Although a Roman Catholic pope had not stepped down in nearly 600 years, the startling resignation of Pope Benedict XVI was predicted by the co-authors of a book published last spring about a medieval prophecy that the next pontiff will be the last.
In “Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope is Here,” co-authors Tom Horn and Cris Putnam examine St. Malachy’s “Prophecy of the Popes,” said to be based on his prophetic vision of the next 112 popes, beginning with Pope Celestine II, who died in 1144. Malachy presented a description of each pope, culminating with the “final pope,” “Peter the Roman,” whose reign would end with the destruction of Rome and judgment.
“We took ‘The Prophecy of the Popes,’ we took what was happening in Italian media, and we determined, based on a great deal of information, that Pope Benedict would likely step down, citing health reasons, in 2012 or 2013,” he said.
Interestingly, a leading candidate is Cardinal Tarcisio Pietro Evasio Bertone, the Cardinal secretary of state, who was born in Romano, Italy. His name could, therefore, be rendered Peter the Roman.
Another Peter on the list is a black African, Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, the current president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
Pope John Paul II was stubborn and probably should have retired from the post as Pope before he died as his health was deteriorating in his old age. That Pope Benedict may just be more reasonable and understand that he should step down if he’s not up for the job health-wise doesn’t prove anything. Or, he is up to his eyeballs in legal trouble. Whatever the real reason(s), this piece trawls for bits of info that can feed into the prophecy by Malachy. Does it have any merit? Doubtful. It’s vague and retrofitted just like other prophecies. Will the next Pope be the last? Who knows? Maybe. Things aren’t looking so rosy there regardless of any prophecy. Authors are looking to cash in on the fear.
Who’s up for some ex-Benedict for Sunday Brunch?