Is the Next Pope the Last Pope?


Here’s the piece published on National Review Online today…expanded a bit.

In the year 1140 an Irish bishop named Malachy visited Rome with a group of monks. They climbed the Janiculum Hill to thank God for the safe completion of their journey. While there (as the story goes) Malachy had a vision in which he “saw” 111 popes to the end of time.  Each pope was chronicled with by a short, cryptic epigram in Latin. What makes this ancient tale interesting is that with the retirement of Benedict XVI the last pope on Malachy’s list is about to be elected.

This where it gets interesting, because the Irish seer was given a prophecy that the last pope on his list was also the last pope before the return of Christ. His prophecy for the last pope was longer than the others and contained an alarming vision: it reads:

During the last persecution of the Holy Roman church there shall sit Peter of Rome, who shall feed the sheep amidst the many great tribulations, and when these have passed, the City of the Seven Hills shall be utterly destroyed and the awful Judge will judge the people.”

Conspiracy theorists and Nostradamus nuts love poring over the prophecies of St Malachy straining to make sense of Malachy’s cryptic messages. Wide eyes and gasps of wonder have been emitted when the name of Ghanaian Cardinal Turkson’s name as mentioned as a front runner. His name’s Peter!! And he studied in Rome!!! In Ghana they call him “Peter of Rome”!!!

But Odilio of Argentina might get elected. That wouldn’t stop those who want a good conspiracy theory. Whatever pope is elected you can be sure they will find some sort of link to the name Peter. His middle name will be Peter or he will have been called Rocky in high school or maybe once he watched the movie Rocky, or they’ll simply say, “Every pope is, in effect, “Peter of Rome” it was meant symbolically.”

This rather elastic approach is what they did with the epigrams for each pope. John Paul II’s epigram was “the labor of the sun” so they dug around until they discovered he was born on a the day of an eclipse and they found a medieval poem (but never published the reference) that referred to an eclipse as “the labor of the sun”. Or, the epigram for  Benedict XVI was the rather obscure phrase, “the glory of the olive”. Vatican wags had often joked before the election that this meant Cardinal Martini would be elected because what could me more glorious for an olive than a dry martini? After Benedict’s election the prophecy hounds pointed out that there is a famous Benedictine monastery called Monte Oliveto, and the Benedictine crest has an olive branch in it (but they don’t actually show a picture of that crest) Anyway, the connection is in the name he chose. St Benedict is the glory of Monte Oliveto and the Benedictines who love olive branches. It’s totally clear right?

So Benedict XVI was second to last on the list and now the final pope. Peter the Roman, is about to be elected. It’s all very exciting to think that the second coming and the end of the world is nigh! Just when we were all so disappointed when the Mayan calendar end of the world thing fizzled out…

But hold on a minute. We might have to interrupt this program with something called facts.

The problems are manifold. First of all, the prognosticators behave like all conspiracy theorists and prophecy lovers: Begin with the theory or prophecy and make the facts fit. Kind of like Cinderella’s ugly sister trying on that glass slipper.

The second problem is something called evidence. Although St Malachy was a historic figure from the twelfth century there is no mention of his prophecies before 1590, and surprise! surprise! the prophetic mottos for the popes are quite accurate for the period between 1150 up to the late 1500s. Then they become obscure and inaccurate. Kind of fishy. Maybe like the whole thing was written about 1590 or so when the prophecies were purportedly discovered? And then there is the problem that Malachy’s original document is not extant. It sort of disappeared–like those Mormon golden tablets written in ancient Egyptian that Joseph Smith had to read with special spectacles which also mysteriously disappeared.

In addition, the seer Nostradamus lived in the late 1500s, and there was a fashionable fascination at that time for prophecies expressed in cryptic language. Scholars have judged the prophecies of the 12th century St Malachy to be a rather poor sixteenth century forgery–probably produced to influence a papal election at the time.

So you can probably sleep peacefully tonight. The end of the world is probably not nigh.

On the other hand…why not prepare your soul just to be on the safe side!

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  • Manny

    LOL, what is it with papal conspiracy theories? I was arguning with someone today about this next being the last pope. Until now I had no idea where he was getting it from. Thanks for the insight, but it just makes that guy loook even more ridiculous.

  • Kevin Hill

    look at the world and the things going on, you can see the end coming.

  • Brad

    In another quirk of fables about the last pope, in the Church of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, one of the four Major Basilicas of the Pope, there are medallions of all of the Pope’s since Saint Peter adorning the walls that circumnavigate the four walls of the basilica all the way around. There are the two last Popes, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. There is only 1 spot left and it is blank. Tradition says that when that spot is filled it will be the “last Pope” as an good Italian tour guide will tell you. I heard that story in 1977 when I was a monk in Rome and also heard it again when I took a group of pilgrims to Rome as a priest a few years ago. Truth or Fiction? Only time will tell.

