Pope Benedict’s sudden resignation has stunned the world, and pundits are searching for motivations beyond his plea of old age. To complicate matters, there’s also a strange 900-year-old prophecy involved.
According to a famous prophecy made by St Malachy in the 12th century, there would be 112 more popes. Pope Benedict, who resigned, was the 111th. And whoever is elected Pope in the next few days will be the 112th. During the papacy of this final pope, says the prophecy, Rome—and the Church—will be wiped out! To quote its ominous words: “The City of Seven Hills shall be destroyed, and the dreadful Judge shall judge the people.”
Rubbish, one might say. We’ve heard a lot of lunatic Doomsday predictions, and the Mayan prophecy is still fresh in our minds. But this time there’s one small difference: St Malachy actually described each of the 111 popes till date with eerie accuracy, summing up each one with a vivid Latin phrase. And so far he’s never been wrong.
For example, he described Pope Paul VI...