, so I left a message” at Holy Name Cathedral, Connors said. “I told him that if Pope Francis wants it, he’s got it. Especially in this age with social media, it might be helpful for him if he’s going to use it. I’d like to see it used.”
What’s Connors’ next prediction?
“Chicago Cubs win the World Series in 2015,” Connors said. “Although, I don’t have a domain name for that one.”
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
38991 3655691 65
his path of destiny = 65 = Worldly success. Represents clients who are whistle-blowers.
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