  • FW Ken

    I thought there was one space left when JP II was pope?

    But I have do it on good authority they are mining stones for the restored Jerusalem Temple. Somewhere in Minnesota, I think.

  • LongIslandMichael

    Father thanks for the insight. When I heard the news of the Holy Father’s announcement this morning I just happened to be listening to an AM station I only listen to in the evening but the announcer and his guest were talking about St Malachy and this prophecy. I have heard and read about this prophecy in the past but was not aware of its origing some 350+ years after this Irish saint had passed. At any rate I had to laugh because both the announcer and his guest were not Catholic, totally wrong on many Catholic beliefs and then somehow the guest who claim to have “studied this prophecy since 1977 ” tied it into the destruction of Israel and John Kerry’s recent appointment as US Sec of State. Somehow this self proclaimed “St Malachy prophecy expert” claimed that the recent snow storm in Kerry’s home state was a sign from God that Kerry’s appointment was warning to the world that John Kerry would attempt to destroy Israel.
    I am sure the radio announcer was equally stunned over this prophecy because he never responded. I doubt he will have this “prophecy expert” on his show again.

  • terry white

    former Evangelical, then an Anglican priest, now a Catholic priest. well enough said right there. u went from a spirit filled (normally) Evangelical church. to a traditional bound church. to a full on leave Jesus out of this and praise His mum church. which has its foundations build on pagan worship. the second ur in the door of a catholic church. they break Gods commandments. thou shall have no other God(s) before me. and there u hv saint worship. idols. and even put the pope higher than the bible and Jesus Him self. catholics in most cases don’t read there bibles. which the church wants it that way( keep them in the dark) they don’t hv a relationship with Jesus. and think they can buy there death relatives out of hell, where is all this in the bible. show me the verses. and I will reply but here a full apology. But u will either delete this message, and ignore me. or just come back with non biblilical answers. either way its ur soul. ur call. so how much can we believe a man on the foundations you have in ur life. as you try to protect ur wonderfully payed job. may the true peace of God and His love for u show u a way out of the darkness you are in.

  • dave

    the church is now far more careful and self critical because it has to be but way back then it was famous for producing enough bits of the Cross to build an Ark and numerous other dubious items, hence the Protestants arose. In such an era it is easy to imagine misguided prophecies taking root. None of that alters the message that Jesus brought us. Love thy neighbour covers it all.

  • David N

    It can join my list of Doomsday Prophecies that I keep just to remind me that predicting the end of things has a long and noble history of being proved completely wrong. Nowadays the province of assorted fellow fruit-cakes, did you know that Newton and Napier both predicted the date for the end of the world? Both were proved wrong, by the way. A current one doing the rounds is September 2015. But then the person promoting that one has had 3 previous dates proved wrong, so allowing them another attempt is probably fair ;-)

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    thank you for visiting my blog. May the Lord bless you and keep you!

  • Iris Celeste

    “the prophetic mottos for the popes are quite accurate for the period between 1150 up to the late 1500s. Then they become obscure and inaccurate.” That does not necessarily imply that it was a complete fraud. Later transcribers always had the habit of “fixing” the writings of people that came before them, such as was done to the writings of Josephus.

    Iris Celeste

  • Kirk

    May our Lord Jesus open the eyes to His Truth and close the lips of those that spread lies about the Bride of Christ.

  • Iris Celeste

    Oh, and I should mention, then the printing press goes and gets invented and there are multiple copies available and your editing efforts are spoiled, because now they won’t go unnoticed!

    Iris Celeste

  • PeterD

    The next one can’t be the last Pope. Liverpool have to win the Premier League at least once more before the end of the world and, judging by last night’s performance, it could take an awful long time!

  • Pattie, RN

    Nice reply, Father.

    Sometimes you just know that a writer doesn’t have a Phi Beta Kappa key…..and bless them anyway.

  • Archdruid Eileen

    Beautifully put! And thanks for this post, which inspired me in turn.

  • Lynn H.

    This 14th C. papal prophecy seems to tie in. It mentions the year 2013. La Profezia Degno Pastore (The Worthy Shepherd Prophecy) By Blessed Tomasuccio de Foligno:

    “One from beyond the mountains shall become the Vicar Of God. Religious and clerics shall take part in this change. Outside the true path, there will be only disreputable men; I shrug my shoulders when the Bark of Peter is in danger and there is no one to lend it help…The schismatic shall fall into the scorn of the Italian faithful…” By about twelve years shall the millennium have passed [2013 A.D. ordinal time] when the resplendent mantle of legitimate power shall emerge from the shadows where it was being kept by the schism. And beyond harm from the one [the usurper antipope] who is blocking the door of salvation, for his deceitful schism shall have come to an end. And the mass of the faithful shall attach itself to the worthy Shepherd, who shall extricate each one from error and restore to the Church its beauty. He shall renew it.”
    (Prophecy of *Blessed Tomasuccio de Foligno, Profezie, 14th Century)

  • Mr. Two Cents

    Major “face palm.” I…don’t…know where to begin.

