8 Pope Names That Sound Like Harry Potter Characters

You know how when you’re studying Church history and you’re like, “Hey, I think I’ve seen that name before in Harry Potter…”

1. Cornelius


Like the Minister of Magic, Fudge, Pope Cornelius had a guy who was trying to put him out of power. Unlike Fudge, who deliberately ignored his opposition (Voldemort), Pope Corny took down the antipope, Novatian. Novatian believed in rebaptism and tried to get the Church to stop recognizing Cornelius as pope. Cornelius responded by excommunicating Novatian and his “Novationists,” and then everything was all better.

2. Siricius


Kind of sounds like Sirius Black, right? Pope Saint Siricius is known for dedicating a “noble and most ancient house…” of worship. See what we just did there? In 390, Siricius dedicated the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome. A pillar engraved with the name “Siricius” still stands in the basilica to this day from the time of the dedication.

3. Celestine V


Everyone loves that obscure character, Celestina Warbeck! Remember… that one “Singing Sorceress” from the Wizarding Wireless Network? Yeah… she has nothing good to connect to Pope Celestine V, but we’re going to talk about him anyway!

Did you know that Celestine V was the first pope to resign? He was the one who formalized the process of papal resignation.

Fun fact: Pope Benedict XVI was a huge fan of the guy. The grave of Celestine V survived a huge earthquake in 2009, and Pope Benedict XVI went to visit the remains. Benny also proclaimed August 2009-August 2010 the “Celestine year.” Pope Benedict XVI later used Celestine’s process of resignation for his own resignation in 2013. If that’s not hard-core fangirling, I don’t know what is.

4. Severinus

severus snape

Severus Snape only enjoyed about 10 months as Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reign of Pope Severinus was even shorter! It took two years to confirm his election (from 638-640 A.D.) and by the time it was confirmed, he only had two months left in his life. In the two months he was pope, Severinus renewed some mosaics in St. Peter’s Basilica and gathered a synod. Pretty fly for an old guy.

5. Victor I


Kind of like that Quidditch player, Viktor Krum! Both Victor and Viktor know that everyone loves a foreign guy. All the girls love Krum because he hails from the exotic southeastern European country of Bulgaria. All the Christians loved Pope St. Victor because he was the first pope born in the Roman Province of Africa.

6. Lucius II


$$ Dolla dolla bills, y’all…$$ Lucius Malfoy and his pope counterpart were both practically made of money. We all know that Malfoy had some galleons to burn, what with that house elf situation and that sweet cane/wand thing. Pope Lucius was likewise (cue Jean-Ralphio of Parks and Rec) fluh-ush with caaash. After he was elected pope, he gave a gold-plated and bejeweled copy of the Gospels to the Basilica di San Frediano, where he had lived as a canon priest before his papacy.

7. Nicholas V


If you want your child to be a genius, then you should probably name him Nicholas. In the wizarding world, Nicolas Flamel was known as the greatest alchemist of all time. He created the Philosopher’s Stone, the “holy grail of alchemy,” which produced the Elixir of Life and could turn any metal into pure gold. Pope Nicholas V was known as a stellar academic and passionate book collector. His successor, Pope Pius II said of him: “What he does not know is outside the range of human knowledge.”

8. Peter


Peter Pettigrew is a character in Harry Potter. Hey, Pope St. Peter is a character in a pretty famous book too: the BIBLE. The apostle Peter and Pettigrew have a difference, though. Peter was a real guy. He was an actual human who actually lived and breathed and made mistakes. Lots of mistakes. He betrayed Jesus by denying him three times. Hey, Peter Pettigrew betrayed his friends too when he sold them out to Voldemort! He is actually a pretty cool reflection of St. Peter in a weird way. Peter Pettigrew had a final redeeming moment when he hesitated to kill Harry at Malfoy Manor. St. Peter was redeemed when he accepted Jesus’ love and reciprocated it three times saying, “Yes, Lord. You know I love you.” Then he became the first pope, which is pretty neat.

Written by Maggie Schroeder
Maggie was an intern at the Office of Youth Ministry for the Archdiocese of St. Louis in 2016. She studied Communication and Theology at Saint Louis University. In her spare time she loves playing Ultimate and playing popular songs on the recorder (you know, the sonorous woodwind instrument you played in 5th grade music class).