Okay…okay… let’s talk about the “prophecies of Malachy” about Popes

I think I had better post this before even more people start writing me about it (in other words please don’t send me mail about the “prophecies of Malachy” about the popes).

There is a list of 112 short titles in Latin for Popes which is attributed to St. Malachy.  The list begins, so it seems, with Pope Celestine II (+1144).  It includes some anti-popes, which makes it complicated.  The list concludes with a Pope we supposedly haven’t seen yet who will – according to the list – be called “Petrus Romanus” and the Latin for him reads:

In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oues in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis ciuitas septicollis diruetur, et Iudex tremendus iudicabit populum suum. Finis.  … In an extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit Peter the Roman, who will feed the sheep through many tribulations, which once concluded, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the fearful Judge will judge his people. The end.

Nice, huh?

The last few have been:

  • Pius XII – Pastor angelicus
  • John XXIII – Pastor et Nauta
  • Paul VI – Flos florum
  • John Paul I – De medietate Lunae
  • John Paul II – De labore Solis
  • Benedict XVI – Gloria olivae
  • ? – Petrus Romanus

Some pretty nutty people have done some pretty nutty things with this.

Have at.

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61 Responses to Okay…okay… let’s talk about the “prophecies of Malachy” about Popes

  1. dep says:

    So. Do we give him any credence? He’s been chillingly close in the past, but . . .

    Would really like to hear the sense of learned folk on this.

  2. Supertradmum says:

    Fr. Mitch Pacwa just said that conspiracy theorists need more to do…..my other comment went into never-ether land.

  3. sw85 says:

    “But of that day and hour [when the Son of Man shall return] no one knoweth, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone.” –Matt. 24:38.

    That’s all that needs to be said.

  4. Legisperitus says:

    Well… even last year, people on the interwebs were talking about Peter Cardinal Turkson, just because his name was Peter.

    But… the Catholic Encyclopedia pointed out (100 years ago, as it happens) that St. Malachy or Pseudo-Malachy never said there would be no Popes between Gloria Olivae and Petrus Romanus, so even if you buy into that, we’re right back where we started.

    Our job is not to speculate. And unless we’re Cardinals, our job is not to vote. Our job is to pray.

  5. Marius2k4 says:

    God help us.

    I think it’s time we start a novena for a holy, orthodox Pope.

    I am praying from the depths of my soul that Cardinal Burke be selected, and not a modernist liberal. The church can’t handle another John XXIII, Paul VI, or John Paul II. That might force me to go Eastern.

    God help us.

    Deus Omnipotens, in magna misericordia tua, da quaesumus nobis regnari a Pontifice sancto atque orthodoxo, et avertas voluntate sanctissima tua, Domine, ne praegravemur aliquo mente pleno rerum novarum. Ad majorem tuam gloriam, Domine, et restaurandam ecclesiam. Pastor, Medice, Domine, miserere nostri et mittere digneris veriter sanctum novum summum pontificem, ut bene pascemur his in diebus principis perditionis regnantis.

  6. mschu528 says:

    There are two things that need to be said:

    1. What sw85 said above.
    2. “And upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    Keeping that in mind….
    Oremus pro Papa nostro Benedicto, et pro Conclavi!

  7. Jack Regan says:

    I wrote quite an in-depth piece about this (and other silly theories) a few months back.

    http://www.catholicyouthwork.com/index.php?page=927

    Sorry to ‘link and run’ – I’m usually against that, but I’m rather pressed for time today and it’s quite an informative piece, I hope! Feel free to delete it if you like, Father :)

  8. anilwang says:

    Legisperitus,

    Not only did it never say there would be no Popes between Gloria Olivae and Petrus Romanus, it also doesn’t say that Petrus Romanus. All it says is that he will be there at the start of a many tribulations. Those tribulations that will not end until the Second Coming, but there may be an indefinite number of Popes between Petrus Romanus and the Second Coming. Given that going through “many tribulations” is a common theme of the papacy, this might not say nearly as much as one would expect.

  9. StJude says:

    @SW85… “But of that day and hour [when the Son of Man shall return] no one knoweth, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone.” –Matt. 24:38.

    All I need to know.

