EWTN Catholic Q&A
Pope's Name
Question from Sammy on 04-20-2005:

Why did the Pope choose the name Benedict XVI?

Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 04-22-2005:

It seems to have a two-fold meaning for him.

First, St. Benedict is a patron of Europe, who though the Benedictine Order helped preserve Christian civilization and culture in Europe. This is very notable in Germany, especially very Catholic areas like Bavaria.

Secondly, his predecessor Pope Benedict XV reigned at a time of world turmoil (WWI), and sought to be a peacemaker. It was also a time in the Church when the Modernist crisis threatened to divide the Church. There are some similarities, therefore, to our time.