The last Catholic pope

In 1595, Benedictine monk Arnold Wion published the freshly discovered prophecies of Saint Malachy...

In 1595, Benedictine monk Arnold Wion published the freshly discovered prophecies of Saint Malachy, a 12th‑century Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland. Allegedly discovered in the Vatican vault, Malachy’s vision detailed a list of 112 popes.

Interestingly, Malachy’s descriptions of the popes prior to 1590 are very accurate, while the rest have been more hit and miss with quite a few stretches of the imagination needed to make them fit at all. This tends to suggest that the prophecies are a forgery and were actually written in 1590 as a way to influence that year’s conclave selection of a new pope.

However, that’s the rational me talking. If I was a less cynical person who believed the church would never stoop to lying to its flock, then I have to be concerned about the upcoming election of a new pope — the Roman Catholic church’s 112th, and the last one on Saint Malachy’s list.

According to the prophecy, the 112th pope, identified as “Peter the Roman,” will allegedly bring the destruction of the city of Rome and usher in the beginning of the Apocalypse.

Yikes! In that case, let’s hope they elect a healthy two-year-old rather than another octogenarian.

Since I’m not a big fan of the Catholic church (or any organized religion) being responsible for my fate, there is another way to look at Malachy’s vision. Instead of the Apocalypse, perhaps he saw the end of the church’s influence over mankind; an enlightenment, if you will, where spirituality and belief in a higher power doesn’t mean following an organization’s unyielding interpretation of what that means.

Man has always had the inane ability to corrupt even the greatest of ideas. If you believe in Jesus of Nazareth as a wise and thoughtful prophet, then how can you dismiss his teachings and hate anyone simply because they are different from you? If you believe Jesus was the actual son of God, then how does the church’s corruption of His message make any sense at all? Would God allow any pedophile to remain in a position of power, trust and influence? Would God allow a kingdom of gold and a silk-robed man on a throne to rule over our bodies, minds and spirits?

Spirituality will always be a part of us whether we attend church or not. It’s human nature to question our existence, ponder the universe and try to make sense of the wonders around us. It’s comforting to believe that sometimes you need a higher power to take the wheel and steer for awhile when you’re feeling low or confused or heavily burdened.

But it’s time for the church to crumble and from its ashes perhaps the true message of God will be delivered: be kind to one another. Because, really, that’s all you need to know. M

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BEHIND BARS: Relaxed and refreshed at The Palms

Sneak peek at Victoria’s freshest new bar

Ocie Elliott: Facing the Music

Victoria duo describes effects of COVID crisis

YOUR AUGUST HOROSCOPE: It’s Leo Season!

Georgia Nicols giving us insight on what lies ahead this summer

30 years later, Sue Medley’s hit ‘Dangerous Times’ more relevant than ever

Vancouver Island singer/songwriter reflects on her ’90s national hit

Psychological thriller filmed on northern Vancouver Island debuts on AppleTV

‘Woodland’ is set in Haida Gwaii, but was filmed around Port McNeill

Sand sculptor creates special eagle head in Qualicum Beach

Kaube fashions work behind Civic Centre

Parksville artist takes home Sooke Fine Arts People’s Choice Award

Francine Street’s winning piece is titled ‘Ken’

Poetry contest started for Vancouver Island poets

“We’re such a unique group,” says founder on why she wanted to start the collective

Nanaimo Fringe Festival productions adapt to new online format

10th annual festival to be live-streamed due to COVID-19

Island pub wants people to ‘drop five’ to keep music alive

Royston’s Charlie Aiken thinks his plan can help artists and venues alike

First Arts Alive sculptures of 2020 now installed

Oak Bay’s annual public art exhibition starts anew

Nanaimo fantasy writer co-authoring Old Norse phrase book

Joshua Gillingham partnering with author and professor on ‘Old Norse for Modern Times’

Most Read