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

Blue Bridge Theatre
Stratford star teams up with Blue Bridge Theatre

A New Take on a Perennial Favourite

The COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on film production on central and north Vancouver Island, says Vancouver Island North Film Commission. Pictured here, production of TV series Resident Alien in Ladysmith earlier this year. (Black Press file)
Film commissioner says COVID-19 cost central Island $6 million in economic activity

Jurassic World: Dominion, Chesapeake Shores among productions halted due to pandemic, says INFilm

Chelsey Moore’s character Chloe in the upcoming virtual reality game Altdeus: Beyond Chronos. Screengrab
Vancouver Island actress finds success in a virtual world

Black Creek’s Chelsey Moore lends her voice to a new video game set for release in December

Ceramic artist Darrel Hancock working on a clay jug in his home studio in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach potter Darrel Hancock celebrates 40 years in business

‘It’s wonderful to do what you love and make a living at it’

Artist Daniel Cline discusses his sculpture, Harmony Humpbacks, during the June 20 walking tour of Oak Bay’s 2019 ArtsAlive sculptures. Harmony Humpbacks was purchased by Oak Bay as the 2019 people’s choice winner and is permanently installed at the Beach Drive entrance to Willows Park. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Influx of donated art a ‘fantastic problem to have,’ says Oak Bay mayor

Oak Bay goes from zero to 10 permanent art pieces since 2015

Stephen Laidlaw, prepator with Nanaimo Art Gallery, hangs a photograph of Anna Wong, a B.C. print maker whose works are on display at the gallery. The exhibit opens Friday, Dec. 4, and runs until Feb. 7. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Art Gallery exhibit explores life work of overlooked B.C. printmaker

‘Anna Wong: Traveller on Two Roads’ features more than 70 art works and personal belongings

Nanaimo rappers Konfidential and Teus released their first joint album, <em>The Invasion</em>. (Photo courtesy Raymond Knight)
Nanaimo rappers Konfidential and Teus release first joint album

Duo plan elaborate live-streamed CD release for ‘The Invasion’

Next month Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra releases his solo debut album, ‘Wildlife.’ (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra releases solo debut album

New record ‘Wildlife’ about taking chances and going through changes

Dover Bay Secondary School student Victoria Hathfield’s poem <em>Dear Santa</em> appears in<em> Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas is in the Air</em>. (Photo courtesy Darren Lee)
Nanaimo high schooler has first poem published in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’

Victoria Hathfield’s ‘Dear Santa’ appears in new Christmas-themed edition of anthology series

Nanaimo graphic designer Amy Pye has written and illustrated her first children’s book, <em>G is for Grizzly Bear: A Canadian Alphabet</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Nanaimo graphic designer releases first children’s book

Amy Pye teaches the Canadian alphabet in ‘G is for Grizzly Bear’

The Vancouver Island Symphony’s Back Row Brass Quintet – including trumpeter Mark D’Angelo, tuba player Nick Atkinson and French horn player Karen Hough (from left) – were scheduled to tour the Nanaimo area with Christmas Under the Big Tent, but the concert series has now been cancelled. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Symphony brass quintet’s Christmas concert series cancelled

Performances were to happen at venues in Parksville and Lantzville next month

The Sheringham Point Lighthouse, near Shirley. (Contributed - Lee-Ann Ruttan)
New book shines a light on Sheringham Point Lighthouse

Publication examines history, lightkeepers, and volunteer society

Victoria-based guitarist Eric Harper performs at the Port Theatre on Nov. 27. (Photo credit Tatum Duryba)
Classical guitarist to play at the Port Theatre

Eric Harper to play new songs composed during the pandemic

Most Read