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Petrus Romanus

Pope Francis: History’s Final Pope?
A Commentary & Overview of the book Petrus Romanus

Exhibit A*
 By Dave James*
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
(2 Timothy 4:3–5)
 
“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.”

(2 Peter 2:1–2)

 

On March 13, Cardinal Jorge
Mario Bergoglio Of Buenos Aires was elected as the newest pope of the Roman
Catholic Church in the wake of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on February
23. Jorge Bergoglio is the first Latin American pope, the first Jesuit pope,
and the first pope to take the name “Francis.” However, will Pope Francis be
history’s last pope?

That
this pope likely will be the last one is the message of Petrus Romanus: The
Final Pope Is Here,
a 2012 book by Thomas Horn and Cris Putnam. Because Petrus
Romanus
suggests that the pope after Benedict XVI will be history’s final
pope, the book has received a lot of attention over the past year, and
especially since Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation. Now the book has received yet
another significant boost with the selection of Cardinal Bergoglio.

Petrus Romanus focuses on an obscure prophecy by a 12th century Catholic bishop, St.
Malachy (1094-1148), concerning a list of the last 112 popes who would reign
from his day until the end of the present age. The Catholic Answers website
provides the following information concerning Malachy’s prophecy:
St. Malachy was an Irish bishop who
lived in the 12th century. By far the more famous of his prophecies concerns
the sequence of popes.
The prophecy consist [sic] of 112
short Latin descriptions of future popes; the prophecies were discovered in
1590 and attributed to Malachy. Each description indicates one identifying
trait for each future pope, beginning with Celestine II, who was elected in
1130. In some instances, the descriptions hit home in an uncanny way; they have
led to centuries of speculation that the prophecy might be a real one.
For instance, the description of the
future John XXII (1316-1334) is “de sutore osseo“–”from the bony
shoemaker.” This pope was the son of a shoemaker, and his family name was
“Ossa,” which means bone. In another example, “lilium et rosa” was the
phrase used to describe the pope who would be Urban VIII (1623-1644), whose
family coat-of-arms was covered with “lilies and roses.”1
In
Petrus Romanus Horn & Putnam further explain the prophecy as it
relates to the pope who will follow Benedict XVI, and thus be the 112th pope:
As the legend goes, Malachy experienced
what is today considered a famous vision commonly called “The Prophecy of the
Popes.” The prophecy is a list of Latin verses predicting each of the Roman
Catholic popes from Pope Celestine II to the final pope, “Peter the Roman,”
whose reign would end in the destruction of Rome. According to this ancient
prophecy, the very next pope (following Benedict XVI) will be the final pontiff,
Petrus Romanus or Peter the Roman. The final segment of the prophecy reads:
In persecutione extrema S. R. E. sedebit
Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis
civitas septicollis deruetur et judex tremendus judicabit populum. Finis.
Which is rendered:  In the
extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit Peter the Roman,
who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the
City of Seven Hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his
people. The End.
2
Horn & Putnam have captured the imaginations
of many Christians who, through their work, are being seduced by the
possibility of insight into future events through the prophecies of a 12th
century Catholic monk. And just as when Jonathan Cahn caught the attention of WND
(formerly World Net Daily) and its founder and CEO Joseph Farah with The
Harbinger