  • mea

    The “end of the world” CAN be an individual event, too. When people look upon their own mortality, it can be a lonely thought. It may be of some comfort to think that, as throughout all the ages, others will join you in your end at its exact moment. Thus, there is futuristic prophecy to hang onto instead of the Word of God. In God’s Words….man won’t know the ultimate end. That, in itself, tells when, where, what, and how. Man should know that his life is perpetually always in the advent of Christ, just as is the same for all mankind. This next papacy is no different.

  • The True Will

    Whatever “they” may have done, Peter Bander’s edition suggested the connection of “ex labore solis” with eclipses long before John Paul was elected.

  • chris awo

    The time is right for everybody to start praying earnestly for divine intervention in the election of the new pope. may God give us a true shepherd to watch over his flock. amen

  • Fernando A. B. Almeida

    LOL, Fr. Longenecker, such prophecies are ridiculous! Just a correction: “Odílio” (sic) is not from Argentine. The name of the Archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil, is Odilo Pedro Scherer. He is a Brazilian cardinal and not an Argentine one!

    The name “Pedro” in portuguese comes from latin Petrus.

  • BHG

    I am reminded of an legend that says Jesuis was walking along a road when a man stopped and spat on him. Jesus blessed him. When asked why, He said, “it is all I have in my bag.” A bit like the cross. Truly well done Father and a good example to us all.

  • Dean

    From the entry for the True Cross in Wikipedia (yes, I know. Take it for what its worth)
    A rebuttal of John Calvin’s assertion that all the pieces gathered together “would make a big ship load”

    Conflicting with this is the finding of Charles Rohault de Fleury, who, in his Mémoire sur les instruments de la Passion 1870 made a study of the relics in reference to the criticisms of Calvin and Erasmus. He drew up a catalogue of all known relics of the True Cross showing that, in spite of what various authors have claimed, the fragments of the Cross brought together again would not reach one-third that of a cross which has been supposed to have been three or four meters in height, with transverse branch of two meters wide, proportions not at all abnormal. He calculated: supposing the Cross to have been of pine-wood (based on his microscopic analysis of the fragments) and giving it a weight of about seventy-five kilograms, we find the original volume of the cross to be 0.178 cubic meters. The total known volume of known relics of the True Cross, according to his catalogue, amounts to approximately 0.004 cubic meters (more specifically 3,942,000 cubic millimeters), leaving a volume of 0.174 cubic meters lost, destroyed, or otherwise unaccounted for.

    Also the greatest commandment is “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matt 22:37-40

  • Oregon Catholic

    The Bible is loaded with numerical significance and there is a Biblical numerical symetry to the end of the world in this century – 2000 yrs from Abraham to Jesus and 2000 yrs from Jesus’ resurrection to the New Jerusalem. There is also the vision of Pope Leo XIII and the 3rd secret of Fatima that would lend creedence to a coming end of the Church. There is much revelation that says Mary has been staying God’s hand and imploring us to repent to save ourselves. I believe St. Faustina also implied that the Divine Mercy revelation was a kind of last massive outpouring of grace for the world before the end time. The same could be said of the New Evangelization – a last major effort to spread the Gospel and convert (or re-convert) souls. So, I say laugh if you want but maybe also get yourself prepared to face some serious persecution.

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    Thanks for bringing u de Fleury’s study. I knew of it, but not the details.

  • Scott Hebert

    While, yes, there may be some concerns about the prophecy of St. Malachy, I think you definitely unduly dismiss the epithets of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

    I had never heard of the eclipse version for ‘Of the Labor of the Sun’; rather, I was always informed / taught that it was a direct reference to Revelations 12, and the apparition of the Theotokos that is depicted miraculously on the Tilma (sp?) of Our Lady of Guadalupe. And no one can deny that Pope JPII had a great Marian devotion, nor that he toiled ceaselessly (like the sun) on behalf of the Church.

    Meanwhile, I feel that you do a great deal better with Pope Benedict XVI’s epithet, ‘Of the Glory of the Olive (Tree?)’. Yes, it’s the symbol of the Benedictines, but that is just one sign. The olive branch is also the sign of peacemaking, and Pope Benedict XVI presided over great strides in the reunification of the Body of Christ. This is also symbolized Biblically with the return of the dove (with an Olive leaf(?)) to Noah.

    I am not saying that Malachy’s list was correct, or that the interpretation of the end of that list necessarily is the Second Coming, but I would say that there are more useful interpretations than what is so cavalierly dismissed here.

