St. Malachy’s Prophecy of the Last Pope
The rumors are everywhere! The talk shows, the Internet, and the prophecy newsletters are all abuzz with the same question: Will Pope Francis be the last pope? So, where did all these rumors come from?
St. Malachy was the Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland. He claimed he experienced a vision while visiting Rome in 1139 AD. He said he saw every pope that would exist from the time of his vision until the last pope. The last pope would be the 112th from the time of his vision. Malachy also stated that God would judge His people and the city of Rome would be destroyed during the reign of the last pope. In Malachy’s vision, a clue was given as to the identity of each pope, including the 112th one. The clue for the 112th pope was “Peter the Roman”.
St. Malachy wrote his vision of the popes down, and it is believed the manuscript was given to Pope Innocent II. The prophecy of the popes was then deposited in the Vatican Secret Archives and forgotten until its rediscovery in 1590. Malachy’s vision was then published in 1595 and has circulated on and off ever since.
It was not until 2005 that Malachy’s prophecies began to attract a lot of attention. Pope John Paul II was on his deathbed. Someone noticed that he was the 110th pope from Malachy’s time. That meant the next pope would be the 111th and then, if Malachy’s prophecy were true, the 112th pope would be the last pope. To some that meant the end of the world would then come.
When John Paul II died on April 2, 2005, articles were written pointing out that the pope who would replace John Paul II would be the 111th pope. An article entitled “Only One More Pope?” was published on April 18, the day before the election of the new pope. In this article, the author, Anvar Alikhany, (Rediff.com) wrote the following: “The next Pope, whose name will be announced shortly, is described in the prophecies as Gloria Olivae, or ‘The glory of the olive.’ What exactly does this clue mean? We cannot tell as yet. Some believe that it means he will come from the Benedictine order, which is symbolized by the olive. Others argue that the olive signifies Israel. As in the case of many prophets and seers, St Malachy’s clues often become clear to us only after the fact.”
Alikhany’s article continued, “As the College of Cardinals works feverishly to elect the successor to Pope John Paul II over the next few days, they will have to wrestle with various criteria — political, organizational, theological and moral. And to make things more complicated, they may also want to make sure that, in order to forestall any further doom saying, whoever they choose has absolutely nothing to do with the words ‘The glory of the olive.’ But with these things you can never really tell: the description often manifests itself only much later.”
On April 19, the very next day after Alikhany’s article, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany was elected as the new pope. Everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief. After all, there was no such thing as a “Ratzinger olive”. It looked like the St. Malachy prophecy had failed.
However, Ratzinger announced the name under which he would occupy the papacy—Benedict XVI. There is always a reason behind the names that new popes choose to reign under. So, why Benedict?
The original Benedict became the founder of the Benedictine order, one of the most prominent orders in the Roman Catholic Church. And the symbol of the Benedictine order? The olive! Now Malachy’s prophecy seemed more credible than ever!
Benedict XVI was 78 years of age when he began his papacy. Because of his advanced age, it was obvious that his reign as the Bishop of Rome could not last too long. Everyone understood the next pope, according to St. Malachy, would be the last pope. Malachy also said the church would be judged, Rome would be destroyed, and implied that the end of the world would come during this final papacy. The question on everyone’s mind was: How long till the 112th pope?
Pope Benedict Resigns
On February 11, 2013, Pope Benedict shocked the world by announcing his intention to resign from the papacy. This was the first resignation of a pope while in office in over 600 years. Benedict said that, at the age of 85, he no longer had the strength to execute the duties of leading the Roman Catholic Church.
It was time to elect the 112th pope foretold in the vision of St. Malachy!
The speculation concerning who would ascend to the Chair of Peter was unprecedented. The clue given for the identity of the last pope in the Malachy vision was “Peter the Roman.” Two of the top ten likely candidates for the papacy had names containing the name Peter. One of them was Tarcisio Pietro Evasio Bertone, born in Romano Canavese, Italy and serving as Vatican Secretary of State since 2006. Peter from Romano? Many thought that surely this would be the final pope.
Preparing to Choose a New Pope
The Cardinals all descended upon Rome for the pending conclave. Preliminary discussions were held among them as to what kind of pope was needed at this particular juncture of the church.
The horrible problem of sexual abuse by priests just wouldn’t go away. Who could successfully deal with that?
Pope Benedict’s butler had seen so much corruption in the Vatican that he decided to pass some 1,000 of the pope’s most sensitive documents to an Italian journalist who then published the documents for the world to see. The butler said he meant no harm to Pope Benedict, but felt the church desperately needed to be purged of the corruption that he had witnessed at the highest levels.
Then there was the dramatic decline in church income because of the shaken confidence produced by all the sexual scandals. Several billion dollars had been paid out from church funds just to settle the sexual abuse lawsuits.