, Farah’s team is once again putting a lot of effort into getting
another very troubling story involving prophecy out to its large subscriber
base. The following is from a WND Exclusive on March 14:
An author who
predicted Pope Benedict XVI would be the first pontiff in nearly 600 years to
resign believes the election today of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the 266th Roman
Catholic pontiff lines up with a medieval prophecy that would make him the
“final pope” before the End Times.
Tom Horn,
co-author with Cris Putman of the book “Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope is
Here,” told WND today Bergoglio’s selection was a “fantastic fulfillment of
prophecy.”
His book examines
St. Malachy’s “Prophecy of the Popes,” said to be based on a prophetic vision
of the 112 popes following Pope Celestine II, who died in 1144.
Malachy’s
prophecies, first published in 1595, culminate with the “final pope,” “Petrus
Romanus,” or “Peter the Roman,” whose reign ends with the destruction of Rome
and the judgment of Christ.
Horn has said a
pope of Italian descent would fulfill the prophecy, noting Bergoglio is the son
of Italian parents and a Jesuit. 3
On February 11, an article by Jerome Corsi on the WND
website is obviously an effort to get this story out and to establish Tom
Horn’s credibility and authority on this matter:
Although a Roman
Catholic pope had not stepped down in nearly 600 years, the startling
resignation of Pope Benedict XVI was predicted by the co-authors of a book
published last spring about a medieval prophecy that the next pontiff will be
the last.
In “Petrus Romanus:
The Final Pope is Here,” co-authors Tom Horn and Cris Putnam examine St.
Malachy’s “Prophecy of the Popes,” said to be based on his prophetic vision of
the next 112 popes, beginning with Pope Celestine II, who died in 1144. Malachy
presented a description of each pope, culminating with the “final pope,” “Peter
the Roman,” whose reign would end with the destruction of Rome and judgment.
Horn explained to WND
in an interview today that his conclusion [that] Benedict would resign rather
than die in the papacy was based not only on St. Malachy but also on a host of
historical and current information. “We took ‘The Prophecy of the Popes,’ we
took what was happening in Italian media, and we determined, based on a great
deal of information, that Pope Benedict would likely step down, citing health
reasons, in 2012 or 2013,” he said. 4
All of this is so problematic on so many levels, it
would take several articles to deal with it adequately, so for the sake of
relative brevity I’ll just discuss a few of the major issues.
NOTE:  This article is not
intended to be anything close to full-fledged review of Petrus Romanus. Horn
and Putnam have done an enormous amount of very good research and accumulated
compelling evidence concerning the convergence of many historical elements in
setting the stage for history’s final drama leading to the return of Christ.
They accurately deal with significant errors within the Roman Catholic church,
especially as they undergird the power of the papacy. They also lay out a
strong argument for how powerful pagan influences have shaped much of world
history, including that of the United States. However, the problem is that this
good work is entangled with the parts of the book that are quite questionable.
In addition, a large portion of the beginning of the book, as well as the end
of the book, specifically focuses on the question of the final pope as it
relates to Malachy’s prophecy of the popes and what they believe is
corroborating evidence. This article only focuses on concerns related to the
weight the book gives to the idea that extra-biblical prophecy is being
fulfilled in the election of the current pope as being history’s final one,
Peter the Roman—who, according to the subtitle of the book, “is here.”

