Near the end of the 16th century, a prophecy was published by a Benedictine monk who claimed that it was originally penned by Saint Malachy. This prophecy gave a listing of every Pope. All of them, right up to the very last one. While prophecy is up to interpretation, and people have been a bit of a stretch, but others seem to be pretty spot on.
For example, John Paul I was predicted with the line “De Medietate Lanae,” or “From the half moon.” He was elected during a half moon, and died just over a month after being elected, while another half moon hung in the sky.
The next pope was predicted as “De Labore Solis” which translates to “labor (or toil) of the Sun.” Pope John Paul II was born, and interned, during a solar eclipse.
We then come to the now retiring Pope Benedict XVI who was prophesied as “gloria olivae”, or “The Glory of the Olive.” He took his name from Saint Benedict, from which we get the Benedictine Monks, who use the olive as their symbol. I’ve also heard that he grew up in a vineyard.
Then lastly, we come to the final pope. This one receives a bit more than a few words for his prophecy. “In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit. Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus, quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur, & judex tremedus judicabit populum suum. Finis.” Which would translate as “In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit. Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills (This would typically mean Rome) will be destroyed, and the terrible judge will judge his people. The End.”
A lot of people seem to think that where it says “The End”, it means “The End” as in the book of Revelations and the second coming. It doesn’t really say that though. What it does say is that the church will the last pope will be in charge of the pope during a time of trouble, and then Rome will be destroyed by a judge.
There are several things that the church could be facing judgement for in the coming years. Everything from child molestation to money laundering. The reference to Rome could just mean the Holy See or Vatican City itself, and not the entire world. Likewise, the judgement doesn’t necessarily mean God or final judgement, but it could be in reference to an actual judge in the legal sense. And the end? Well, Peter the Roman is supposed to be the last pope, which could mean some kind of reform of the Catholic Church. While I doubt that the Church itself would end, it may undergo some changes where they no longer have a pope as we know it.
“The End” could also just mean that he was done with the prophecy. He wrote about a lot of popes, and his hands were probably getting a little tired.
While personally, I think it would be pretty nice if they were to have the secret archives confiscated and given to museums around the world, and maybe have some of the gold and jewels they’ve accumulated over the years put to better use than lining church coffers, I highly doubt that anything is going to happen. They’ll elect a new Pope, and he’ll fill his term for the next several years, and then they’ll elect another.
It looks like some small, obscure, European agency has issued a warrant for the arrest of the Pope.