j. l. navarro

The Last Pope

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It is widely believed that the last pope of the Catholic Church will succeed Pope Benedict XVI.  Many people believe that we are in "the end times."  That the signs are all around us.  St. Malachy, (d. 1148) Irish Bishop and Seer, produced an accurate list of future popes which began with Pope Celestine II in the year 1143. His list consists of a single line which gives a clue to the characteristics of each pope. From this list of 112 popes there is to be just one more after Pope Benedict XVI.  His predictions regarding the popes have been for the most part pretty accurate regarding the identifying characteristics that each line reveals. St. Malachy doesn't give any predictions or information about what happens after the last  pope. However, according to other seers, we will have arrived at the end times.

I find it interesting that many Catholics are still in the dark about this series of prophesies.  For instance, in the May 23, 2005 issue of Time magazine, Elizabeth Woods of Niagara Falls, N. Y., writes:  "One must question the wisdom of electing as the new Pope a 78 year-old man who will probably serve only a few years before dying of old age.  Why would the Catholic Cardinals elect someone of advanced age to lead their church?  As a former Catholic, I must point out that this practice leaves the church firmly rooted in the past--vehemently opposing contraception, denying women the right to become priests and prohibiting priests from sharing their life and love with a spouse.  It makes no sense to elect a Pope who is  almost 80 years old and is still relying on the ideals of the 1950s."
Sounds to me like Ms. Woods never heard of the Malachy prophecies.
Interestingly, it is said that Malachy wrote only about 111 future popes; that the 112th was added later, and therefore a bogus entry.  This would mean that the current pope, Benedict XVI, is the last true pope. For further reading on this, click here.
A page provided by the Christian Churches of God examines Nostradamus and Malachy concerning the last pope.  This article includes a list of all 262 Popes. 
And, for something a little more up-to-date, Sylvia Browne, the celebrated psychic, predicts that in the future there will no longer be a single pope, but three popes, each assigned to a geographic collection of Catholics.
Then again, considering her prophetic track record, I wouldn't lay odds on this happening anytime soon, if ever.

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I include the following videos here because they're very much in keeping with the theme of this page.  The first one proclaims a prophecy that has yet to take place and is most certainly the stuff of Hollywood movies.  It comes from the World's Last Chance website.  The second gives a concise overview of the Malachy prophecy:

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Here are the final popes from Malachy's list (including the 112th).

106.     Pius XII         1939 - 1958         Eugenio Pacelli
            Pastor Angelicus    (An angelic shepherd)

107.   John XXIII    1958 - 1963        Angelo Gueseppe Roncalli
            Pastor Et Natua      (Pastor and mariner)

108.    Paul VI             1963 - 1978         Giovanni Battista Montini
           Flos Florum         (Flower of flowers)

109.    John Paul I         1978 - 1978
            De Medietate Lunae      (Of the half moon)

            Note: This pope who was unpopular with the curia, lasted only 34 days (which is about one moon cycle) and died suddenly of unknown causes. His body was cremated within one day without an autopsy. This was and still is controversial, since popes are usually buried within the walls of the Vatican and are never cremated. The suddenness of this action has led to much speculation about a political conspiracy. 
            There are 3 quatrains found in Nostradamus Prophecies that fit the circumstances surrounding the death of this pope

110.    John Paul II      1978 - Died April 2, 2005  Karol Josef Wojtlya
            De Labore Solis  (From the toil of the sun)  

This pope has been identified with unceasing hard work, having visited practically every country in the world. He has traveled in access of 3/4 million miles in promoting the faith. He was the first non-Italian pope in 450 years. John Paul II is responsible with bringing an end to the communist regime in Poland. This initiated a domino effect within other eastern European communist controlled nations which quickly followed shortly after. No longer able to sustain itself, the Soviet Union fell away from the negative and inefficient economic structure of Communism and we have what is now Russia, the Ukraine and other nations that are independent and mostly free.

111.    The next pope (The glory of the olive) chosen on April 19, 2005, was Cardinal Ratzinger, the favorite to win.  He will be known as Benedict XVI.               

