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Sunday 24 April 2005

More Pope Stuff - I like saints

St. Malachy, hundreds of years ago had some prophesies about all the popes. He gave them all nicknames. And then after they ran, out, why, that would be the end of everything. We're on the last one right now.

Gloria olivæ
The Benedictine order traditionally said this Pope would come from their order, since a branch of the Benedictine order is called the Olivetans. St Benedict is said to have prophesied that before the end of the world, a member of his order would be Pope and would triumphantly lead the Church in its fight against evil. While the Holy Father chose the name "Benedict", this does not seem enough to fulfil the prophecy. Nor is it clear how Benedict XVI (a Bavarian) is "Glory of the Olives". Since he is said to have remarked in the Conclave after saying he would take the name Benedict that it was partly to honour Benedict XV, a pope of peace and reconciliation, perhaps Benedict XVI will be a peacemaker in the Church or in the World, and thus carry the olive branch.

In like 1998, one person posted a long long long speculation of what this running out of popes might mean. He gives a bunch of scenarios. My favorite:

A possible scenario, but the most distasteful for the Catholic Church, is that the original prophecies of St. Malachy (111 popes) are correct and at the passing of John Paul II the college of Cardinals elects a Pope who is not a true believer and he becomes the false Prophet. This could be devastating to the Catholic believers between the election of the Gloria Olivae Pope and the Rapture. This would indicate that the prophecies of Malachy were not from the Lord. If he (the Gloria Olivae) is a false pope, it will be extremely detrimental to the marginal or carnal Christians. A large portion of the Catholics (968 million) will accept the Gloria Olivae Pope as the Vicar of Christ and if he is the false prophet, he will turn them to the Antichrist and indicate he (the Antichrist) is the Savior of the world. This would be the False Religion of Revelation 17, Babylon the Harlot.

Now, I'm note really down with all of this "the rapture is coming stuff." But I did find myself wondering the other day if the Pope even believed in God. I mean, what if you were a priest and lost your faith? You can't just quit. The reason I wonder this is because his faith seems to mean spirited and exclusionary and so willing to let others suffer for doctrinally shaky points, like condoms being bad. I always thought faith was bout doing good, rather than pointing out bad in others. You know, mote in your eye, plank in mine. Although Jesus did say a bunch of screwed up, mean things. so maybe he believes in the mean Jesus.

The last pope was highly concerned that George Bush might be the anti-christ. (No, I'm not making this up.) The new pope was the instigator of the Kerry being denied communion scandal. He issued a letter saying that it would be evil for Catholics to vote for Kerry. You can't pick a single deciding factor for an election, but without this guy, Bush would have lost. (No, I'm not making this up.) So, if Bush is the antichrist, and Benedict (who picked a name fitting to a prophesy he was certainly aware of) steered people towards Bush, then the rapture is coming and all of us secular humanists are doomed. (It also means that all of the new pope's gay-baiting is actually the work of Satan, so maybe we're less doomed than you'd think.)

The problem with this "interpretation" is that it has a saint receiving prophesy from Satan. Saints don't usually relay words from the devil as that does tend to disqualify them from sainthood. But this guy was sainted so long ago, maybe they did less checking back then. Also, why should the rapture be all at once? What if it's just the slow death of faith?

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