“It’s just one of those funny coincidences in life, I guess”


Pope Francis (left) and Francis Pope (right)

A 57-year-old corporate financier Francis Pope, who shares a name with the new pontiff has already received a flood of requests on LinkedIn.

While Jorge Mario Bergoglio may be the Vatican’s first Pope Francis, Toronto has claimed one of its own for some time.

Meet Francis Pope, the 57-year-old Toronto native and second-generation president of Pope & Company, a capital markets and asset management firm.

Pope has been able to operate out of the ecclesiastical limelight for years, but all that may now be over with the pontiff’s fortuitous choice of name.

“I’m probably the only Francis Pope in the phone book,” he chuckled – though you’d have to look up Pope, Francis to find him. “It’s just one of those funny coincidences in life, I guess,” he said.

Beyond the newly sanctified name, the two men share more than a slight resemblance.

While Pope was able to laugh off the happenstance, he didn’t rule out that the new bishop of Rome may bring him some celebrity.

“Really it’s just going to mean that every time that I go to the border or any other place where they see my name, someone is going to make some sort of joke,” said the soft-spoken businessman.

Within an hour of the announcement of the new pope, Toronto’s Pope already had a flood of requests on LinkedIn from people he didn’t know. He’s contemplating including “not Rome” on his profile to clarify things, he joked.

“For the next few days, there’ll be things like that, but afterwards, it’ll be business as usual,” Pope said.  (From The Toronto Star)