In a few short hours, Pope Benedict XVI will surrender the reigns of the Vatican. For those who are interested in such things, it will be live-streamed here and there and everywhere.
After that the real fun will begin as we see who the next pope will be and how the dynamics of having a new pope and retired pope living in Vatican city will work. And we will see how the escalating dramas, scandals, and intrigues will play out. Whether you're Catholic or not -- and I'm not -- it's hard not to stop and stare in disbelief at this slow-motion train wreck.
The day Pope Benedict announced his pending resignation, my mind went straight to the Malachy prophecy. I don't really know why it did, but it did. Maybe it's just my overall interest in eschatology, but I can't help but be intrigued by speculation that we are about to see the election of the last pope.
Prophecy researcher John Hogue is speculating that the likeliest candidate is none other than Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the current Secretary of State, and the man considered by many to be the current power behind the throne. The final pope in St. Malachy's chronology is Peter the Roman, or Petrus Romanus, and a number of the Papabile have Peter in their full names somewhere, but only Cardinal Tarcisio Pietro Bertone is also Italian. The prophetic ring to his name is by no means the only reason to speculate about Bertone. He's a very sharp, political operator and one to watch for many reasons.
The Coast to Coast interview with John Hogue -- starting at around the 39min mark -- is a lot of fun and very informative, not just for the perspective on the various prophecies that figure into these unfolding events. Hogue also provides background on the Fatima prophecy and some Nostradamus, for good measure.
The part that really stood out for me, though, starts a little before the 2 hr mark. Hogue talks about viewing the apocalypse as something that is hard to conceptualize, given the inevitable darkness of our perspective on this side of "the door" of revelation. He talks about a near contemporary of St. Malachy, Gioacchino da Fiore (Joachim of Fiore), who wrote about three step eras of 2000 years each, patterned on the trinity: the era of the Father, the era of the Son, and the era of the Holy Spirit. By that measure we would be completing the second era and entering the third.
The way he carefully words his statements, so he doesn't get burned at the stake, could mean that he's talking about what a lot of prophetic traditions say might be a glimpse of what's on the other side of the door and that is religion as we know it is no longer necessary. And that God or the Great Spirit or the Great Nothing or whatever you like to call it -- or the great light inside all things -- after this period enters the 2000 year period where we have direct contact with the Great Spirit. There's no need for a Vatican. There's no need for a third temple to be built to end the prophecies of the Jews. Many Jewish Kabbalists tell me that the third temple is meant to be in your heart. There's no need to retake Jerusalem by the Mahdi and the Islamic prophecies of the apocalypse... um... It is in your heart.
For a little more background on the confluence of Christian, Jewish, and Islamic prophecies, see here. And I repeat, "The kingdom of God is within you."
For more on John Hogue's perspective on the papal resignation and how it plays into ancient prophecies, see here.