Q. Since the 111th Roman Catholic Pope is stepping down this February 28th does that mean the next pope is the LAST Pope who will feed the flock through the tribulation? I know St. Malachy’s “Pope Prophecy” is not scripture, but don’t you think it’s interesting that the current pope is stepping down? Will the last pope be a “good” leader of Christians or a “false” leader?
A. In the 12th century, Irish Archbishop Malachy wrote a list of 112 popes beginning with Celestine II, who died in 1144 AD after serving for only one year. It shows retiring Pope Benedict as number 111 since then. According to Malachy, that means the next pope will be the last one. Malachy’s description of him says,
“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.”
As you can see, this doesn’t say whether the last pope will be a good one or a bad one, only that he will feed his flock amid many tribulations. The destruction of the seven-hilled city could be a reference to the world’s religious capital being relocated to Babylon as Zechariah 5:5-11 foretold. And the dreadful Judge who will judge the people could be pointing to the 2nd Coming when all the nations on Earth will mourn as they see the Lord coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. (Matt. 24:30). The judgments that follow His return are described in Matt. 24:45-25:46.
Although a number of people consider Malachy’s list to be quite accurate, we shouldn’t view it with the certainty we ascribe to Biblical prophecy. It could be nothing more than the Catholic version of the Mayan calendar prophecy that was so popular last year. But it should remind all students of prophecy to keep one eye on current events as we look for signs that the end of the age is upon us.