  • Jack

    Yes all those crazy, silly conspiracy minded catholic nuts! Like the ones who believe in the secrets of Fatima and Lourdes! Ha ha! It’s so funny. Thank God we have Patheos to keep us all grounded!!

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    The difference is that the church approves of some apparitions and prophecies and does not approve of others. Fatima and Lourdes are approved. St Malachy is not.

  • Catholic Minnesotan

    And the Minnesota Vikings have to win the Superbowl AND the Chicago Cubs have to win the World Series, (neither of which has a chance of happening this side of eternity) which have not happened yet.

  • John S.

    I have know of the prophecy of St. Malachy for better than 20 years but have no opinion regarding its accuracy. It is interesting to note that scholars have judged the 12th Century prophecies of St. Malachy to be rather crude 16th Century forgeries. Isn’t that what scholars have judged the Shroud of Turin to be (although not so crude since they cannot even today duplicate it)? I have more confidence in the prphecy of Malacy than I do in modern day scholars.

  • Chris Stobart

    But don’t you think, certainly for John Paul I and Benedict XVI, the way they match their descriptions is uncanny. And if Peter Turkston DOES get the gig then a lot of pulses are gonna quicken…

  • Joan

    I think that Todd should advise us!

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    I think the lack of the original document (and the fact that it has never been seen) is pretty damning.

  • Mary

    No one can doubt we are living in the “end times”. The signs are everywhere. Then again, the world has been in the “end times” technically for 2000 years. Lets just pray the newly elected Pope will have the fortitude to lead us into any difficulty that may be ahead of us.

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    It’s not uncanny at all. People who want to believe these things will find the connections and then say “Aha!”

  • Will

    Maybe someone will dig up a Dan Brown novel in a thousand years and start looking for the signs.

  • Shawn Startup

    Exactly!.. If You think all of this is just coincidence why don’t you try reading the ACTUAL (KJV) BIBLE, it too goes hand in hand right along with everything that is going on today! Wake Up people, be not deceived!… Jesus’s return is closing fast and when we least expect it.

  • Oregon Catholic

    and Fatima has apparently revealed a coming martyrdom of the Pope and clergy amidst a setting that may portray the ruin of Rome. It may be symbolic of the crisis in the Church or it may be a more literal martyrdom.

  • Kevin

    “May the Lord bless you and keep you ” Finally the Catholic equivalent of the southern expression “well bless your heart”

  • Chris

    I would be careful what you proclaim about the One True Church Jesus Christ himself founded. Your accusations that Catholics do not read their bibles is totally unfounded. I am not living in darkness Terry, quite the contrary, but living in the light of Jesus’ love & mercy. I invite you to attend a Holy Mass, read the early Church Fathers, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, go to Catholic Answers website & bring up some of these things you mention in our post, then compare what all of that with what you think to be true in your mind. I think you will be surprised by The Truth.
    May God bless you & guide you on your journey.

    Chris Landreneau

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    May the Lord bless you and keep you…far away from us.

  • richard

    Gotta love those fundamentalists. If protestanism is right, how come there are over 30,000 different protestant denominations? Lord, I ask for some of the great patience and wisdom that Fr. Longenecker displayed towards those comments. I may not have been as kind.

  • fh in Houston

    By the Actual Bible (the KJV), you mean the 6th modern English translation of The Bible? What would Luther think of you? How about the first printed Bible, the Gutenberg Bible?

  • al paul

    It always amazes me how many people think it’s a normal behavior for a philatelist to come to a meeting of numismatists and start mocking them, commenting, teaching and even demanding to change the charter, the rules and the object of their interest… Infantilism combined Marxism: to call absolutely everything relative, turn around, and declare everything wrong while presenting a new set of absolute truths..:) Nobody attacks fallen castles. If they do, the castle is not fallen. How hating and mocking Catholic Church makes a Protestant a better Christian?