In the future (?)

112.    The LAST  POPE! 
(Peter the Roman)  "In extreme persecution, the seat of the Holy   Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman, who will feed the sheep through many tribulations, at the term of which the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge the people. The End."

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Besides Malachy, Popes themselves have made prophecies:

  • Pope Pius IX (1846-78): “There will come a great wonder, which will fill the world with astonishment. This wonder will be preceded by the triumph of revolution. The church will suffer exceedingly. Her servants and her chieftain will be mocked, scourged, and martyred.”
  • Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903): After saying Mass on October 13, 1884, the Pope suddenly collapsed. Upon waking, he recounted a vision he had seen. "Oh, what a horrible picture I was permitted to see!" he said. He described a period of about 100 years when Satan’s power was to reach its maximum, a decline of moral and spiritual values. Those hundred years would have included most of the 20th century.
  • Pope Pius X (1903-14): This Pope had a number of prophetic visions. In 1909, in the midst of an audience with members of the Franciscan order, he seemed to fall into a trance. Moments passed, then his eyes sprung open and he jumped to his feet. "What I have seen is terrifying!” he cried out. “Will I be the one, or will it be a successor? What is certain is that the Pope will leave Rome and, in leaving the Vatican, he will have to pass over the dead bodies of his priests!" It’s uncertain what this vision alluded to, but it is similar in many respects to the reported third prophecy of Fatima. Later, shortly before his death, another vision came to him: "I have seen one of my successors, of the same name, who was fleeing over the bodies of his brethren. He will take refuge in some hiding place; but after a brief respite, he will die a cruel death. Respect for God has disappeared from human hearts. They wish to efface even God's memory. This perversity is nothing less than the beginning of the last days of the world."
  • Pope Pius XII (1939-58) also experienced strange visions of a bleak future. After one of these experiences he told confidants, "Mankind must prepare itself for sufferings such as it has never before experienced… the darkest since the deluge."

        Source: Prophecies of Saints and Popes.


And here's what John Hogue has to say regarding the last pope.  There are two entries.  The first is interesting only in what it has to say before the fact, and is very much in keeping with Mr. Hogue's other prophetic interpretations.  The second has more substance and was written after Cardinal Ratzinger took the papal crown.
But first, here's a brief excerpt from Hogue's book titled, appropriately enough, The Last Pope:
The motto "From the Glory of the Olive" may also stand for the Olivetan Benedictines' sacred mission. They believed God entrusted them with the task of preparing the world for the Apocalypse as predicted by Jesus Christ to his disciples on top of the Mouth [sic] of "Olives." The end time Jesus foresaw could therefore begin during Pope Benedict's time:
"The time is coming when you will hear the noise of battle near at hand and the news of battles far away; see that you are not alarmed. Such things are bound to happen; but the end is still to come. For nation will make war upon nation, kingdom upon kingdom; there will be famines and earthquakes in many places. With all these things the birth-pangs of the new age begin." (Matthew 24:6-8)
(12 April 2005--A week before the Conclave convenes to elect the next pope)

The Signs in Nostradamus
And St. Malachy's Prophecies

Some of you may not be aware that I have already written a book on the matter of future papal succession.

"The Last Pope: The Decline and Fall of the Church of Rome" (http://www.hogueprophecy.com/lastpop.htm), is available on Amazon.com through my web site and can be found in your local book stores or ordered from Barnes and Noble in America.

Here is a brief synopsis of "The Last Pope":

In 1139 St. Malachy set out from Ireland on a harrowing pilgrimage to Rome. On sighting the Eternal City he fell to the ground and began murmuring cryptic Latin phrases, each signifying the future destiny of the popes. For four hundred years the manuscript was locked in the labyrinth of the Vatican. On its rediscovery in 1595 it was rejected by the Church authorities as fraudulent but the content of the prophecies remains remarkably and chillingly accurate: to this day 90 percent have come true.