  10. Andy Milam says:

    I posted this over atmy blog , I think that it’s clear the writing has been on the wall for a very long time. Some other thoughts, aside from what is over at my blog:
    1) He made Georg Ganswein an archbishop – to protect him when the Pope is gone. I do think that this will play into it.
    2) At the beginning of his papacy he mentioned popes resigning, as well as in ’02, regarding JPII.
    3) He did leave his pallium at the tomb of St. Celestine
    4) He speaks about weakness of mind and body which interfere with the ministry; and
    5) He publicly declares his resignation on Feb. 11, Our Lady of Lourdes and World Day of the Sick.

    (kudos to my friend, Fr. Ramil Fajardo for these extra insights)

    This isn’t shocking, surprising…yes, but not shocking.

  11. czemike says:

    Seems like the Catholic version of the Mayan end times predictions. :-)

    Yes, the world will end at some point but we have it on the highest authority that no one will be able to figure it out in advance. Stop worrying and start praying — for the election of Cardinal Burke.

  12. Marius2k4 says:

    Stop worrying and start praying — for the election of Cardinal Burke.

    THIS

  13. lelnet says:

    Yes, we are indeed living in the End Times. As, I hope I needn’t point out, we have been since the Ascension.

    Persecution of the Church? Yeah, that’s a pretty safe bet. The Second Coming during the reign of Benedict’s successor, whoever he may be? Well…it’s always possible, but I for one still expect my Judgment to come at my death, rather than at Christ’s return.

    Pray, indeed. For His Holiness Benedict XVI. For the Cardinals who are about to choose his successor. For that successor himself. And for the Church. They, and we, all need it, whether the world ends tomorrow or endures another million years.

  14. Edge says:

    I have to chuckle. Not because of the folks who look at Catholic Prophesy, but those who do not take it seriously. Those who read it and research it, (along with scripture) are told it is private revelation, and does not mean anything for us. We should not bother reading it and “stop worrying.” However, that is not what we are told to do by authentic authority.

    Private revelation. Do you say the Rosary, where a brown scapular, say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, or say the Prayer to St. Michael? If so, then you are doing what was requested through private revelation. (Well the Prayer to St. Michael was written as the result of a private revelation, the others requested through private revelation.) So I chuckle because it seams more like a “prophesy” cafeteria Catholicism. You accept the “popular” private revelations and ignore all the rest. (You didn’t think the apostles walked around wearing a miraculous medal and saying the rosary all day, did you? That line of thinking is like the protestants thinking the apostles are carried a King James Bible… :-)

    If you say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, have you read the other “private” revelations St. Faustina received concerning what was soon to come? Why put faith in only part of what the Church has approved as worthy of belief?

    What sw85 quoted is true, we will not know the exact day or hour of the return, but we are closer today to His return than at any other time in history. Additionally, he also said to be aware of the season. He sent his own mother to warn us how many times over the past several centuries? He has given his holy servants (canonized saints) messages for us to help us know the season. These messages have been approved by the Church as worthy of belief. If they are not to be looked at and studied, why did our lord send them and allow the Church to approve them? If they are not worthy and should not be read, is the Church wrong in saying they are worthy of belief, and if so, does that not make the church fallible in areas of faith and morals ?The enemy wants us to remain stupid and blind – Jesus does not.

    When the church approves hundreds upon hundreds of private revelations that cross the millennium from around the globe and they all say the same thing, (when logic dictates they could not have been influenced by earlier ones), then one must be fully vested in the lie to NOT look at them.

    The bible, church tradition, and history tells us what will come is always predicted by a similar but smaller event beforehand. Before Christ came Adam and John the Baptist. The war of the Vendee in France and the Cristero war in Mexico are precursors of what is to come. The Church cannot approve a private revelation as being “worthy of belief” if it isn’t – the Holy spirit protects the Holy Church from making such error.

    Those who study know that the season of Christ’s return is not yet upon us, but we are close. What is upon us is the chastisement that is in the bible, told to us by His Mother, and again, by the church approved “prophesy”. As Revelations says: To the Church of Philadelphia… “Let him who has ears heed the Spirit’s word to the Churches!”

  15. dillyra says:

    Could someone explain the significance of Pope Benedict XVI leaving his pallium at the tomb of St. Celestine? I am not learned in this area. Thank you.