  • catharine

    I think any prophecy which attempts to assign a “date certain” to the end of the world is on shaky ground from the get-go. Our Lord Himself said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but the Father only.” Matthew 24:36. Also, Mark 13:32.
    Apart from the fact that much of the biblical prophecies which must be fulfilled before the end of the world comes (the return of the Jews to Israel has occurred, but the rebuilding of the temple and the restoration of the daily sacrifices; we have [fortunately] not yet had the Antichrist rule the entire world, etc. Also, from approved private prophecies (Fatima, etc.), we have not yet seen the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; total Christian unity has not yet occurred, etc.
    I “reverted” to the Catholic faith in 1992 after 22 years out of the Church, and fairly quickly was taken in by that Y2K millennial thing, which as you recall had all kinds of prophecies purporting that Jesus Christ would come in glory shortly after 1998 (666 x 3 is 1998), etc. From a lot of reading of such prophecies, I think it would make a lot more sense to say that we are towards the end of the Protestant revolt, which splintered Christendom; that we are entering the period of the universal, worldwide bankruptcy, leading into wars and civil wars in Europe, whereby the young & the old fight it out in the streets, etc. You can get so bogged down in this stuff that you completely lose sight of Catholic truth, which is: we were saved by Jesus Christ, and we work out our salvation by being faithful and devout Catholics, living out our faith all day, every day. Not by finding “secret codes” in unapproved private prophecies, bogus Marian apparitions, and/or giving financial support to the cottage industry specializing in such things.
    For those interested in private prophecies, I think the best course, by far, is to pick one or two church-approved apparitions, such as Guadalupe, LaSalette, Fatima, and to take the urgings of the Blessed Virgin Mary seriously, to-wit: reform your own lives, stop sinning, go to confession, live out your Catholic faith, pray, do penance for your own sins, as well as the sins of others, to help them convert. Far better we undertake to reform our own lives & do penance for our own sins as well as the sins of others now, rather than by inaction force the hand of God to do the job for us!

  • John

    As I write this I’m looking at the photo I took in St. Paul’s in March of 2010. There are two empty spaces to the left of the lit picture of Pope Benedict XVI, then the line turns the corner and four more empty spaces are visible, plus a pillar is blocking the view of a space. And as our tour guide said after repeating the tale to us, when they get to the end, they’ll put in more somewhere. The Italians are better at making do than they are at worrying about the future.

  • Daneel

    “Just when we were all so disappointed when the Mayan calendar end of the world thing fizzled out…”
    So funny I couldn’t breathe in for 30 seconds…. Thanks for brightening up my day

  • KShaft

    Wow. How bout the one written in Greek where there isnt inadaquate English translations done by calvanist Englishmen who were so far removed from the time and culture to totally obscure the meaning of oodles of passages. Go to a Greek Orthodox Church, you know the church from 33AD. The one that canonized the Bible books in the first place. Oh and Jews are the enemies of Christ. The talmud is a reactionary writing against Him and is a basis of modern judaism. Stop fawning over em you ignoramuses.

  • KShaft

    “My Flesh is Meat indeed, My Blood is Drink indeed.” Indeed means in truth. “Whosoever does not eat my Flesh and Drink My Blood HAS NO LIFE IN HIM.” Wake up. “Scattered within the imaginations of your own heart.” (Yes the Theotokos wrote this whom you losers think was no better than Kim Kardasian so you pay no heed to her…) Read a history book for the love of the Lord! Your stupidity is painful… Youre dead men.

  • richard

    The temple will never be rebuilt in Jerusalem. The temple has ALREADY been rebuilt in Jesus Christ himself. “Destroy this temple and in three days I will rebuild it.” It amazes me how fundamentalists stress Israel so much as it pertains to Christ’s Second Coming.

  • Peggy

    You really need to read the Bible dude! Your soul is at stake! God so loved you and the rest of the world he gave his only son to save your soul and all the rest of us sinners from the fires of hell. Beware my friend the day of reckoning is coming! Heed Gods warning. Straighten your life up! Be vigilent in all you do!
    Dont speak untruthful things because that shows you are in a bliss of your own self ignorance and self righteousness.
    Be sorrowful for your arrogance and go to Church! You may just learn a thing or two in this life!

    God Bless

  • Ruth

    Not to mention the Toronto Maple Leafs who have not won a Stanley Cup in 45 years!

  • Rich

    TW….study your bible, and throw away same old talking points that go round and round and repeated over and over by ill informed. Peace be with you.

  • veritas


    Take off your blinkers, do some research, turn your brain cell on and you will find out what a thoroughly nasty piece of work your beloved Martin Luther really was.

    He tried hard to destroy Holy scripture by arbitrarily banishing all the books he didn’t like – which included the Epistle of James, the Gospel of John, the Book of Revelation, the Letters of John etc etc. So how come these are still in the Protestant Bible? Because the other Protestants at the time realised dear old Martin was going beserk with his own creaion of Scripture and refused to let him ban all the books he wanted to ban.
    Martin also advised a couple of rulers at the time to “shack up”with their girlfriends, just like he was doing and thereby made a mockery of the Sacrament of Marriage.

    Dear Martin drank like a fish and swore like a trooper. He was an absolute racist whose comments about the Jews should not be published.

    Oh and by the way Terry, in the midst of all of this, Martin, Calvin, Zwingli and his other Protestant mates ALL had a great respect for the Blessed Vrigin Mary – they considered her without sin and of course they all absolutely believed that Jesus was her only son and that she was ever virgin.

    So check your facts Terry before you start throwing stones at the one, the only Church which traces its history right back to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

  • Bryan

    So, I leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses and it turns out they’re right, after all?