In examining the context of St. Malachy's life, his pilgrimages and his miracles, "The Last Pope" presents a fascinating account of the fates of the popes and eight hundred years of Catholic prophecy; including those of contemporaries, Hildegard von Bingen, Joachim de Fiore and the 16th-century Catholic seer, Nostradamus, whose vision of the papal succession closely resemble that of St. Malachy.

In this first complete study of St. Malachy's prophecies in over a hundred years, "The Last Pope" provides new revelations regarding the authenticity of the Latin mottoes. As the Roman Catholic Church continues to witness an eclipse in papal power this work uncovers the truth about St. Malachy's prophecies and reveals their significance as an account of the papal progression which Vatican policy makers have found too threatening to acknowledge.

St. Malachy prophesied an end to the Roman Catholic Church and predicted the fates of the popes until Judgment Day. Pope John Paul II has died. Only two popes remain on the doomsday list. Are the Catholic prophecies warning humanity of a great chastisement and apocalypse at hand? "The Last Pope" tries to answer these questions from outside of doomsday dogma's box. The end times may presage something unexpected and wonderful for Catholic and non-Catholics alike.


The conclave to elect the next to last pope will begin a week from the writing of this article (18 April). Today, I wish to briefly go over those parallel prophecies about the next pope written by the 16th-century French prophet, Nostradamus. If he is speaking about "Gloria Olivae" (Glory of the Olive)--the Latin motto St. Malachy uses for the next pope--does Nostradamus provide a hint from where in the world the next pope comes?

A new interpretation, if correct, of Century 5 Quatrain 49 of Nostradamus' prophetic masterpiece "Les Propheties," would cool the ardor of odds makers who bet that the next pope will be a Latin American. Nostradamus' inference to Spain includes candidates arising from her former colonial territories, such as Cardinal Carrera of Mexico, Cardinal Maradiaga of Honduras or Cardinal Hoyos of Columbia. Hence, the new pope will not hail "from [the empire of] Spain [as Nostradamus knew it] but from ancient France."

Nul de l'Espaigne mais de l'antique France,
Ne sera esleu pour le tremblant nacelle,
A l'ennemy sera faicte fiance,
Qui dans son regne sera peste cruelle.

Not from Spain but from ancient France,
Will be elected for the trembling ship [the bark of Peter],
He will make a promise to the enemy,
Who will cause great plague during his reign.

Back in 1986, I surmised that a candidate hailing from within the borders of "ancient France" could include southwestern Poland, the birthplace of John Paul II. It lies within the outer frontiers of Charlemagne's early medieval empire.

What if this prophecy instead pinpoints his successor? And rather than the broadest extent of France's oldest Empire, the poetry meant us to look for the successor in the "oldest" and earliest holding of France?

The most ancient plot of French territory would be the holdings of the Merovingian Dynasty of the 5th and 6th century. Paris along with Reims was their chief city. The current Archbishop of Paris is Cardinal Lustiger, one of the late John Paul II's closest theological disciples. The late pontiff made Lustiger Archbishop of Orleans in 1979. Orleans is another region of "ancient France." John Paul II made him Archbishop of Paris in 1981.

Lustiger can be applied to my earlier interpretation of this prophecy as well. Like John Paul II, he comes from the frontiers of Charlemagne's ancient 8th-century Carolingian empire. Lustiger was born to Jewish parents in southwestern Poland. He survived the Holocaust, became a French citizen and converted to Catholicism. Today he remains a dark "Jewish" horse candidate for the next pope. His Jewish origin, however, and his age (79 years old) makes him a long shot. The Vatican avoids responding to what it calls polemicists (like myself) who might infer that their choice of a Jewish born pope fulfills some end-time prediction for the papal succession. If the first pope (the Apostle Peter) and the last pope should be both Jews, it closes destiny's circle, ending the papal succession.

Let us look again at the last three lines of the prophecy:

...[he] will be elected for the trembling ship [the bark of Peter],
He will make a promise to the enemy,
Who will cause great plague during his reign.