  16. Tominellay says:

    I’ve always enjoyed the prophecies of Malachy because they’re part of the lore of the papacy. They may be real, they may be bogus, but they’re fun. I’ve reached for a couple of my own interpretations:
    1) John Paul I – the smiling pope, a media hit for a month
    2) John Paul II – the Polish pope, linked with the Solidarnost labor union
    No flames, please; just having fun…

  17. lelnet says:

    “we are closer today to His return than at any other time in history”

    That’s kind of the nature of linear time. We’re closer to the Second Coming than ever before…yeah. Just like we’re closer to next Christmas than we were yesterday.

    In the meantime, a message calling the faithful to repent of their sins and prepare for Judgment is always a good idea. Regardless of when Christ returns, _you_ or _I_ may face Judgment at any moment, and potentially with little or no warning…well…little or no warning other than the warning offered to the whole world, telling us that each of us may face Judgment at any moment, and so we’d best be prepared for it.

  18. David Zampino says:

    Note the key phrase “attributed to” St. Malachy.

  19. Geoffrey says:

    “The church can’t handle another John XXIII, Paul VI, or John Paul II.”

    And yet it begins! The sign that it is time to avoid not only the secular media, but the comments sections on blogs.

    Beate Ioannes Paule Magne, ora pro ecclesia!

  20. catholicmidwest says:

    I do not want to see an American pope for all kinds of cultural reasons, so I’m not going to pray for one. I will pray for a very holy and wise man to become pope, no matter who he is, and no matter that I don’t know his name right now.

    I have very much loved having Pope Benedict XVI as pope. He has helped restore my sometimes-flagging faith in the Church. He has been the best pope of my lifetime, IMHO. I only hope the next one is almost as good. I cannot hope for a better one, I don’t think that would be possible.

    I wish Benedict XVI the best after February 28th and I will be praying for him.

  21. Marius2k4 says:

    “The church can’t handle another John XXIII, Paul VI, or John Paul II.”

    And yet it begins! The sign that it is time to avoid not only the secular media, but the comments sections on blogs.

    Beate Ioannes Paule Magne, ora pro ecclesia!

    Allow me to clarify my statement: the Church will survive, but how many souls will be lost? Blessed John Paul the Great? /sigh You may invoke the Quran-kissing, Assisi-convoking, traditionalist-excommunicating, Cardinal-Mahony-creating modernist in prayer, and I shall have recourse to Blessed Pius IX, St. Padre Pio and St. Pius X. I am sure I will be unable to agree with you on much anything.

    God, please help us.

  22. gracie says:

    It’s true that Jesus said that no one but the Father knows the day or the hour of the end of the world. And yet in the verses before He said those words, Our Lord does point out signs that will show that the end of the world is coming:

    “And immediately after the tribulations of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light and the stars shall fall from heaven and the powers of heaven shall be moved. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven.”

    Perhaps this is referring to signs that will appear *immediately* before the end.

  23. Tim Ferguson says:

    I’m sure you haven’t forgotten, Marius2k4, that it was the selfsame “Quran-kissing, Assisi-convoking, traditionalist-excommunicating, Cardinal-Mahony-creating modernist” who beatified Bl. Pius IX to whom you have recourse.

  24. Marius2k4 says:

    I’m sure you haven’t forgotten, Marius2k4, that it was the selfsame “Quran-kissing, Assisi-convoking, traditionalist-excommunicating, Cardinal-Mahony-creating modernist” who beatified Bl. Pius IX to whom you have recourse.

    I haven’t. Nor have I overlooked that he canonized St. Padre Pio, my confirmation saint. I have over the years come to admit that John Paul II was valid, and therefore his acts were valid, however misguided. I do not argue that he taught contrary to the faith or was a heretic, but his actions bespoke a heterodox-at-best hermeneutic to his psyche. Valid popes do not necessarily make holy or even good popes. Valid popes can be horrible popes who make horrible decisions, such as John Paul II.

    His official acts are valid, and I do not doubt that in his official capacities he was guided by the Holy Ghost. His decision-making, however… let us simply say that he was not beyond acting in such a manner that scandal was caused (that is, acting in error) while not explicitly teaching said error. I do not trust his motives and loathe many of his decisions.