The source of the “prophecy”
It is
difficult to imagine why Horn and Putnam, who are considered evangelicals,
would lend so much credibility to Malachy’s prophecy. Their work does not
simply explore the question of whether Malachy may have accurately predicted
all future popes. Rather the point of Petrus Romanus is to demonstrate
that his prophecy is accurate, meaning they obviously think it is a genuine
prophecy to be accepted as true. So, then the question is, Was Malachy actually
a prophet of God—or was he at least inspired by God to give this list of popes
to the world?
First of all, it is important to understand just who
Malachy was. The following are excerpts from the Catholic Encyclopedia
(available online at NewAdvent.org):
St. Malachy, whose
family name was O’Morgair, was born in Armagh in 1094. St. Bernard describes
him as of noble birth.
He was baptized
Maelmhaedhoc (a name which has been Latinized as Malachy) and was trained under
Imhar O’Hagan, subsequently Abbot of Armagh. After a long course of studies he
was ordained priest by St. Cellach (Celsus) in 1119. . . He was then chosen
Abbot of Bangor, in 1123. A year later, he was consecrated Bishop of Connor,
and, in 1132, he was promoted to the primacy of Armagh.
In 1127 he paid a
second visit to Lismore and acted for a time as confessor to Cormac MacCarthy,
Prince of Desmond. . . . On the death of St. Celsus (who was buried at Lismore
in 1129), St. Malachy was appointed Archbishop of Armagh, 1132, which dignity
he accepted with great reluctance.
During three years
at Armagh, as St. Bernard writes, St. Malachy restored the discipline of the
Church, grown lax during the intruded rule of a series of lay-abbots, and had
the Roman Liturgy adopted.
Early in 1139 he
journeyed to Rome, via Scotland, England, and France, visiting St. Bernard at
Clairvaux. He petitioned Pope Innocent for palliums for the Sees of Armagh and
Cashel, and was appointed legate for Ireland. On his return visit to Clairvaux
he obtained five monks for a foundation in Ireland, under Christian, an
Irishman, as superior: thus arose the great Abbey of Mellifont in 1142. St.
Malachy set out on a second journey to Rome in 1148, but on arriving at
Clairvaux he fell sick, and died in the arms of St. Bernard, on 2 November.
Numerous miracles
are recorded of him, and he was also endowed with the gift of prophecy. St.
Malachy was canonized by Pope Clement (III), on 6 July, 1199, and his feast is
celebrated on 3 November, in order not to clash with the Feast of All Souls. 5
The point of including all of this rather detailed
biographical information is to show that Malachy was a thoroughly Roman
Catholic bishop of the medieval period. This means that the heretical theology
and pagan practices that shaped the Church of Rome in the centuries leading up
to and actually precipitated the Reformation were undoubtedly an integral part
of Malachy’s life. That being the case, should Malachy really be regarded as a
prophet of God by evangelicals (when this is even questioned by some Catholic
theologians)? Furthermore, if he was not a prophet of God yet had mystical
experiences and claimed to have visions of the future, does that not rather
make him a false prophet by definition? Again, how can two evangelical authors
appeal to such a person for support—and why would evangelicals among their
readership be willing to accept their conclusions concerning Malachy?
Exhibit B*
In Petrus Romanus Horn and Putnam seem to
uncritically accept that God was also actively working in and through one of
Malachy’s mentors, specifically as a performer of at least two miracles (which,
it should be noted, is precisely the number of confirmed miracles required for
someone to be considered for canonization as a saint by the Roman Catholic
Church):
Eventually Malachy
headed to Lismore to revise and sharpen his knowledge of the canon under the
teaching and advice of well-known scholar Bishop Malchus. (St. Bernard writes
that Bishop Malchus was “an old man, full of days and virtues, and the wisdom
of God was in him.”[5] He goes on to further explain that the bishop was later
acknowledged as performing two miracles, one wherein he healed a young boy of a
mental disorder who later became his porter, and another wherein “when the
saint put his fingers into his ears on either side he perceived that two things
like little pigs came out of them.”[6] These distinctions of Bishop Malchus’
reputation are of importance to St. Bernard, “that it may be known to all what
sort of preceptor Malachy had in the knowledge of holy things.”[7] Needless to
say, Malachy worked and studied with associates whose names circulated within
the Church as significant.) 6
Such acceptance of notoriously inaccurate and
problematic medieval accounts of Roman Catholic miracle workers, mystics and
prophets only serves to underscore concerns that biblical discernment is fast
disappearing even among some more theologically conservative Christians. “Two
things like little pigs came out?” Is it reasonable to believe that these
bishops of the medieval Roman Catholic Church (who held to such unbiblical
doctrines and practices as they did) were genuinely serving the God of the
Bible and being used by Him in this way? And is it reasonable to believe that
the Lord would have been involved with these things when they would have only
served to validate the heresies these men believed, practiced and taught?
Furthermore, the authors don’t even acknowledge the
possibility that these may be entirely false reports—or worse. If these reports
are actually true, it must also be considered that there may have been
supernatural forces at work that were not of God. Undoubtedly many false
prophets are simply deceivers. However, others may be acting under the demonic
influence of those beings who have the desire and ability to influence the
outcome of events such that these prophets are able to accurately “predict” the
future. Of course, because only God in His omniscience can know and reveal the
future, false prophets (even those under demonic influence) are very
