AP issues style guide for papal succession

Associated Press

The Associated Press has issued a helpful style guide for what promises to be an eventful March in the Roman Catholic Church. For example: Mass is "celebrated, not said." The word "pontiff" is "not a formal title and always spelled lowercase."

The Vatican announced Tuesday that Pope Benedict will not revert to his birth name in retirement. Instead call him "Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI," "Benedict XVI, the pope emeritus" or "former Pope Benedict XVI" or "Benedict XVI, the former pope."

Some entries come from the AP Stylebook; others "were suggested by AP’s religion writers in Rome and New York and based on decades of AP coverage of the Roman Catholic Church and papal successions," the guide says.

Previously: Pope’s Twitter account on hold, not shutting down | How Vatican blogger Rocco Palmo is getting ready to cover the conclave for the next Pope | Pope Benedict XVI resigns: What you need to know

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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