Is the Pope's last day the beginning of the end of the world?
Today is Pope Benedict XVI's last day as head of the Catholic church and the Cardinals of the world are starting to descend on the Vatican to start the complicated process of selecting a new Pope. I have to confess right now that I'm a little worried. Even though I'm not a superstitious person, I have a profound respect for Nostradamus' prophecies as well as Saint Malachy's predicitions, which both say that we'd be going through the election of the last heir to St. Peter's, the last Pope who will according to prophecies, bring about the destruction of Rome ... and pretty much the world as we know it.
Of course, many scholars say that interpretations all vary greatly and all depend on how you read and apply them to events, just as what supposedly happened to the Mayan civilization. Now, I don't know if it's because of the deep influence nuns had in my life, but from the moment I woke up, I've been getting chills down my spine from thinking about all this!
Saint Malachy rose to notoriety in1595 when he published his prophecies which heralded many events and even names of future Pontiffs, up until the one he said would be the last Pope ever. His book is composed of 112 phrases, that are supposed to correspond to each Pope since his time. Pope John Paul II was number 110, and he was described as: "...Of the sun's labor," and Benedict XVI is "Glory of the olive."
Read more ¿Qué más? : Pope announces resignation, leaves Catholic church shocked
With the arrival of the next Pope, everything changes, according to the prophecies. The writings about the next Pope are the last, and they imply some apocalyptic event, defining this last pontiff as "Peter the Roman." The verses that go with this Pope affirm that this will be the Pope under whose rule the "city of the seven hills [Rome] will be destroyed," predicting in this way the end of the Catholic Church and, quite possibly, of humanity itself. I have to note, though, that in those times, the end of Catholicism actually meant the end of the world.
Nostradamus, also, has been on point with many of his own prophecies, but in the case of the current Pope, his predictions have not come true. The doctor and prophet said that Pope number 111, Benedict XVI, would die murdered and that his successor would be a black man who will have to flee Rome because of a Muslim invasion. After he flees, the Catholic Church's headquarters would have to move to another country, and this would signal the end of the world. In our modern day context, this sounds a lot like a terrorist attack, but I really hope it's all just Nostradamus' vivid imagination.
He also added that another sign of the end of times would be the selection of a black Pope. We can take this literally: Among the possible candidates to succeed Pope Benedict XVI there are two African cardinals. Or he could have been referring to a Pope who will bring shame to the Church. What greater darkness than the horrible child abuse scandals of recent times?
The Vatican has said that they hope there will be a new Pontiff in place before Holy Week, which starts March 24 with Palm Sunday. If an African Pope is indeed chosen or the next Pontiff chooses the name "Peter," you'll see me accumulating food and supplies so that I can have a semi-decent end of the world experience. If not, we'll have to wait and see if the prophecy meant "black" figuratively, as in evil. In the end, though, it wouldn't be such a bad thing if this next Pope reforms the stale Catholic church--it honestly needs it badly. And maybe this is all that this end-of-times was referring to: a deep change in all the states and affairs of the Church as it is today.
Image via Getty Images