‘The Last Judgment’ triptych (open) (1467-1471) by Hans Memling.

Prophecy of the Popes: Are We Reaching the End of Days?

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Writing extensively about the prophecy being a forgery, M. J. O'Brien, a Catholic priest who authored an 1880 monograph on the prophecies said: “These prophecies have served no purpose. They are absolutely meaningless. The Latin is bad. It is impossible to attribute such absurd triflings ... to any holy source. Those who have written in defence of the prophecy have brought forward scarcely an argument in their favour. Their attempts at explaining the prophecies after 1590 are, I say with all respect, the sorriest trifling” (O’Brien, 1880).

What Does the Hoaxed Prophecy Say of Today and Tomorrow?

If the list of descriptions is matched directly to a list of historic popes since its publication, Benedict XVI (2005–13) corresponds to the second last noted pope, described as “Gloria olivae” (the glory of the olive). And the final prophecy predicts the Apocalypse: “In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit Peter the Roman [as bishop], who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills [i.e. Rome] will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End.”

Pope Francis was not born Peter - his name was Jorge Mario Bergoglio - and he is showing no signs of preparing to bring about the end of the world. Well, I hope he isn’t! 

Pope Francis.

Pope Francis. (Jeffrey Bruno/ CC BY SA 2.0 )

Top Image: ‘The Last Judgment’ triptych (open) (1467-1471) by Hans Memling. Source: Public Domain

By Ashley Cowie


Catholic Encyclopedia 1913,

Feijóo y Montenegro 1724-1739, p. 129.

Arnold Miller, “Louis Moréri’s Grand Dictionnaire historique,” In Notable Encyclopedias of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: Nine Predecessors of the Encyclopédie, ed. Frank A. Kafker (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 1981), 13-52.

O'Brien 1880, p. 110.

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