The 112th Pope
On March 12, 2013, the Cardinals entered the Vatican, and doors were locked. Would this be a long conclave or a short one? No one knew.
The first papal ballot was taken that afternoon. Soon black smoke emanated from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel. No pope was elected.
On March 13, two votes were taken in the morning. Again, black smoke…no election. After lunch, the Cardinals were to cast two more ballots. What was going on inside the Sistine Chapel? No one outside knew. Total secrecy was enforced.
The afternoon session continued late into the evening. No smoke—white or black. Because the signal was delayed so long, some began to speculate that a pope had been chosen. Finally, the white smoke billowed out of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel. Soon thereafter, the announcement was made, “Habemus Papam”. We have a pope!
Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?
Overlooking St. Peter’s Square, the announcement was made that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina had been elected pope. His father was an Italian who moved to Argentina. Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires on December 17, 1936. From 1973 to 1979 he was Argentina’s Provincial superior of the Society of Jesus, became Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, and was created cardinal in 2001.
He was 76 years of age when elected pope and chose to take the name Pope Francis for his papal name. Francis is the first non-European pope and the first pope ever elected from the Jesuit order.
Since becoming a priest, Bergoglio has been especially known for living a humble life and ministering to the poor. While Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he refused to live in the elegant bishop residence, choosing rather to live in a small apartment. He declined the use of the normal archbishop’s limousine, instead riding the bus to his office each day.
As soon as Bergoglio was elected, it became obvious that he intended to continue living his frugal and humble lifestyle as pope. When it was time to present him to the crowd waiting in St. Peter’s Square and to the world, he declined to step up on the platform provided for him. Instead, he said to the other prelates, “I’ll stay down here with you.”
Before he bestowed the traditional papal blessing on the crowd below, he asked them first of all to pray for him. A few days later during Easter week, he washed the feet of twelve young inmates in a nearby prison, including two female prisoners and a Muslim. This kind of condescension was shocking to the hierarchy of the church, but played very well to the new pope’s worldwide audience.
Then Pope Francis decided that he would not reside in the papal residence used by his predecessors since 1903. Instead, he would make his home in the much more modest Vatican guesthouse.
It immediately became apparent to all that this was going to be a much different pope. Pope Francis—a name never taken by a pope before, washing the feet of common prisoners, and refusing to live in the papal palace. Had the cardinals gotten more than they had bargained for? Only time would tell!
The First Jesuit Pope
Ignatius of Loyola founded the Jesuits in 1534 AD. The Jesuits, also known as the Society of Jesus, took a vow of absolute obedience to the pope. Rule 13 of Ignatius’ Rules for Thinking with the Church said: “That we may be altogether of the same mind and in conformity…if the Church shall have defined anything to be black which to our eyes appears to be white, we ought in like manner to pronounce it to be black.”
One of the original purposes of the Jesuits was to stem the tide of the reformation. The Jesuit order eventually grew until it became the largest order in the Catholic Church. The Society of Jesus was also known as the “pope’s marines”.
In more recent times, the doctrine of Liberation Theology has been embraced by much of the Jesuit order. Liberation Theology teaches that if Jesus were on earth today, He would be a Marxist. He would take from the rich and give to the poor.
During the 1960s and 1970s, many young Jesuit priests embraced Liberation Theology. The movement especially took root in Nicaragua and throughout South America. The idea was actually promoted in Jesuit schools that “to be a Christian today, one must also be a revolutionary.” Consequently, many priests actually laid aside their priestly garments, exchanging them for machine guns. During this time, many of the priests ended up in government as they sought to enthrone Marxism under the guise of “social justice”.
To understand the role of South American Jesuits in the promotion of Marxism is important at this time because Pope Francis is a South American Jesuit and is an avid promoter of social justice, which is Marxism.
Pope Francis: Head of the Jesuit Order in Argentina
Pope Francis has been a Jesuit for more than 40 years. So Jesuit history is his history.
Francis led the Jesuits in Argentina from 1973 to 1979, a period during which the order was essentially feuding with the Vatican. The pope at the time, Paul VI, accused the Jesuits of “loose discipline.” He thought the superior general of the Jesuits, Fr. Pedro Arrupe, should have been cracking down on his priests in Latin America who were practicing Liberation Theology.
Francis (then Bergoglio) would’ve followed the conflict closely, and seems to have split the difference between the two sides. He criticized Liberation Theology for its Marxist roots but embraced its ethic of “a preferential option for the poor.” As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he raised awareness of poverty and spoke about social justice.
Pope Francis’ outward simplicity hides a steely determination to advance Jesuit principles, especially on the importance of traditional Catholic teachings and protection of the poor and the oppressed.
That determination emerged during Bergoglio’s service as the top Jesuit leader of Argentina beginning in 1973. It was said of him, “He was a tough guy who made sure his men toed the mark.”