    Is that clearer?

  25. MarylandBill says:

    I wonder, is it a sign of the narrow path when people on the left and the right hate you?

  26. I doubt the alleged prophecies of St. Malachy are legit. But let’s not forget the three great signs that must precede the Last Day (cf., e.g., 2 Thessalonians): (1) the preaching of the Gospel to the ends of the earth; (2) the Great Apostasy; (3) the coming of Antichrist. I think a case can be made for the fulfillment of (1); there seems no doubt that we are at least in a dress rehearsal for (2), if not the thing itself; and we don’t know about (3) yet, though there have been many types of him throughout history, and we would not be the first generation to think he may appear in our time.

    We just need to go on praying, working, and fulfilling our duties for our states of life.

  27. Marius2k4 says:

    MarylandBill, in your tacit defense of him, are you in some way offering tacit support for the scandalous acts John Paul II committed? This is what I do not understand about those who defend him. I cannot seem to enumerate any actual (in the literal sense of ‘acts’) good he accomplished, while it seems I can come up with a litany of transgressions. Everyone seemed to adore him as through some form of hero worship, but for what precisely, I cannot understand. He reigned for a really long time and suffered well at the end of his days. Is there something else of merit that overcomes the scandal of Assisi, his ecclesiastical promotion of almost exclusively liberals, the kissing of the Quran, the suppression of the traditional Mass, inaction towards decades of clown masses and other abuses, inaction towards the trends of secularization and liberalization of nuns and religious, and the like? I just don’t understand what otherwise faithful Catholics saw in this guy outside of some strange emotional attachment. I’m not trying to troll; I really don’t understand people’s attachment to and defense of this man.

    I’ll hang up and listen. I’m done derailing the thread, now.

  28. Supertradmum says:

    It has been the long tradition in the Church that the events in the Book of Revelation pertain to the Roman persecutions. Of course, we can apply these to any times of persecution by extension, but a one to one, point by point commentary on the events of today is dangerous.

    As to your blog, today Father Z, it has been a bit like Russian Roulette getting on.

  29. Supertradmum says:

    and PS, are not there and have not there been many anti-Christs, not one?

  30. LisaP. says:

    MarylandBill,
    It’s a sign of *a* narrow path, but not necessarily *the* narrow path, right? I sympathize with the sentiment, but I’ve run into too many people now who equate the middle ground with the path of virtue, automatically — the “lukewarm” passages would argue against that.
    I prefer to think of it this way instead — anyone with a ton of enemies all over the place probably is doing something right, in this world!

  31. LisaP. says:

    I know we are not to know when the end times are coming.
    Any thoughts on what the Bible and Tradition say regarding whether we’ll know when they’ve come?

  32. MWindsor says:

    Some pretty nutty people have done some pretty nutty things with this.

    Would really like to hear the sense of learned folk on this.

    The problem with such a discussion in a forum like this is simple: The “learned folk” are immediately dismissed as “pretty nutty people” before the conversation even begins. Not that Fr. Z is necessarily saying that anyone who would talk on this subject is a nut-case, but others have said it quite plainly in other settings.

    It’s private revelation, nothing more, nothing less. It can be seen as a piece of a puzzle, and a very big puzzle at that. But, “…don’t dispise prophecy. But test everything and hold onto what is good.” I don’t read this as, “dismiss everything, hold on to what can be proven.”

    This prophesy convinces me of nothing in itself. Alone, it is a hefty rabbit hole best to be avoided.

  33. MarylandBill says:

    @Marius2k4
    You know its funny, but to those on the Left, Blessed John Paul II was not seen as an ally. Indeed, IIRC, his granting of permission to use the Extraordinary Form of the Mass to a number of priestly societies and Ecclesia Dei were seen by many on the left (even the relatively moderate left) as dangerous concessions to reactionary elements in the Church.

    I can’t comment on his choices of bishop, though I suspect, given the number of Bishops in the world, this was more a failure of the Vatican as a whole; he could not have known the personal views of all the bishops. What I can comment on is that many of the Cardinals he appointed are not seen as being liberal, and in fact often are very conservative.