John Paul II trembled with Parkinson's disease and died as a result of complications from that illness. In my earlier interpretations, I noted that a great plague did appear during his pontificacy--AIDS. But if this prophecy is about the trembling John Paul's successor, then perhaps we face at last the long overdue visitation of a global pandemic during the new pope's reign.

Signs are already there that hemorrhagic fever plagues are on the rise in Africa. Doctors at the CDC (Center for Disease and Control) openly admit that the Bird Flu from South East Asia and China could mutate at any time from a bird-to-human to a human-to-human contagion. A form that can spread the deadly infection rapidly around world killing tens of millions.

What if the plague is manmade?

Another post John Paul II interpretation would imply that the future pope who St. Malachy calls "Glory of the Olive" makes a promise to enemies in a future war. This motto invokes the symbol of a dove of peace with olive branch in beak. The next pope could be a great peace maker. Taking Nostradamus' final line in mind, the next pope, in the name of peace reaches out to radical Islam. Unfortunately, the enemy turns on him, and the great plague foreseen comes out of biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction used by terrorists. A number of Nostradamus' prophecies infer such attacks on Rome will take place, forcing the evacuation of a future pontiff.

Gloria Olivae begins his reign as a pope bearing the "olive" branch of peace, but later he becomes the pontiff enduring Christ's apocalyptic prophecies from the Sermon on the Mount of "Olives." In other words, his reign marks the beginning of apocalyptic wars and rumors of apocalyptic wars spreading out from the Holy Land across the whole world.

Century 5 Quatrain 92 gives us another clue to the next pope. My interpretation made back in 1997 for "Nostradamus: The Complete Prophecies" (http://www.hogueprophecy.com/ncomplet.htm) remains unchanged:

Apres le siege tenu dixsept ans,
Cinq changeront en tel reuolu terme:
Puis sera l'vn esleu de mesme temps,
Qui des Romains ne sera trop conforme.

After the [Holy] See kept for seventeen years,
Five completed terms will exchange within [the Vatican]:
Then one will be elected at the same time,
Who will not be too conforming to the Romans.

This is what I said then:

"This could be about modern popes. Pius XI (1922-1939) ruled the Vatican for 17 years. The five successors would be Pius XII (1939-58), John XXIII (1958-63), Paul VI (1963-78), John Paul I (1978), and the current pope, John Paul II. When he dies a new pope will be elected that will not please the Vatican status quo. Perhaps he will be as revolutionary as Pope John Paul I."

For St. Malachy's motto for the next pope:

(Glory of the Olive)

If the College of Cardinals convening on 18 April takes the short-lived caretaker route in their balloting then Cardinal Ratzinger has the best chance. My sense is the reign of this 77-year-old will be short. Maybe just four years. He will exhaust himself--as would any other elderly candidate in their late seventies--trying to keep up the pace that John Paul II set in his globe trotting ways.

St. Malachy's prophecies often describe the details of a pope's family arms or Papal heraldry. If the coat of arms of a candidate for Gloria Olivae should bear olives and olive branches, then expect it to be the current Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Tettamanzi (his name means "bull's tits"). Then again we may toast the new pope with a Martini--a Cardinal Martini, that is. He is the previous Archbishop of Milan and noted Biblical scholar who now lives in Jerusalem for half of each year. Both the current and former archbishops of Milan are in play because the seal for the Archbishop of Milan bears olive branches.

I think the chances for a Latin American are quite high, but I believe European cardinals in the Conclave will see to it a European, if not an Italian, will be the next pope.

The top conservative Italian candidates include Biffi, Tettamanzi and Sodano. Tettamanzi's association with Opus Dei is key to an Italian conservative takeover. Then again, Tettamanzi has been best at hedging his spritual-political bets by also warming up to more liberal Catholic organizations. He at least has put on a good show as a moderate.

Of course we cannot rule out the importance of the Israeli connection with prophetic symbols of the olive and olive branch. Martini spends half of each year in Jerusalem and his potential candidacy enjoys that ever popular word play in prophecy: the double entendre. Read the "olive" branch of Israel along side the "olive" branch in the coat of arms as the previous Archbishop of Milan and it could equal "Gloria Olivae."

