Friday, August 22, 2014

Pope Francis broached the subject of the end of his reign

Pope Francis TO RETIRE? 

by Dr. Steve Elwart
Many in the Christian world were taken by surprise by comments that the Roman Catholic Pope Francis made on Monday.
Aboard the plane taking the Roman Pontiff back to Rome from South Korea, Pope Francis broached the subject of the end of his reign. Frances said that he was giving himself “two or three years” in his role as the head of the Roman Catholic Church, but not necessarily predicting the end of his life.
With the resignation of Pope Benedict from the papacy, Francis may have been referring to his own retirement, “even if it does not appeal to some theologians”, he told reporters on the plane.
“Benedict XVI opened a door,” he said.
Rumors about his health have swirled since he was elected pope, but this is the first time he may have been addressing his health directly. Francis admitted that he had “some nerve problems”, which required treatment.
“Must treat them well, these nerves, give them mate (an Argentine stimulant tea) every day,” he joked.
Though death or retirement, Francis’ comments brought out a flurry of speculation from Vatican watchers on who may succeed him.
Papal candidates are called “Papabili”, a Latin term which literally means, “popeable” or “one who might become pope”. According to modern church law, a pope is selected only from the College of Cardinals who meet in conclave to select the successor. A Papabile must be a cardinal, so the list of Papabili is fairly short, usually four of five men.
According to some, the end of Francis’ reign as pope is highly significant, because according to the prophecy of a medieval church cleric, Francis is the Catholic Church’s “last pope”.
The Prophecy of St. Malachy
St. Malachy (Maelmhaedhoc Ó Morgair) lived in 12th Century Ireland and was the Archbishop of Armagh, now a town of 14,000 in Northern Ireland. Attracted to the monastic life, Malachy established the first Cistercian abbey in Ireland in 1142. He also reformed the Irish Church and aligned it more closely with Rome.
What Malachy is more known for is the so-called, Prophecy of the Popes, which is attributed to him. The prophecy is a list of 112 short phrases that supposedly describe each of the Roman Catholic popes beginning with Pope Celestine II (elected in 1143) and concluding with the successor of Benedict XVI.
This last pope is described in the prophecy as “Peter the Roman”, whose reign as pope will see the destruction of the city of Rome.
The prophecy did not hold much interest among Catholics up until the mid–20th century because it seemed as if it would be a long time before the world would see the election of “The Last Pope”.
Until the pontificate of Pius XII (1939–58), the average tenure of recent popes had been approximately 20 years. This changed in 1958 with the election of Angelo Roncalli who took the name John XXIII.
Elected when he was 77 years old, John XXIII was considered a “caretaker pope” who would keep the papal throne warm until the College of Cardinals could decide on a longer serving pontiff. He served for four years, but put the Catholic Church on a new course by calling the Second Vatican Council.
Giovanni Montini was elected to replace John XXIII on his death and called himself Paul VI. His reign lasted 15 years.
Albino Luciani followed and took the name John Paul I, combining the names of his predecessors.
John Paul 1 reign lasted one month and his death was clouded in controversy.
John Paul 1 was succeeded by Karol Wojtyła who took the name John Paul II. Fairly young in papal terms when he was elected (58), his was the second-longest pontificate lasting 26 years, 168 days; only Pope Pius IX (1846–1878) who served 31 years, reigned longer.
Interest in the Prophecy of the Popes increased as John Paul II’s health declined and Vatican watchers were shocked when Joseph Ratsinger, a 76-year-old cardinal, was unexpectedly elected Pope Benedict XVI.
According to the Malachy Prophecy, whoever succeeded Benedict would be the Last Pope. (The Catholic Church discounts the Prophecy, saying that they have no connection with Malachy except their erroneous attribution to him.)
The prophecy connected with the most recent popes is as follows:
Pope #263 – John XXIII (1958–1963) – Pastor et Nauta (pastor and marine). Prior to his election he was patriarch of Venice, a marine city, home of the gondolas.
Pope #264 – Paul VI (1963–1978) – Flos florum (flower of flowers). His papal coat of arms displayed three lilies.
Pope #265 – John Paul I (1978) – De medietate Lunae (from the midst of the moon). Albino Luciani was born in Canale d’Ogardo, diocese of Belluno, (beautiful moon) Elected pope on August 26, his reign lasted about a month, from half-moon to half-moon.
Pope #266 – John Paul II (1978–2005) – De labore Solis (of the eclipse of the sun). Karol Wojtyla was born on May 18, 1920 during a solar eclipse. There was also solar eclipse on April 8, 2005, the day of his funeral.
Pope #267 – Benedict XVI – Gloria olivae (The glory of the olives). It was originally thought that this pope would be from the Order of St. Benedict (The Benedictines were known also as the Olivetans.) People who believe in the prophecy believe that the current pope, by taking the name Benedict, fulfilled the prophecy.
Pope #268 – The Last Pope – In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oues in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis ciuitas septicollis diruetur, & Iudex tremêdus iudicabit populum suum. Finis. – (“In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Peter the Roman, who will feed his flock amid many tribulations, after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people. The End.”)
Many believe that Pope Francis is that Last Pope. Tom Horn is one of those.
In the In the WND Films documentary “The Last Pope?” – based on the book,Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here, Horn points out many signs that could point to Francis. In one sign, Horn says, “The only thing that it would take to fulfill the prophecy would be a cardinal of Italian descent. And low and behold Jorge Bergoglio, Italian descent, parents full-blooded Italians, or in the old language ‘Romans.’ “But he names himself after Francis of Assisi. Now this is a Catholic friar who lived in the late 1100s and the early 1200s, but his name of birth Giovanni Di Pietro Di Bernardone, Peter. He was an Italian, or Roman in the old language, a man whose name can literally be translated as ‘Peter the Roman.’ So to take that as a namesake, well it was intriguing to say the least.”
While many may hold the Prophecy of Malachy to be true, there is a far more authoritative source to tell us what is coming in the end times. Revelation 4:1 introduces a section of Scripture that detail “things which must be hereafter.” What follows are prophecies of the end times. We have not yet reached the Tribulation, the revelation of the Antichrist, or other end-time events. What we do see is a preparation for those events.
Jesus said that the last days would be preceded by several things: many false christs would come, deceiving many; we would “hear of wars and rumors of wars”; and there would be an increase in “famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:5–8).
Today’s news is full of false religions, warfare, and natural disasters. We know that events of the tribulation period will include all that Jesus predicted (Revelation 6:1–8); the events of today are only a prelude for greater trials ahead.
Paul warned that the last days would bring a marked increase in false teaching. “In later times, some will abandon the faith, and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). The last days are described as “perilous times” because of the increasingly evil character of man and people who actively “oppose the truth” (2 Timothy 3:1–9 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3).
What is important is how we live our lives in preparation for Christ’s return. What witness are we giving to the world to help non-believers accept the saving grace of Jesus Christ?
The return of Christ is always presented in Scripture as a great motivation to action, not as a reason to cease from action. In 1 Corinthians 15:58, Paul sums up his teaching if the rapture by saying, “be steadfast, unmovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord…” (ISV) In 1 Thessalonians 5:6, Paul concludes a lesson on Christ’s coming with these words: “Therefore, let’s not fall asleep like others do, but let’s stay awake and be sober.” (ISV)
The apostles understood that Jesus’ imminent return meant they must busy themselves with God’s work. They lived life to the fullest, as if every day were their last.
We, too, should view every day as a gift and use it to glorify God.

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