    His Theology of the Body is a revolution that is still rocking the church, forcing Catholics to take the church’s teachings on sexuality and contraception seriously.

    Along with the current Pope, he helped stem the tide of Liberation Theology which justified demphasizing the Gospel message in order to work with Communists for the liberation of the poor. Also, lets not forget that he played an important, maybe essential role, in the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe.

    Was hee perfect? Nope. But then again, if you require perfection of your saints you will need to find a different Church since the Catholic Church has not had a perfect saint since the Assumption. Our first Pope after all got his start by denying Christ three times.

    @LisaP.
    I understand what you are saying, but I think the lukewarm path is not so likely to attract as much attention as our last couple Popes have.

  34. Laura Lea says:

    I’m a parishioner at St. Malachy Catholic church and it’s a bit odd that I just found Father Z’s blog and registered to be able to post comments a few days ago, and now we are discussing St. Malachy’s predictions of all things. I discovered them last year and told several parishioners, but they had never heard of them. Which, not much is known about our patron saint. Unfortunately, there is no statue or picture of him in our parish either. He appears to be a bit complicated and that might be why no one discusses him. We get the Irish heritage, but his predictions are complicated. Hopefully they are wrong, but saints are also saints for a reason, and many people thought some of the saints were also “nutty”. We end our Respect Life rosary every week with “St. Malachy, pray for us”, though. Needless to say, we will continue to ask for his prayers!

  35. Gregory DiPippo says:

    Folks, the so-called prophecy of Saint Malachy is a gross and obvious fraud, which was created to throw the 2nd conclave of 1590 towards Cardinal Simoncelli (after the 12 day long papacy of Urban VII – Card. Sfondrati was elected instead.) St. Bernard of Clairvaux was a personal friend of St. Malachy, and wrote his life, making no mention of any such prophecies.

  36. Skeinster says:

    If it includes anti-popes, isn’t that a clue that it’s bogus?

  37. Pledger says:

    I suspect that, if Peter Cardinal Turkson is elected, the St. Malachy folks will start flipping out.

  38. Pingback: POPE BENEDICT XVI TO RESIGN ON FEBRUARY 28 | Big Pulpit

  39. Marius2k4 says:

    Or the fact that he advocated for the use of condoms within marriage. I’d think anyone would flip out over that.

  40. LisaP. says:

    MarylandBill,
    No, I don’t think our last popes were lukewarm, and I’m an admirer, myself. But while I used to use it myself, I no longer consider “he has enemies on both sides” a good defense of a man. As a political conservative, I see that President Obama obviously has detractors on the right, but he also has detractors on the far left. That doesn’t make him even a centrist, much less virtuous!

  41. lisa says:

    dillyra, below is explanation from patheos.com:
    In 2009 the Holy Father stopped off in Aquila, Italy, and visited the tomb of a the medieval Pope St. Celestine V (1215-1296). After a brief prayer, he left his pallium, the symbol of his own episcopal authority as Bishop of Rome, on top of Celestine’s tomb. Then fifteen months later, on July 4, 2010, Benedict went out of his way again, this time to visit and pray in the cathedral of Sulmona, near Rome, before the relics of this same saint, Celestine V. In the year 1294, this man (Fr. Pietro Angelerio), known by all as a devout and holy priest, was elected Pope, somewhat against his will, shortly before his 80th birthday (Ratzinger was 78 when he was elected Pope in 2005). Just five months later, after issuing a formal decree allowing popes to resign (or abdicate, like other rulers), Pope Celestine V exercised that right. And now Pope Benedict XVI has chosen to follow in the footsteps of this venerable model.

  42. rachmaninov says:

    While we are talking end times, for those interested, I have a book to be published in 10 days time called Heralds of the Second Coming, Our Lady, the Divine Mercy and the Popes of the Marian Era from Bl Pius IX to Benedict XVI. It has a fantastic Foreword by Cardinal Ivan Dias reminiscent of his apocalyptic homily( although substantially larger in detail) as the papal legate for the opening of the Lourdes anniversary in 2007. Although the book does not focus on specific times that are known to God alone, it is unquestionable that the prophetic charism of the popes has led them to see the signs of the Lord’s return as present in our time. This relates to the gospel having being spread to a universal level now, the apostasy and the ground being prepared for the Antichrist, the eschatological reasons for the Sacred Heart and Divine Mercy devotion, and the importance of the Marian Era. I would also like to draw attention to an appendix on St Hildegard of Bingen’s vision (papal approved) of the “Five Ferocious Epochs” which give us a very good idea of where we are in the grand scheme of things. I also discuss Pope Benedict’s theology of Transformation which includes a section on the eschatological importance of Mass celebrated ad Orientem The book does not include unapproved apparitions, and anyhow is really about the popes. It is endorsed by Archbishop Gullickson, Fr Thomas Norris of the International Theological Commission (who has worked with Pope Benedict on that Commission for years) Ralph Martin and several other bishops, and Marian experts. It also has an imprimatur from Bishop Philip Egan of my home diocese of Portsmouth. For anyone interested it is being published in the US by Angelico Press (www.angelicopress.com) . It will also be available on amazon.com. By the way my name is Stephen Walford.
    Fr Z I hope you dont mind me plugging this.

  43. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: “St. Malachy’s” alleged “prophecies,” it’s true that they are pretty obviously not by Malachy. They’re part of the tradition of the time of putting out political pamphlets (often in verse) and covering your butt by claiming it was all the work of Merlin or Virgil or Mother Shipman. Nobody was supposed to believe that it was real prophecy, and it was probably some kind of veiled papabile list of the time.

    OTOH, the guys who put it together are widely believed to have been Irish priests and monks hanging around in Rome with nothing better to do than compose political poetry, and a lot of Irish vocations back then came from families of hereditary poets. And since Irish hereditary poets notoriously have the gift of prophecy, it would be funny as heck if their joke turned out to come true.

    You may now determine if I am being serious or joking!

  44. Elodie says:

    @Edge – It’s not a matter of being like a cafeteria Catholic regarding prophecy. It’s rather that End Times issues seem to bring out the overly emotional side of people. Even those meant to look at it from a scholarly perspective. So some of us choose to remain detached. The truth is, our general mission in life changes not if the antichrist is at the door or if he’s three thousand years away. The Four Last Things are the same whether we die violently in a doomsday scenario or peacefully in our bed at night. Best be prepared to meet God at any time, whether peaceful or disastrous. Don’t let the day catch you by surprise and all…

  45. JeremyB says:

    @ Edge.

    Since time only travels in one direction and the end of times is yet to be upon us, I would imagine that this is true.

  46. JeremyB says:

    @ Edge

    What sw85 quoted is true, we will not know the exact day or hour of the return, but we are closer today to His return than at any other time in history.

    Since time only travels in one direction and the end of times is yet to be upon us, I would imagine that this is true.

  47. anthtan says:

    I’m skeptical about the prophecies. They could be interpreted in so many ways.

    In what way could “Gloria Olivae” be applied to Pope Benedict?

  48. sw85 says:

    @Edge

    I don’t deny it on the grounds that it’s private revelation, or merely private revelation. I deny it on the grounds that it contradicts the plain words of Our Lord.

    Christ said “no man knows the day or the hour.” The Church ratified this. Yes, He also told us to watch the signs — at the exact same same time He told us what signs to watch for. Note that remarkably absent from that chapter of Scripture is any mention that we should keep our eyes peeled for some guy who would come along later and (maybe) write some (very vague) prophecies (which might have later been amended by another [even later] guy).

    Since Christ told us no man would know the day or the hour, and since Christ is not a liar, and since the Church has also ratified this, and since Christ promised His Church would not get things wrong on matters of faith and morals, and since Christ is (again) not a liar, the logical conclusion to reach is that no man knows the day or hour, not even St. Malachy, and that any one who claims as much (as many have) is in over his head (as many were).

    I sincerely hope Peter Turkson isn’t elected Pope, if only so we don’t have to bear one more day of hearing about this!

  49. codefiend says:

    @SW85, @StJude, Yes, no one knows the day or the hour.

    But, finish the rest of that scripture… “Take heed, watch; for you do not know when the time will come.”
    Christ instructed us to be watchful.