Martini is progressive so he is much more of a long shot. Tettamanzi is perhaps the late John Paul's choice for successor. It is traditional for a pope in his final years of life to appoint his successor as Archbishop of Milan, the largest Catholic Archdiocese in Italy. For example, John XXIII appointed his successor, Cardinal Montini (Paul VI) to that post.

The inclination to a conservative or progressive future pope depends on whether the College of Cardinals meeting in the conclave seek to sustain John Paul II's conservative agenda. If they do then do not expect John Paul III will heed to pressures from the laity and regional bishops to soften dictatorial control from Rome in their local affairs. Those who read the history of papal succession in my book, "The Last Pope," cannot fail to notice how often a conservative or liberal pope tries to stack the college with his own theologically sympathetic cardinals. Then, after his death, they choose a successor from the opposite pole. As the old Vatican saying goes: "A fat pope is followed by a thin pope, is followed by a fat pope, etc..."

I guess that makes the corpulent Tettamanzi the man of the white smoking stove piped hour because John Paul II was thinner than Tettamanzi. The latter is a native of the Milan region. That brings greater emphasis to his olive branched coat of arms as the Archbishop. He is 71. His mother is still alive and well and in her early 90s. The long living gene pool of the Bull Tits clan could confer on Tettamanzi more than a short rule of a caretaker pope. He might rival John Paul II in longevity sitting upon St. Peter's throne longer than a quarter century.

There is perhaps a deeper message hidden underneath the layers of peace making and a tie with Israel hinted in the cryptic motto "Glory of the Olive."

Christ's sermon on the Mount of Olives.

The next man in St. Peter's chair, and the second-to-last pope on St. Malachy's list before Judgment Day endures an apocalyptic pontificacy. This would be especially true if he does turn out to be one of the younger candidates from Latin America, such as  Honduran (Maradiaga), the Mexican (Carrera), or the European Schonborn the German and Daneels the Belgian Cardinal. There is also Hummes of Brazil, but Nostradamus made it clear that the next pope would not come from the Spanish Empire of his day. Brazil belonged to Portugal. In any case, the youngest is 60 (Schonborn), the eldest is 71 (Daneels). Like Tettamanzi, there are enough relatively youthful heir apparents in the short list for becoming the next pope who may not be so short lived. He can linger long enough to see his pontificacy enter the 2020s--the same decade of catastrophe that so many prophets date as the beginning of humanity's true tribulation. Thus, the rule of St. Malachy's last pope, Petrus Romanus (Peter of Rome) may be a long time off in the future. There is still time to make St. Malachy's dire coda for the last pope a future avoided:

During the last persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there shall sit Peter of Rome, who shall feed the sheep amidst many great tribulations, and when these have passed, the City of the Seven Hills [Rome], shall be utterly destroyed, and the awful Judge will judge the people.

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(31 May 2005)

What do Nostradamus
and St. Malachy's Prophecies
say about Him?

Now that we have a new pope it is time to refresh interpretations of Nostradamus' prophecy listed in my previous article "The Next Pope" (http://www.hogueprophecy.com/archiv46.htm)

The prophecy in question is Century 5 Quatrain 49 from the 16th century seer's work "Les Propheties." It reads:

Nul de l'Espaigne mais de l'antique France,
Ne sera esleu pour le tremblant nacelle,
A l'ennemy sera faicte fiance,
Qui dans son regne sera peste cruelle.

Not from Spain but from ancient France,
Will be elected for the trembling ship [the bark of Peter],
He will make a promise to the enemy,
Who will cause great plague during his reign.

