The last pope before the End Times?

More doomsday predictions, this time from the Roman Catholic side!  According to writings attributed to St. Malachy in 1139, pope #112 will be the last one, and then Jesus will return.  That would be the successor to Pope Benedict XVI, who is #111.

From NBC:

Just when you thought it was safe to go out of the bunker, there’s a fresh wave of doomsday buzz over a purported 12th-century prophecy suggesting that the next pope will be the last pope before the end of the world. St. Malachy’s “Prophecy of the Popes” has no credence in the Roman Catholic Church, but its effect could well be longer-lasting than the hype that surrounded the 2012 Maya apocalypse — especially if the papal conclave goes with one of the favored candidates for Benedict XVI’s successor.

The text that’s been attributed to Malachy came to light in 1595, in a book by Benedictine monk Arnold de Wyon. Supposedly, Malachy experienced a vision of future popes during a trip to Rome in 1139, and wrote down a series of 112 cryptic phrases that described each pope in turn. The text was said to have lain unnoticed in Rome’s archives until Wyon published it.

Doomsday fans have found ways to link each phrase to a corresponding pope through the centuries. That includes John Paul II, who is associated with phrase No. 110, “From the labor of the sun,” because he was born on the day of a solar eclipse and was entombed on the day of a solar eclipse as well. Benedict XVI, No. 111, is supposedly “glory of the olive” because some members of a branch of the monastic order founded by St. Benedict are known as Olivetans.

Then there’s No. 112: “In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit … Peter the Roman, who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The end.”

The end? This could be the beginning for a doomsday meme that hangs over a whole generation, if it’s taken seriously. There’s already a 586-page book about the coming apocalypse, titled “Petrus Romanus.” One theologian, Michael K. Lake, is quoted as saying that “Catholic and evangelical scholars have dreaded this moment for centuries.”

via Why the buzz over St. Malachy’s ‘last pope’ prophecy outdoes 2012 hype – Cosmic Log.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • tODD

    More like St. Malarchey, amiright?

  • fjsteve

    Oh my gosh! This is so true!! The next Pope will in fact be synonymous with Peter the Roman because, no matter who it is, he will be the spiritual successor to Peter as the Bishop of Rome!!! The end truly is near!

  • tODD

    I mean, seriously, this is classic D-grade “prophecy” stuff, you know. Have you seen the list?

    The list supposedly stems from the 12th century, but was only published in 1595. And hey, whaddyaknow, the “prophecies” (such as they are) are rather accurate up until, oh … shortly before 1600. And then they start missing. A lot.

    Of course, you can make them fit … if you want to. Just like you can make today’s horoscope appear to be correct. Or you can pick any random Nostradomus quatrain and make it about the current year — or any other year you want.

    The secret is in the short, yet completely vague “prophecy” language. What does it mean? Well, what does it need to mean?

  • mikeb

    In Missouri we use a phrase to describe this sorta stuff that I’ll not repeat since this is a family website. I guess this guy never read Matthew 24:36, which could also be applied to mean that no one knows under whose tenure the hour will come.

  • helen

    Time to plant an apple tree… for our grandchildren’s use.

  • DonS

    I hope they pick someone really old so that the end can come soon!

  • fjsteve

    DonS, I think that’s a requirement. They tried the young ones but the orgies were kind of frowned upon.

  • rlewer

    Depends on how you count popes. Once there were three at one time, but not all were considered real popes.

    Kind of like counting letters for numbers to get 666. You get what you look for.

  • Carl Vehse

    “Time to plant an apple tree…”

    From Luther and the Trees:

    “If I knew that tomorrow was the end of the world, I would plant an apple tree today!” is attributed to Luther.
    One must remember, that the first written evidence of this saying comes from 1944…

    According to Yoel Natan, in his article “E.G. White’s Misinformation About Martin Luther’s Eschatology,” October 2006, Updated 20 Feb 2009:

    The 1944 date may come from Martin Schloemann’s book which has a section on the apple-tree quote. [Schloemann, Martin. Luthers Apfelbäumchen: Ein Kapitel deutscher Mentalitätsgeschichte seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, 1994, pp. 246–251]

    I, Yoel Natan, think the Luther apple seedling quotation was invented and attributed to Luther in 1944 or before, but it comes by way of an ancient rabbi, Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai, who survived the sacking of Jerusalem in 70AD. Claudia J. Setzer wrote: While they [rabbis] retained the idea of longing for a messiah, they did not encourage chasing after one. A Tannaitic source reads, “He [Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai] used to say: ‘If there were a plant in your hand and they should say to you, ‘Look, the Messiah is here!’ Go and plant your plant, and after that go forth to receive him’ (‘Abot R. Nat. B 31). [Carroll, John T. et al. The Return of Jesus in Early Christianity. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts, 2000, pp. 180-181]

  • helen

    The quote from Luther, as I heard it long ago, was, “If someone told me Christ would come tomorrow, I would plant an apple tree today.” The reference was that Scripture says no one will know in advance when Christ will come, so we continue to do our daily tasks.

  • N. B.

    I would like to see someone from USA chosen as Pope of Roman. That would fit in with the prophecy in the sense of the name Peter Romanus with USA being the super power that Rome once was and then instead of the church getting smaller the 7 hills become 7 great Mountains figure of speech thinks big adding a billion converts to bey Jesus command since a USA Pope would have the vision to do this unlike a Pope from Europe

  • http://msn TEXAS

    They discovered the prophecy was wrong, it was a midget and he was to be the 111 1/2 pope named ” verticus challengus”


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