  • Stephen E Dalton

    I don’t believe the St Malachy prophecies are real because Christ himself said there would be no warning of when his second coming would take place. By claiming PBXVI will be the last pope, we are given a sign that will cause people to indulge in foolish prophetic speculations.

  • Carlo

    Cynical soup

  • Mary

    Hmmmm first of all, it is not really referring to the end of the world. The term referred to, from the greek, actually would be more correctly stated as climax of the age (yes, as in sexual) or prehaps fulfillment of eternity might be a satifying term.

    World without end, amen….it means something folks! The ending of many prayers, in many liuragies, for many centuries, it is not just accidental words we say. If they are correct and the fulfillment is coming, that means the Lord is coming. It is not to be feared by any Christian, but something we hope and pray for daily. Come quickly Lord Jesus, come! Maranatha!

    I hope it is true, but I will continue to wait on my Lord if the time is not now. Please pardon any typos as I am not good at “texting” and this is not a normal keyboard … ;-)

    PS There were changes in the text, around the 1500s I believe, to support political views. That does not explain their accuracy today. Regarding having no original texts…we have none for many writings, including the scriptures themselves, but that does not make them untrue. Their very survival over the ages is a point in their favor and they are (copies) in the papal archives, another point on the plus side, IMHO. The point is, make ready, as scripture as always advised. Be prepared for the bridegroom and make certain you have oil in your lamps ;-)

  • charles

    Fr. Longenecker — does the lightning striking twice, on the day of Pope Benedict’s resignation,
    St Peter’s Basilica have any significance? Is it a sign of the end times? — Sister Lucy from Fatima
    has said we are in the end times.

  • wineinthewater


    What you have described and condemned is not the Catholic Church. Remember, bearing false witness is a sin. I read about it in the Bible.

  • davidson

    Repent and be save. Jesus is Christ and thou shall have no other God beside me. Jesus is God in the Flesh and has Gone back to be one with the Father. Draw Close to Him and the Holy Spirit will Teach you more of Him. It is by the Spirit of God in you that can help you truely say Jesus Christ is Lord with Understanding. Come t Jesus while it is Day for the night cometh when no man can work. Believe in Christ and See Heaven on Earth. God Bless you as you pray the prayer of sincere and genuine repentance and Him alone thou shall serve. I love you and wish to see you in Heaven one day.

  • edwin kubena

    You were a monk in Rome. Why did you depart? You sound like the secular world got the better of you. Where is the faith of the Monk, the aesthetic, the one who belives in the Jesus prayer that is unceasing prayer. I guess all those clergy are so many guessers. The deal is they put their faith in Jesus our Lord and are apart from the world because it is full of idiots. Have you seen the mess it is in lately. Eddy Kubena

  • Dave77

    The Pope has resigned at the correct time. The Christ is about to return openly to the world and Jesus will take over the Catholic Church, but it definitely will not be the end of the world. See for more info

  • Barbara Lake

    According to my assistant parish priest, a rather elderly gentleman, Jesus isn’t coming until there are only a few people left on this planet – not even enough of them to fill the state of Texas. So He ‘ain’t coming yet that’s for sure!

  • Credo

    ‘“My Flesh is Meat indeed, My Blood is Drink indeed.” Indeed means in truth. “Whosoever does not eat my Flesh and Drink My Blood HAS NO LIFE IN HIM.” ‘
    More emphasis in the right place required my flesh AND Drink My Blood… Most Catholics do not receive His Blood; hence, logically, they do not have life in them.

  • SteveD

    Many saints, beati and venerables have left well attested and approved prophecies about a time when the world will be very bad and there will be many wars and civil wars and during which a Pope will be martyred. As Billy Graham’s wife once said, ‘If God doesn’t do something soon, He will need to apologise to Sodom and Gomorrah”. It’s our times that these prophecies seem to relate to and they were obviously meant to be read and acted upon or God would not have permitted them to be given. It seems fairly clear that economic chaos causing civil wars in Europe will ‘kick things off’ followed by a Russian/Islamic invasion and ultimately the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart foretold at Fatima and then the promised ‘period of peace’ also promised there- not the end by any means but a new beginning.

  • jean

    Can you explain why you think most Catholics do not receive his blood?
    And how come everyone outside of the Catholic Church presumes to be an expert on it?

  • jean

    I thank you too – bless you!

  • jean

    Has this begun already with the oridnariate?

  • jean

    That’s only funny if you are Catholic.

  • jean

    Russia is converting as the Blessed Virgin said it would if enough people prayed etc…, which means that prophecies are conditional – like the one with Jona and Ninevah.
    I beleive Jonah was a bit miffed when the Ninevites repented.
    So it seems unlikely that Russia and Islam will collaborate. (Islam collaborate with anyone seems very unlikely…)

  • jean

    Russia is in the process of converting as the Blessed Virgin said it would under the conditions of prayer and consecration.
    Prophecies are often conditional like Jonah and the Ninevites.

