Was the sudden resignation of Pope Benedict XVI predicted in papal prophecy?
Stating health and age as reasons for his sudden resignation, 85-year-old German-born Pope Benedict XVI made his surprise announcement on Monday, becoming the first pope in more than 700 years to step down from the papacy. The last pope to step down willingly was Celestine V in 1294.
While Pope Benedict’s sudden announcement sent shock waves through the Church, an article by Jerome Corsi in WND Faith reports that the authors of the book, “Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope is Here,” predicted that Pope Benedict would “resign for health reasons” sometime in either 2012 or 2013. Co-authors Tom Horn and Cris Putnam based their prediction on a 900-year-old papal prophecy known as the “Prophecy of the Popes” in combination with “a host of historical and current information.”
The Prophecy of the Popes “is a series of 112 short, cryptic phrases in Latin which purport to predict the Roman Catholic popes (along with a few antipopes), beginning with Pope Celestine II” according to Wikipedia. The prophecies have been attributed to Saint Malachy, a 12th-century Archbishop and saint who supposedly received descriptions of the 112 popes in a prophetic vision. According to legend, St. Malachy warned there would be a “final pope,” known as Peter the Roman (Petrus Romanus), who would bring about the destruction of Rome as well as the beginning of the Apocalypse.
There is conjecture regarding the Prophecy of the Popes, however. Although the prophetic list was said to have been compiled in the 12th century by St. Malachy, there is no mention of it in any scholarly articles prior to 1595, when it was published. Publication is attributed to a Benedictine monk by the name of Arnold de Wyon, who gave credit for the prophecies to St. Malachy. Supposedly the original Prophecy of the Popes was placed in the Vatican Archives where it was forgotten until its discovery in 1590. Confusing the matter more, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, a French abbot and central biographer of St. Malachy (“The Life of St. Malachy”) did not mention the prophecies in his writings.
According to the WND article, Horn and Putnam say they “took a critical view of the Prophecy of the Popes and determined that the first part of it, the first 70 or so predictions, probably was altered in the late 16th century,” which would correspond to the timing of publication by Arnold de Wyon.
“It appears that somebody had altered the original medieval document from 1590 backward to promote a particular cardinal to the College of Cardinals to be the fulfillment of what at that time was still a secret list of popes,” Horn explained. Because of this tinkering, the co-authors “disregard everything pre-1595 as partly or fully tainted,” but consider the post-1595 prophecies open for scrutiny and interpretation.
Based on interpretation, Pope Benedict XVI could be viewed as fitting the description of the second-to-last pope (111th) before Petrus Romanus. Malachy described the 111th pope as “Gloria Olivae,” or “Glory of the Olive.” Although not a Benedictine, Pope Benedict XVI took the name Benedict in honor of the Founder of the Order of Saint Benedict, also known as the Olivetans.
So will the next pope be the last pope, and will he become Petrus Romanus (Peter the Roman)? According to latest news reports regarding papal successors, the leading candidate appears to be Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, the current president of the Pontiff Council for Justice and Peace. Not exactly Peter the Roman, or is he? Fellow cardinals have given Turkson the nickname, “Peter the Roman.”
Could there be some truth to the legend of the Prophecy of the Popes, or have the “end of the world” theories of 2012 transformed themselves into a new form in 2013 with the Prophecy of the Popes? Oddly, just hours after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, a large bolt of lightning struck the top of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
Link to article in print on GCN: http://www.gcnlive.com/wp/2013/02/15/barb-adams-petrus-romanus/
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