Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) was elected Pope at the age of 78; he is the oldest person to be designated as Pope since 1730. He will be 85 years old at the time of his retirement. Pope Benedict resigned on February 11, 2013 effective on February 28, 2013 at 8:00 p.m Rome time. This is the first Pope in 600 years to leave his papacy.
Another seemingly symbolic occurrence happened on the same day Pope Benedict resigned. Lighting struck the Vatican. Some believe the lighting was a harbinger of near-term events. Others speculate it is a sign from God. There is a renewed interest in St. Malachy’s “The Prophecy of the Popes.”
Why is the Pope resigning?
Could the sexual abuse scandals surrounding the church be the reason?
Pope Benedict has decided to live in the Vatican after he leaves office; this will provide him with security and privacy. It will also offer him legal protection from connections with the sexual abuse cases around the world. Here is a quote concerning his immunity taken from an article entitled: “Pope Will Have Security, Immunity By Remaining in the Vatican,” Reuters 2/15/13, it reads;
“His continued presence in the Vatican is necessary, otherwise he might be defenseless. He wouldn’t have his immunity, his prerogatives, his security, if he is anywhere else,” said one Vatican official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Twenty days after February 28, 2013 a new Pope will be in place on or around March 21, 2013.
Will the St. Malachy prophecy influence a decision regarding a new Pope in anyway?
St. Malachy said this about the 112th pope. “In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Petrus Romanus or Peter the Roman, who will feed his flock among many tribulations; after which the seven hilled city (Rome) will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people.”
If an Italian pope is selected, he will instantaneously be regarded as Petrus Romanus and considered the Tribulation Pope. It will be next to impossible for him to distance himself should there be a war. All of this information is seared in the minds of most religious believers. Also there is the Rapture to consider.
In an article entitled Pope Benedict’s departure is a surprise; his successor won’t be, it stated this:
“Could this be a new precedent? Now that medical science can keep people alive, even as their bodies and minds are seriously diminished, lifetime sinecures are more problematic than in the past, when natural death could not be forestalled for years. By this act, Benedict is indicating that the old system does not work anymore and that the office is more important than the man who holds the office. For some Catholics, that is a troubling…”
There does not seem any way to circumvent taking into account St. Malachy prophecy concerning the 112th Pope.
A personal choice about eternity is not dependent upon who is named pope. If the 112th pope is the last pope of the Roman Catholic Church, it will not interfere with anyone’s personal decision to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. For anyone who accepts there is an eternal judgment to be answered, this might be a practical consideration, if you think a timeline will help you make a decision.