Well, here we go. The announcement of the resignation of Pope Benedict was caused somewhat of an explosion with the prophecy-sphere of eschatological conspiracy-theorizing and speculation. What of St. Malachy’s prophecy? Does this mean the final pope is here? How did the authors of Petrus Romanus know that the Pope would resign?
The answer to these questions is as follows: St. Malachy’s prophecy is a proven fraud. The next pope is not likely to be the final pope. And for well over two years now, long before Petrus Romanus was written, there has been talk of the Pope resigning. See for example here, where there was public talk of his resignation as late 2011. In fact, Benedict’s brother, George Ratzinger, also a priest, suggested last year that the Pope might retire at age 85. And Benedict, himself even made a case for papal resignation in a book titled, “Light of the World” published back in 2010. Despite the bold claims of the authors of Petrus Romanus, nowhere in the book do they ever actually predict the Pope would resign. What they do (see page 59) is simply cite some of the previous discussions that were in the news concerning the Pope stepping down, and strongly speculate that this might take place in 2012. 2012 of course, was the target date set by the authors for the revealing of the Antichrist or the False Prophet. Next on their agenda: To show how the Vatican is planning on ushering in an alien Antichrist.
I want to be clear that my point is not to personally attack the authors of these works, but to simply call on responsible Christians not to engage in the kind of silly and rampant speculation that revolves almost entirely around conspiracy theories, sectarian polemics, and extra-Biblical pseudo-prophecies. It truly saddens me to see so many widely known prophecy teachers openly support the theories in these books. Along these lines, an interesting observation was made by my friend Ray Gano of Prophezine. Gano pointed out that virtually all of the more well known prophecy teachers who are supporting the Petrus Romanus theory are pre-tribulationalists. Now think this through. Pre-tribulational Dispensationalism has always been firm that the Antichrist and False Prophet will not be revealed before the rapture. Now, the next Pope, which they are claiming will be the False Prophet of Revelation 13, is said to be installed as soon as next month. So if the Pope is installed, then either he is not the False Prophet, or the rapture is not pre-tribulational. Take your pick. It seems that many of these pre-tribulational supporters of the Petrus Romanus theory have cast themselves into a genuinely sticky wicket.
In conclusion, my appeal again to all who read this blog, is to please be responsible Christians. The urgency of the hour demands sobriety, not engaging in foolish speculations.
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. —1 Peter 4:7-8