    FR. Longnecker is pointng out that there is not evidence that these alleged prophecies came from God, so I am wondering how you can be so sure they did?
    Billy Graham was a good man, but what the heck was his wife saying about God aplogising to Sodom and Gomorrah? Christ was crucified for the sins of all, and God is infinately just – so why would he have to explain himself to Sodom and Gomorrah?

  • Victor

    Whow! Folks, I was going to skip this and go back and continue reading the rest of the original post cause there’s way too much to comment about here but “I” must at least compliment ya Friend about ya thanking Terry for visiting your blog while thinking that “IT” was awful White of ya! Truth be known, he/she may have probably read somewhere me making fun of ya being a former Evangelical, then an Anglican priest, now a Catholic priest. Anyway, I asked my “Jesus” what HE TAUGHT of me doing that and in so many quiet words said to my heart that, if he’s with U>S Catholics then he’s not against U>S butt then ya spoiled “IT” when you later said May the Lord bless you and keep you…far away from us. :)

    Come on Victor! Be fair cause he was probably thinking of that little retardo soul of yours when your Friend huttered those words butt ya still can’t take a hint can ya NOW?

    Anyway sinner vic! “IT” is important to me that he knows about what all of U>S (usual sinners) were thinking cause truth be known, nothing will be hidden in GOD (Good Old Dad) twenty first century Jet Eyes! :)

    As far as predictions are concerned as to the end of the world, I’ve always thought that and long story short, “IT” takes place every day for someone on earth but none of U>S should be afraid of “IT” cause my so called 7% “Jesus” Cells have promised me, myself and i that they will tell U>S of that date when they learn of “IT”. Hey folks! Every Body has at least “ONE” per sense, “I” mean 1% “Jesus Cells” in them weather they be male and/or fee male that is. Don’t worry about the old man NOW cause He’s a pussy cat if ya get my drift. Longer story short, He’s made out of LOVE and most who know LOVE will tell ya that “IT” believes everything NOW!
    I hear ya sinner vic! There lies all your problem Victor! Join U>S 92% godly cells and forget about that little retardo cell soul of yours and besides they took a pool and most humans don’t even believe in souls these days NOW!



    Go Figure brothers and sisters in Christ! :)


  • SteveD

    The list of prophecies apparently about our time is very long and surprisingly similar. I recommend the book ‘Trial, Tribulation and Triumph’ which uses only approved sources and provides a wealth of information and informed opinion.

  • Fr. Mike Santangelo

    So there IS a blessing for the czar!!!

  • Skay

    “but what the heck was his wife saying about God aplogising to Sodom and Gomorrah?
    Perhaps she was just commenting(a little tongue in cheek) about the “redefination of marriage” being pushed by leftists (including our President and sadly many Democrat “Catholics”) all over the world.

  • perryperry

    The writer is like one of those who missed Noah’s ark!!

  • perryperry

    Oh the Catholics take the flesh(bread) only the priests told us that the Body of Christ contain the flesh and blood while they take the flesh (bread) and blood (wine).

  • Geronimo Miguel

    I agree with you Scott Herbert; this Patheos is a liberal blog that trashes anything that sounds “conservative”; the “priest” who writes this garbage was brainwashed in the seminary
    into believing that the bible itself is a bunch of fairy tales.

  • Geronimo Miguel

    if Saint Malachy’s prophecies are not “approved” then why did the Vatican “publish” them in
    the 16th century; & why did they canonize Malachy; I’m sure this “priest” doesn’t care much
    for the teaching of Fatima and Lourdes either; a compadre of Fr. Longenecker thinks that this padre thinks Fatima and Lourdes emanated from folks with mental conditions; if he doesn’t like Fatima; why is he going to say anything good about Saint Malachy??

  • Geronimo Miguel

    the original document is in the Vatican archives and I have seen it. You don’t do much research do you padre??? the garbage you print is pretty damning (of you)

  • Joan

    Thank you for reminding me of my own graced journey from fundamentalism into the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I could not have said it better myself. I am so grateful to be a Catholic. And you are in my prayers.

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    You may have seen the original document by Wion from the 1590s but you did not see the original document by St Malachy from the 1140s because it doesn’t exist.

  • perryperry


  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    We pray for the dearly departed. We pray to saints. Prepositions are important.