“I think you’ll find a man who is conservative theologically but very strong on matters of social justice,” one of his associates said.
Does the Bible Agree with the Prophecy of Malachy?
The prophecy of St. Malachy contains five elements:
- There is going to be a final pope.
- During his reign, the Roman Catholic Church will be judged.
- During his papacy, Rome, the city of seven hills, will be destroyed.
- The last pope will be the 112th pope from 1139 AD.
- The clue to his identity is “Peter the Roman”.
The prophecies of the Bible perfectly agree with the first three points of the Malachy prophecy. The Bible foretells that there will be a final pope. It’s states that judgment will be poured out on the Roman Church during the reign of the last pope. And the scriptures graphically portray the destruction of Rome, the city of seven hills, during the reign of the final pope.
How Do the Bible’s Prophecies Differ from Malachy?
The scriptures do not say several things that the prophecy of Malachy says about the final pope. They also give us much more information about the last pope than Malachy gave. The differences are as follows:
- The Bible states that a final pope is coming. However, it does not say he will be the 112th pope from 1139 AD.
- The scriptures say nothing about “Peter the Roman”.
- The Bible says the last pope will be in alliance with the world’s last political leader – the Antichrist.
- The scriptures call the last pope the False Prophet.
- The biblical prophecies say the final pope will perform many signs and lying wonders, even pulling down fire from heaven. These miracles will be used to deceive the people of the world.
- The final pope will influence the world to give their allegiance to the Antichrist and his one-world government.
- The False Prophet will endorse a program of global socialism, causing all people to receive a mark or number that will be required for buying and selling. This “Mark of the Beast” will apparently be a global scheme for wealth redistribution (social justice).
- The Second Coming of Jesus will end the reign of the Antichrist and the False Prophet. At that time they will both be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20).
Will Pope Francis be the False Prophet?
There are some factors that seem to indicate Pope Francis could well be the False Prophet while others would argue against it.
1. The Holy Roman Empire, which will be in power during the reign of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, was reborn on November 3, 2009. (See Endtime’s DVD, Holy Roman Empire Reborn).
2. We are moving into a system of global governance right now through the process of globalization.
3. Most of the world is presently rejecting capitalism and embracing socialism.
4. All the prophecies that are to occur during the reign of the Antichrist and the False Prophet are shaping up at this time. (See Endtime’s DVD series, Understanding the Endtime).
5. Pope Francis is a strong proponent of “social justice”, which is simply a politically correct term for socialism.
6. Pope Francis’ lifestyle of humility and simplicity is causing him to become very popular very quickly.
7. Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope ever.
The biggest factor against Pope Francis fulfilling the Bible’s prophecies about the False Prophet is his age.
There is a seven-year period that will begin upon the signing of a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement. The reign of the Antichrist and the False Prophet will be terminated at the end of this seven-year period. If the final seven years started next year, which doesn’t appear likely at this time, the pope would be 84 at the time of Armageddon. If the final seven years begins in two or three years, the pope would be even older by the time all of the prophesied world events culminated. Although it’s not impossible that the False Prophet could fulfill his prophesied role at the age of 86 or 87, it doesn’t appear likely.
Outside of the age factor, it appears that Pope Francis, with his strong embrace of social justice, could qualify as the last pope. If Malachy’s prophecy that the 112th pope will be the last pope is true, then Francis is definitely the False Prophet. However, we must remember that the Bible doesn’t say this, and the Bible must always be our final authority, not Malachy.
The bottom line is that we can’t yet say for sure whether this pope is the final one or whether a future pope will fulfill that role. We will just have to wait and see how events develop. But it certainly is going to be interesting, isn’t it?
LETTER OF THE HOLY FATHER
TO FATHER GENERAL OF THE JESUITS
Vatican, 16 March 2013
Dear Father Nicolás,
I received with great joy the kind letter you sent me, in your name and that of the Society of Jesus, on the occasion of my election to the See of Peter, in which you assure me of your prayers for me and my apostolic ministry as well as your full disposition to continue serving – unconditionally – the Church and the Vicar of Christ according to the teachings of St. Ignatius Loyola.
My heartfelt thanks for this sign of affection and closeness, which I am happy to reciprocate, asking the Lord to illuminate and accompany all Jesuits, so that faithful to the charism received and following in the footsteps of the saints of our beloved Order, they may be evangelical leaven in the world in their pastoral action, but above all in the witness of a life totally dedicated to the service of the Church, the Spouse of Christ, seeking unceasingly the glory of God and the good of souls.
With these sentiments, I ask all Jesuits to pray for me and to entrust me to the loving protection of the Virgin Mary, our Mother in heaven, while as a sign of God’s abundant graces, I give you the Apostolic Blessing with special affection, which I also extend to all those who cooperate with the Society of Jesus in her activities, those who benefit from her good deeds and participate in her spirituality.
By Irvin Baxter