    The scripture Luke 12:54-56 comes to mind…
    54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”

    I don’t put much credence into the “prophecy,” it may or may not be real, it’s not my place nor am I learned enough to say it is or isn’t… but it is definitely being used in Protestant circles to defame the papacy and claim that Peter the Roman will be the _____ (insert [antichrist/false prophet/reptilian from planet X/all of the above]).
    There’s a fundamentalist crew that’s already jumped on this idea with the title Petrus Romanus [...]. I haven’t read it and don’t intend to, but from a few of the interviews I’ve heard regarding it…it’s the same old Lutheran line–the Pope is the antichrist. lol

  50. Cecily says:

    sw85, the prophecies attributed to St. Malachy do not claim to tell the day or the hour of Christ’s return.

  51. Well, the Pope Benedict’s resignation certainly ruins a very good short story I was writing.

    The story is about a conclave gone screwy where the Cardinals elect a married layman to be the next pope, thinking that he will give them married priests and possibly even women’s ordination. They are shocked to discover that the layman is goes in the opposite direction and insist on the Extra Ordinary form of the Mass. There is more to it than just comedy of dashed expectations of course but that is the premise.

    The reason the Pope’s resignation ruins the story is that in my story the pope doesn’t die, but resigns and spends his remaining years mentoring the young layman turned pontiff. JPII was the only pope’s death I am old enough to experience. I just didn’t feel right putting the pope’s death into my story so I thought I would have the pope resign instead. Now I can’t do it, or I risk being called unoriginal. Even if I hold onto the story until the next “dies” (which I’m not sure I myself will even live to see”; everyone will still think I got the idea from Benedict XVI’s announcement. Of course I could always change the story and have the pope die, but that would gut what little heart there is in the story right out of it.

    Oh well, it’s probably for the best. Now no one but me has to ever read the chapter on the Italian police being asked to haul some guy down to the Vatican for “questioning”. I didn’t expect the story to go in that direction but it was there and demanded to be written. A dubious beginning for sure as the poor guy has to be nursed back to health before he can appear in public.

  52. Marius2k4 – You assert that Bl. John Paul II “advocated for the use of condoms within marriage” – this is a very serious allegation to make against a pope. Could you please cite a source – in particular a direct quotation from one of his works, a sermon etc?

  53. Phil_NL says:

    Br Tom,

    I read that comment by Marius2k4 as a reaction to the posting directly above his, therefore making an allegation against Card. Turkson, rather than the Pope.
    That hardly makes it any better, but since that allegation is heard more often regarding the cardinal, it would be good indeed to have the source, if true.

  54. Amerikaner says:

    Many Catholic prophecies refer to an end of an “age” and not the end of time. There have been many references to a possible chastisement at the end of the age which does NOT mean the apocalypse at the end of time.

    St. Malachy’s list, if true, does not necessarily refer to the end of time but can be related to the end of an age. The next, following age can last for another 10,000+ years for all we know. In that context his list could be true and papal succession could continue (but future popes just were not described within the new age).

  55. rachmaninov says:

    Amerikaner,
    In my book,you will see that the popes have ruled out this idea. Ratzinger in Eschatology and Utopia condemned the idea. All millenial theories are out the window .We are in the last age already-all that remains is the final coming of Jesus. John Paul II was also explicit on this view in 1996 (ad limina to Brazilian bishops

  56. MichaelJ says:

    This is what I found that Cardinal Turkson said about condoms:

    http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/cardinal-turkson-on-condoms-and-hiv-aids

    I really have no idea what he is saying, but I cannot find where he made any mention of the moral aspect. His remarks seem to be limited to the pragmatic.

  57. robtbrown says:

    Re Cardinal Turkson:

    Before a conclave there is no shortage of guessing about who will be elected. Often those guesses are just geographically based. Who are two prominent Western European Cardinals? Or African? Or South American? Or Asian? That doesn’t mean that any are actually going to be considered seriously.

  58. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Quomodocumque, there are many reasons to abandon a story but yours is not one of them.

    Having reality catch up with your story is something that should make you smile. Now people can’t think that resignation plot twist implausible! This makes the big twist in your story (married layman) simpler to put across. All the crazy/fun stuff you do with your married layman will thus be undiluted by crosswinds of strangeness from elsewhere in the story.

