I am disturbed and angered that some Catholics - who should know better - are linking Benedict XVI, our Pope Emeritus, to so-called "prophecies" which predict the Apocalypse, Armageddon, and The Last Judgment -- even casting him in the role of the Antichrist -- thus making Benedict XVI the indirect source of future evil, terror and confusion.
Let me make myself clear about this: Shame on any Catholic who engages in this sinful (yes, I did write sinful) and degrading speculation which damages the reputation and accomplishments of our Pope Emeritus. Drop it; confess it; and never bring it up again.
Men Of Saint Joseph meetings in Hicksville, New York this week and last week, some of the guys were asking about the so-called "Prophecy Of Saint Malachy" concerning Popes and especially the final Pope.
Saint Malachy was the archbishop of Armagh, Ireland in the 1100s. The "Prophecy" Of Saint Malachy was supposedly "discovered" in 1590 (notice the 490 year gap between its supposed date of origin and the date it was conveniently "discovered." Where was it all that time? On sabbatical?).
There are 112 "mottoes" (now called "prophecies" by some people). Each one briefly, cryptically describes each of the future Popes. The last Pope "prophesied" about will supposedly guide the Church through apocalyptic tribulations, culminating with the Last Judgment.
I am sorry to break the news to you Malachy groupies:
In his wonderfully detailed and informative post, How Reliable Is The St. Malachy Prophecy?, Jimmy Aikin says (and I agree with him 100%), "There is also another factor weighing against the St. Malachy prophecy: What is it supposed to do? How is it supposed to help us? God does not give revelations to satisfy our curiosity, but that seems precisely what the prophecy of the Popes is designed to do. ... There is almost nothing in the prophecy that could provide a plan of action or guidance in how to live the Christian faith in particular periods ... ."
Jimmy Aiken concludes thusly: "I try to take seriously St. Paul’s exhortation: “do not despise prophesying, but test everything; hold fast to what is good” (1 Thess. 5:20-21). I am not unfriendly to prophecies, and I have as much curiosity about the future as anyone. But in the case of the St. Malachy prophecy of the Popes, I am afraid that it does not appear credible, from either a historical or a theological perspective: It is an unapproved, alleged private revelation. It cannot be shown to have existed before 1590. The predictions it makes for the period before 1590 are markedly better than those it makes after 1590. Contrary to the nature of revelation (both public and private), it has virtually no practical value. It speaks of antipopes as if they are Popes and even speaks positively of some. It encourages calculations regarding the end of the world."
John Zmirak (author of The Bad Catholics Guide to the Catechism, who blogs at The Bad Catholics Bingo Hall), wrote a mildly acerbic but insightful post on peoples' predilection for all-things-apocalyptic: The Apocalypse Cow: Why Do We Keep Milking It?
Zmirak writes, "There’s another, sadder reason why we crave signs and wonders, skipping lightly over works of mercy or Eucharistic adoration to go visit some dubious site of the Blessed Virgin’s Twitter account: We aren’t sure God exists. We don’t fully believe in the afterlife, or spiritual beings, and we’d really like some proof in the form of a miracle that we aren’t deluding ourselves. ...When we line up alongside the Telemundo [TV] trucks to see the quesadilla with Jesus’ face, each of us is doing the same: Begging for evidence that the spiritual world exists, that the life we are slogging through is not a “snuff” farce whose curtain drops with the grave. When we really go off the rails, we might find ourselves sneaking into séances, or asking young women from California to teach us how to 'channel.' In search of the shadow of God, we can plunge into a darkness that’s all too real."
Also, please add to your knowledge about this topic by viewing the video featured below. It is from ChurchMilitant.TV, featuring Michael Voris hosting his series "The Vortex."
Michael Voris is right on the money concerning Catholics who are "into" Saint Malachy's "Prophecy" or any other idiotic apocalyptic predictions (yes, I did write "idiotic"). I'm presenting his video here because Michael Voris says exactly what I want to say to all of our Catholic "apocalypse junkies."
I direct your attention to the video below -- from your beloved Academy's School Of The Video Arts -- wherein you may view our magnificent production of epic catechesis, Doomsday For Dummies (A Catholic Nine Minute Guide).
If you have been privately or publicly engaged in linking Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to "prophecies" of the Apocalypse, the Last Judgment, free gasoline from Satan, etc., please heed my advice: Stop it right now. Throw away the books or magazine articles concerning these superstitious pursuits. Stop visiting any website promoting these falsehoods.
Stop insulting dear Papa Benedict. Stop treating him like some disgraceful celebrity you'd find humiliated in the pages of The National Enquirer.
As I stated above, shame on any Catholic who engages in this sinful and degrading speculation which damages the reputation and accomplishments of our Pope Emeritus. Drop it; confess it; and never bring it up again.