Mar 222013

This discussion started earlier this evening when my husband and I argued about the number of Popes since the year we were born.  (Seven, by the way.)

We are both total information nerds, and frequently have these kinds of discussions—which are easily answered by a quick look at the Net.  I scanned the list of Popes and these 55-year-old eyes caught what I thought was “Pope Interface.”  Nah, it was Pope Innocent and Pope Boniface next to each other.

However, Hubs said, “Well, that was one Pope who connected well with the people.”

Now we have a new Pope, a holy Father who is the latest in a long line of men back to Peter, whom Jesus dubbed the “Rock.”

Hanging over the new pontiff’s head is the vision of Saint Malachy, an archbishop who lived between 1094 and 1148.  According to “The Catholic Times,” Saint Malachy reportedly travelled to Rome in 1139 where he had a vision of future popes.  The Times reported that the saint “wrote down a series of 112 cryptic phrases that described each one in turn.”

This prophesy is interpreted to mean that our new pope is the last pope.

Holy Nostradamus, Batman!

Ever since I was a teen-ager and the book “The Late Great Planet Earth” came out, I’ve been baffled and mystified by prophesy.  Prophets and rumors of prophets are a part of human history — sacred books like the Old Testament, the Quran and other religious writing foretell future events. (We all know how Pompeii and the flood turned out, so that Distant Early Warning system wasn’t all that effective.)

What most mystifies me about prophesy is not the document itself, but the interpretation of it.

I don’t necessarily believe in speaking in tongues, but I know some people do.  The intepretation of Saint Malachy’s 112 statements about future popes, written “cryptically” as “The Catholic Times” described leaves a lot to the imagination, in my humble opinion.

This particular prophesy outlines the 112th pope after the time of Malachy as “Petrus Romanus” or Peter the Roman.  Before the recent conclave and selection of Francis I, prophesy fanatics cast an eye on Ghana’s cardinal Peter Turkson, who was considered one of the leading candidates for the position.

Line 112 reads “In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Petrus Romanus, who will feed his flock amid many tribulations; after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the dreadful judge will judge the people.”

Scholars and clerics have debunked these prophesies, and some figure that Malachy may have invented his vision to boost his image and potential rise in the church hierarchy.

So if the end is near it is probably an asteroid.  I heard last week that we’re getting a drive-by in 2022 with a close encounter of the worst kind in 2037.

Will scholars and clerics will someday unearth my gibberish and find secret portentions in my cryptic writings?

“What was this Raven Lunatic?”

Will word archeologists of the future determine that the phrase “fat pants” has some celestial meaning?

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