  • Raphaela

    What makes me chuckle somewhat is why all these non-Catholics are reading a Catholic Priests blog – searching are we guys?? well, well done if you are, you’re on the right track searching for the one TRUE Catholic Faith. And, good luck to all you non- Catholics who seem to know so much information about the Catholic Faith! Would love an explanation of where you get your misinformed answers of our GOD made, not MAN made faith from. Jack – let me inform you of a fact – Fatima is not a conspiracy theory. It has been endorsed by FIVE Popes. As you know the Catholic Church does not put its stamp on something without major investigation. Plus, 70,000 people who witnessed the miracle of the sun can hardly be wrong. Please go and get yourself a proper Catholic book on Fatima and read the facts. God Bless you and keep you.

  • jean

    Thanks for the reply, I am Catholic and we receive Christ in both bread and wine as does the priest. Perhaps you misunderstood what the priest told you. The bread and wine are Christ in his entirety. One “species” or form is not greater thatn the other.

  • jean

    Thanks Raphaela, and the miralcel was published in newspapers of the time….

  • jean

    that kind of rubbish rots quickly…

  • jean

    Don’t get bitter – God has a sense of Humour.

  • enness

    I just love when other people insist upon telling us what we actually believe. :D

    Terry, I wouldn’t worry about where the vindicating verses are; I’d worry about whether any of that is true to begin with (hint: Nyet. Non. Nein. Nope. Huh-uh). Pull your head out of the Good Book for five seconds (gasp! I know) and open your eyes to the world and people around you, as they really exist, not as you have been taught to imagine them.

  • enness

    I don’t know specifically. I don’t really need to. They could have done both those things for any number of reasons without a private revelation being “approved.”

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    “I love when other people insist upon telling us what we actually believe”

    I agree. It happens to Catholics all the time. It’s kind of like telling another person you don’t know to pull his head out of the sand and open his eyes to the world and people as they really exist not as he has been taught to imagine them.

  • lyle

    I find it interesting that the prophecies given were from Catholic Priests and Malachy is not the only one, that the Catholics have the greatest problem with them. In fact all they need to do is read Daniel or Revelations to wake up.

  • enness

    That’s actually not true (about 30,000 denominations). It serves us well always to do our homework before spreading an assertion. I am being kind, I hope. :)

  • Nancy

    WE ARE in the end times. If you read up on our Lady of Garabandal, she appeared to 4 children in the 60′s.
    She told them of the last pope and the end times that were to come. She also told them about the Warning that is to come and then within a year the Miracle that is to happen. And if no one converts after this then we get the Chastisement. Look up Garabandal and read everything that our Lady told the children. THe main visionary Conchita knows the day of the Miracle and is to make an announcement to the Pope and the Pope will announce it to the world 8 days before it is to come. So get your souls in order because we do not know the day or the hour!



  • kevin slater

    monks dont become monks because the world is full of idiots. They follow the ASCETIC tradition. You clearly cant spell. By the way you are all deluded. All religious expression is a cultural phenomenon and we have reached a time when humanity no longer needs magic and folklore to explain the universe. Wake up and take responsibility for yourselves. If there is a god big and powerful enough to create the universe, She doesnt need your acknowledgement. Buy a good kids science book and get with the program lads.

  • kevin slater

    I am sure you are aware that the doctrine of trans-substantiation has been quietly done away with. That doctrine says that the elements of communion are changed into actual flesh and blood at the moment of consecration.
    The Roman catechism now refers to trans-signification. This says that the substance of the bread and wine remain unaltered and that only their significance has changed. A subtle and probably irrelevant difference for most catholics but massively revolutionary and undeniably Reformist. Step inthe right direction if you ask me!

  • Tammy

    I thought we asked the saints to pray for us…..and others…..If someones body dies and our souls live forever..and we are the body of christ….this means that those souls are still living….we are not asking dead to pray for us we are asking our fellow christians to pray for us, just like you ask your family and friends to pray for you and others

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    You don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • hector

    I am a Catholic by the rights Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion. I left my church for almost 30 years. A self proclaimed spiritual quarrel with my Father and the Church. I have since returned home. I do not regret my path but I do regret the time I wasted in anger and false blame against my family which is the Holy Roman Catholic Church. I don’t believe one must cut off one’s hand because one used one’s hand to commit a crime (respectfully disagree our Lord and with Matthew) I severed myself from the body that is my spiritual foundation. But it saddens me to come back to see the continued fascination and pre-occupation with mysticism, soothsaying and prophecy. No one knows the day or time of God’s will. So just rest assured in his wisdom and love. All things will come to pass brothers and sister in God’s time. No need to spend your time trying to divine his will just focus on acts of kindness, mercy and love. At least this is what I learned from my time wandering through my spiritual wilderness… For that I thank you Father.

  • JS

    No offense, but you are the deluded one. And you yourself will recognize the delusion soon enough.

  • Fr.Kurianmathew

    I am happy to offer my comment. It is great that 104 have already read this and considered the parusia more or less gives me an additional incentive to be ready for the hopeful event