  59. Edge says:

    @Supertradmum – Yes, there have been many antichrists, but Church tradition, and the early Church Fathers all state that at the end there will be a single person that IS the antichrist, not a group of persons, not a thing like a corporation or economic system, but a living single person. But that person appears at later. It is possible that he will appear in our lifetime, but I personally do not think we will be here at that time. Also, even after the antichrist is defeated, the end is not yet. Christ says that when he returns that they will be going about their business, giving one another in marriage, etc. So after the antichrist is defeated, time will be needed to get back to the point that one would considerer normal. Remember that the time of the antichrist will be so destructive, that it will be nothing like life as we know it today. So we have no idea if it would be a year or a millennium after the antichrist is defeated that Christ returns. We just know that the anti christ will come, he will be defeated, and then Christ will come.

    @SW85 and Elodie – We do not know the exact moment he will return, but we know many things will occur first. The thing is, to be a Catholic you have to be all in or not in at all on matter of doctrine. Private revelation is NOT required to be believed in order to be a faithful Catholic. It is only deemed “worthy of belief.” In matter of Private Revelation, one CAN pick and choose, unlike Doctrines of the faith. You can deny that Mary appeared to Bernadette at Lourdes (but not that she is the Immaculate Conception), you can refuse the rosary as it came from private revelation, and deny that any private revelations approved by the church is not real, and still be a faithful Catholic. But know that if the church approves a private revelation, it cannot contradict Christ, His teachings, or the Church, or it would not be approved. This prophesy is a gift from God, that so many reject, (like most gifts from God.)

    @JeremyB – :-) Have you ever planned something big that is a few months out, like a trip or a special party? As you plan it you cannot wait for the day to arrive and it seems so close but just out of reach. Then as the date approaches, it still seems so far away and feels like you have all the time in the world to prepare. Suddenly, the day arrives and there are still things left undone, even though there was plenty of time to prepare. We are closer than we have ever been. :-)

    All of the commenters that have said we will face a one on one judgement is correct. It will be the same individual Judgement the 1st century Christians faced as it is the same as the last century Christians face. We do not know when OUR time is up. But the early church fathers and so many of the great saints have written extensively about how the world will progress up and to the very end. God has given us so many messages through His chosen saints and popes for US – and we know this as they have been approved as worthy of belief. Nothing new can be revealed in Private Revelation – that is how we know it is from God and not the diabolical. When the Church approves it as “worthy of Belief” then it is. While it reveals nothing new, it provides clarity. They left for us gifts for our use to draw us closer to God, but instead of enjoying the treasure, we choose to watch Modern Family, read fashion magazines, and can quote all important stats of our favorite sports team instead of reading the Diary of St. Faustina or the writings of St. Augustine. :-(

    Why is it important to accept these gifts we have been given? How many of you make important decisions without reviewing all pertinent information? Knowing what time it is helps one to understand what the secular world is doing. Did you know that many of the private revelations (given over the past several hundreds of years across the world, and approved by the Church) have said that Rome would be invaded in the future and the Pope at that time would escape – to Cologne. That is in Germany, isn’t it? Strange since most popes of the time the saints lived would have gone to France, or somewhere in Italy. Are they pointing to B16 or a future pope, or did they all misinterpret what God was telling them?

    As one poster above said, on their own, the majority of approved revelations are not meant to stand alone. When taken as individual pieces to be joined together along with the bible, a very clear picture emerges. Funny how at no other time in history could this be done – only now with the technology we have today. Do you wonder why God has allowed abortion in such global scale, and all of the perversity of the modern world? How much worse will it get before it gets better? Are we supporting the right things in our modern world and how do you know when bishop contradicts bishop? When Jesus tells us to not be troubled as all of these things must come to pass, he meant it. Only in having a clear picture can we understand and obey that command.

    How does the prophecies of Malachy fit in – just another piece of the puzzle. Are they clear on their own – no. Why did the Pope announce his resignation to occur during the second week of Lent? We could see Easter this year without a pope. We live in very exciting times, but as our Lord said, the blind will not see and the deaf will not hear.

  60. netokor says:

    Marius2k4, I join with you in your earnest prayers for a successor worthy of Benedict. St. Joseph, Protector of the Church, intercede for us and grant us a perfect acceptance of the Will of the Father.