The Papal Conclave elected the late--and some would say "great"--John Paul II's grand inquisitor of orthodox Catholic dogma, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, on 19 April 2005 in a fourth ballot landslide. Either the Holy Spirit or shrewd political maneuvering worked to isolate progressive cardinals from picking their aged candidate for a caretaker pope--Cardinal Martini. Instead the pope who would oversee the pause before the next course taken for the Church will be the staunch conservative Prelate of the Congregation of the Doctrine and the Faith. He is the man who for the past 23 years was unaffectionately known by dissenting priests as "Cardinal Panzer" or John Paul's "rottweiler" enforcer of strict doctrine. The message of the Conclave vote is clear. A shaky Holy See, has a new fisherman who with unwavering hand they expect will keep the Catholic fold on a straight and narrow dogmatic course as per the late pontiff's prayers. Metaphorically speaking, this 265th successor to St. Peter, may be a fisher of converts that throws back a majority of the errant catch if they protest too much about his tightening grip on the net. More on that later.

How does a German cardinal come "from Ancient France"?

With more prescient persuasion than one might think. It all depends on whether Nostradamus intended us to take the cryptic statement in line 1 of the prophecy above as minimally specific or broad. For decades I advanced one interpretation that line 1 targeted John Paul II, who was born in Southwest Poland, which happened to be part of the frontiers of French King Charlemagne's sprawling and ancient Frankish empire. In my previous article I introduced a new and minimalist variant, posing that the quatrain could be about John Paul's successor. He might be a cardinal coming from the most smallest political boundary generally accepted as the first and most ancient "French" kingdom: the region surrounding Paris. Thus Nostradamus' habit of juxtaposing ancient places for the advent of modern people has the cardinal's priestly "habit" be that of an Archbishop of Paris, like Cardinal Lustiger--long shot though I believed he would be.

As it turned out, Lustiger was not more than a ballot pusher in the Conclave. And, as I said over seven years earlier in my book "The Last Pope," Cardinal Martini did turn out to be the best chance for the progressives to take St. Peter's chair from another conservative candidate. Martini was the only liberal to make a real run against Cardinal Ratzinger at grabbing one of the holiest of brass rings in Christendom--St. Peter's ring. Nevertheless it went to a Teutonic cardinal born 78 years before in Marktl Am Inn, near Traunstein, Germany.

Looking at this development in hindsight, you cannot get more "Ancient France" than that. Here's why. As many of you have reminded me, the new pope's birthplace is in the heart of what once was Charlemagne's ancient Frankish Empire. The Franks are a Germanic tribe. Their homeland ran along the west bank of the Rhine River, which is just a short distance west from Ratzinger's birthplace in eastern Bavaria. Even before Charlemagne's stretched his empire to the frontiers of southwestern Poland, Bavaria was a Frankish kingdom ruled by Frankish kings in Paris from as early as the mid 6th century, starting with Clotaire I. Later, Ratzinger's homeland became again a part of a unified "ancient" French Empire under the heir of Clotaire II, Dagobert I, in the year 629. For two more centuries Bavaria slipped in and out of French domination until Charlemagne in 787 incorporated Ratzinger's homeland into his Carlolingian Empire for a longer time.

Not from Spain but from ancient France....

...comes a pope, cassocked and capped in one of Nostradamus' ways to miter his point across time to us, with a classical reference to geography.

Line 2 says this pope...

...Will be elected for the trembling ship [the bark of Peter]...

Here we have the double entendre describing the previous pope's enfeeblement from Parkinson's disease, plus an allusion to the enfeebled Church Ratzinger inherits. The new pope must shore up a shaking Church suffering pederast sexual scandals, a decimation by old age of the priesthood and a wholesale abandonment of European and American Catholics. Some might add that the exodus is a direct result of a rigid dogma defended and policed by John Paul's theological "rottweiler" and successor for over two decades. Ratzinger as the new Benedict XVI also inherits a priestly hierarchy that lost collegial freedom under the autocratic Polish "Papa." Many Cardinals believe--whether they lean to the left or right of late pope's interpretation of theology--that John Paul's dictatorial reign was a detriment to the church and had planted seeds for a future crisis.

What then might Nostradamus hint Pope Benedict will do? Line 3 says:

...He will make a promise to the enemy...

If we regard recent developments against the record of the man who is now the new pope, the "enemy" is not outside of the Church but within. The enemy is what Raztinger, the once and perhaps future inquisitor of the faith, decried as the "dictatorship of relativism." In layman's--or the laity's--terms, that means those Catholic priests or lay followers who pick and choose those parts of Catholic teaching and dogma that satisfy their temperament. The enemy of this new pope, is a progressive or liberal interpretation of Vatican II reforms. Thus the "promise" made to such an enemy could be the one Ratzinger delivered while fresh in his new white cassock and cap of Benedict XVI. He promised to be a more collegial and tolerant pope than his predecessor. If this interpretation is correct, I would expect Pope Benedict will be as much a uniter of his flock, as the American President, G. W. Bush was a uniter for his. Look for Benedict to divide his church between "blue" and "red" (progressive and conservative) Catholics, especially in North America and Europe during his relatively short reign.

The last line of the prophecy says that this pope makes a promise to an enemy...

...Who will cause great plague during his reign.

If we take this line into the light of the present new pontificacy, the great plague could be a schism in the Church. Moreover, it could stand for some promise made for ecumenism by Benedict XVI towards the Islamic world that falters when the war on terror widens. The pestilence might even include a man-made "plague" coming from weapons of mass destruction, either unleashed by the US or by her enemies in the war on terror. Indeed Nostradamus often returns to the theme of Rome's destruction by such weapons, as do other famous Catholic seers of the past millennium.

Then again, the "plague" may be a coming pandemic in Ratiznger's rule as pope. He is one of the oldest pontiffs to ever ascend St. Peter's throne. Even if his pontificacy was short, there are disturbing indications that the next pandemic may be with us within a year. The CDC (The Center for Disease and Control) caution that a spread of Chinese bird flu is imminent. Could this be the "great plague during his reign"?

The syntax leans more to a plague of commission by the hands of an enemy against the Church rather than a mishandling of sick chickens. Still, the view of our world from so many centuries back might be vague enough for a seer from the 1550s to mix and misread the signs.

(From the Glory of the Olive)

Joseph Ratzinger bears the 111th and final Latin prophetic motto attributed to St. Malachy's famous medieval prophecy purportedly written in 1140.

Today I will provide a brief summary of how the new Benedict XVI fits Malachy's motto for second-to-last pope before the onset of Judgment Day. A more detailed examination will be forthcoming when the updated edition of my book THE LAST POPE (http://www.hogueprophecy.com/lastpop.htm) finds a new publisher. My hope is that it will appear later in 2005. If you wish to know when it comes out, just send me an email at talktome@hogueprophecy.com. Put "LAST POPE" in the subject line. I will broadcast the message to you when the book comes out again.

Now let us return to the meaning of "Gloria Olivae" for the new pope.

The "olive" branch in Medieval prophecy stands for peace. For a long time, Malachy prophecy watchers assumed that the next pope bearing this name would be a great peacemaker. Certainly Cardinal Ratzinger took on the mantle of as much, when in his first public declaration as "Benedict XVI" he explained his new name with the motto "Peace and Consolation."

The last pope by that name, Benedict XV, ruled during World War I. He tried but failed as a peacemaker, setting forth his Seven Points to forestall any future world wars. Neither the victorious allied leaders nor the vanquished invited Benedict XVI to attend the negotiation and ratification of the Treaty of Versailles. His public neutrality during the war had soured warring Christian European leaders on both sides. Only US President Woodrow Wilson took the pope's peace plans seriously. He adopted some of the pope's ideas as the basis for his Fourteen Point Plan submitted at the Versailles peace negotiations.

Ratzinger as the next Benedict hints a message here. He intends to succeed where the previous Benedict failed. This new Benedict was elected during a new world war of international terrorism. He may try to be the peacemaker that prevents its escalation into a clash of Christian and Islamic cultures. If he is unsuccessful then Nostradamus' prediction elsewhere in his prophecies of a 27-year war may come to fruition and his Third Antichrist, code named "MABUS," will trigger that third world war.

Deeper still in the layers of meaning in the name "Benedict" is the signal identifying the new pope with the first and earliest founder of a Christian monastic order, St. Benedict (c.480-550). This great reformer's codes of law had a significant impact on the Western World. St. Benedict was known as the great peacemaker and reconciler, saving Western culture and Western Christianity from falling into the chaos of the Dark Ages. Perhaps Pope Benedict XVI sees himself, like his predecessor, on the brink of a new darkness, requiring a reaffirmation of dogma and codes of Catholic behavior.

Pope Benedict's name has evokes interesting possibilities out of St. Malachy's motto: De Gloria "Olivae." The Olivetans are a reform branch of the white monks of the Benedictine Order, established in the 14th century. The olive branch is their symbol--the Sermon on the Mount of Olives from the New Testament, their creed. The Olivetans believe they are set to prepare the world for the apocalypse foretold in Christ's Mount of Olives sermon.

Is that what Benedict XVI also intends to prepare us for?

St. Benedict was made the patron saint of Europe by Paul VI--Cardinal Ratzinger's mentor. This implies that Ratzinger/Benedict XVI will either attempt to bring European Catholics back in the fold, or he will make good on a reverie recorded in his voluminous writings that a smaller church population adhering to ALL the dogma is better for the Church's survival in dark times than including a larger Catholic fold that only picks and chooses bits of the dogma to satisfy its modernist attitudes. It must be remembered that the previous Pope Benedict was a staunch anti-liberal and anti-modernist. Is the new Benedict the same?

In my last bulletin, logged a week before the Conclave convened to pick a new pope, I predicted that if the cardinals intended to choose a caretaker pope it would be Cardinal Ratzinger.

Destiny has set forth upon that prophetic time line today urged forward by echoes of the past. The Vatican, like the USA, seems to be stuck in a 40 year loop of repeating history--a phenomenon I have defined previously as a Karmic Echo. It consists of history lessons unlearned by nations or religions, returning every 20 to 40 years for a new encounter. America today is facing lessons unlearned as a nation with the return of a second military quagmire launched by a Texan president. Last time it was the liberal Texan, Johnson, 40 years ago in Vietnam. This time around it is a conservative Texan, Bush, today in Iraq.

The Vatican is a small but influential nation of priests and nuns guiding the faith of one sixth of the earth's population. It may also see the return of a short lived, caretaker pope launching a revolution to rival what took place roughly 40 years earlier. The brief pontificacy of liberal John XXIII launched Vatican II-- a progressive revolution that tried to bring the Catholic Church into the 20th century. If we are indeed seeing a Karmic Echo, I believe the conservative Benedict XVI will also be short lived. He will launch his own reform of the Church in a conservative revolution that could keep the Catholic religion from entering the 21st century.

Research for the new edition of "The Last Pope" will reveal that Pope Benedict XVI really prepared and wanted to be Vicar of Christ, despite his public protestations of humility and unworthiness. Becoming Pope has energized him and he is looking more youthful than before the Conclave. Still, I do not think he will be a long lived pope. I give him as little as three years and as much as seven, maximum. Back in 1997 when I wrote the first edition of "Last Pope," I stated that John Paul II would die in 2000 and his successor would die in 2008 ushering in Petrus Romanus, the code name for St. Malachy's final pope before the end of days, as he foresaw them.. Clearly I was wrong about John Paul II. Even he was surprised. John Paul also believed he would die at the end of 2000 rather than linger five more years. You can see him admit as much in the text of his Last Will and Testament.

Perhaps my prophecy from 1997 will be partially fulfilled if Benedict passes away in 2008.

The last time we had a caretaker pope (John XXIII) he initiated a progressive and liberal revolution in the Church in his short reign--Vatican II. With Benedict XVI the pendulum swings all the way to the right. He will be responsible for a conservative revolution. Will he soon gather the bishops of the church for a Vatican "III"?

We await events and further signs of how the new pope will assert his destiny.

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