susceptible to errors in their predictions—which is obviously one reason they
can actually be caught and identified as false prophets.
Unfortunately, Horn’s and Putnam’s failure to at least
consider the possibility of them being false prophets highlights a very real
problem that plagues an increasingly large segment of Christianity. It seems to
be broadly assumed and often taken for granted that if something inexplicable
and apparently supernatural takes place in almost any sort of Christian
religious setting, then it must be from God.
However, such thinking fails to recognize the reality
of false signs and wonders with the potential to deceive even the elect, as
Jesus warned in Matthew 24:
“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and
wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”
(Matt. 24:24)
Likewise, the Apostle John also warned his readers:
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they
are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
(1 John 4:1)
Although unbelievers are easily deceived by false
teachers and prophets in the world at large, this is not as much of a problem
for believers who can fairly readily recognize the errors in that realm. The
greater danger for believers is found in the Apostle Peter’s words when he clearly
warned that deception would arise from within the church:
“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be
false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even
denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth
will be blasphemed.”
(2 Peter 2:1–2)
In light of these warnings, to rely on Malachy as a
legitimate source of prophecy requires so many questionable and misguided
presuppositions that any conclusions that they are from God can never be more
than outright speculation. Yet, there is no doubt, and it requires no speculation
to recognize that Malachy was most certainly a false prophet during a time when
false prophets flourished within Christendom. Unfortunately, the situation
today is no better—and arguably it has become worse.
The evidence for the “prophecy”
Another
significant problem with Malachy’s prophecies is that there are serious doubts
about the authenticity of the documents in which they appear. There is
important and compelling evidence (which is widely accepted) that strongly
points to the fact that these documents were actually forgeries created in the
16th century.
The Catholic Answers website, which states that its purpose is “to
defend and explain the faith,” provides the following as part of an answer to a
question from a reader about the possibility that Malachy’s prophecy may
indicate that we are living in the end times:
Malachy’s prophecy
has been cast into doubt by the fact that the descriptions become vague from
the 16th century on–about the time the prophecy was “discovered” in the Roman
Archives. But there have been a few good matches in modern times. The phrase “pastor
et nauta
,” meaning “shepherd and sailor,” was attributed to John XXIII.
This pope hailed from Venice, historically a city of sailors, and on the day he
took office he indicated the goal of his pontificate was to be “a good
shepherd.”
There have been
many more misses, though. Describing the popes to follow John XXIII are the
phrases “flower of flowers” (Paul VI), “from a half-moon” (John Paul I), and
“from the toil of the sun” (John Paul II), none of which is an obvious
connection. After our current pope there are only two left in Malachy’s prophecy,
“the glory of the olive” and “Peter the Roman.” The latter will supposedly lead
the Church through many tribulations, concluding with the last judgment.
Is “Malachy’s”
prophecy legitimate? Probably not. The consensus among modern scholars is that it
is a 16th-century forgery created for partisan political reasons. 7
In Petrus Romanus Horn and Putnam discuss the
forgery issue in great detail and present convincing evidence that the original
document had likely been altered:
The bad news is
that part of the prophecy may be a forgery which was fabricated in the late
sixteenth century. We say forgery meaning that over half of the prophecies, the
first seventy or so predictions, could be vaticinia ex eventu (prophecy from
the event). It seems likely that someone irrevocably altered the original
medieval document and the original is either hidden away or lost to history.
According to Vatican insiders, there is ample evidence that the original
twelfth-century manuscript was discovered in 1556 by a Vatican librarian. Even
so, the first known publication of the “Malachy Prophecy of the Popes” was in
Arnold de Wion’s massive eighteen-hundred-page volume entitled Lignum Vitae
(Tree of Life), which was published in 1595.That text will be presented and
examined below. Even though we have good reason to believe a much older
document is still visible, we must accept that the earliest instance of the
prophecy surfaced nearly four hundred years after its alleged origin in 1139.
Despite the legend which pleads it was locked away in a musty Vatican vault
those four hundred years, the skeptics still have valid points. 8
The forgery question has to do with only about the
first half of the list. However, according to Horn and Putnam, it is the second
half of the list which deals with the next 400 years of popes after the forged
documents that is significant. They argue that because of what they suggest are
uncanny fulfillments, these prophecies, whether they come from Malachy or
Nostradamus or someone else, they are still genuine prophecies from a true
prophet. They continue the preceding section in the book:
Even so, it very
well could be the work of Saint Malachy coarsely corrupted by a forger. Of
course, this would fall neatly in line with the Roman Catholic practice
demonstrated by the Donation of Constantine and Pseudo–Isidorian Decretals.
Alternatively, some have suggested it was partially the work of Nostradamus
cleverly disguised to protect his identity. While the identity of the actual prophet
remains unclear, the author was a prophet whether he knew or not.
The exciting news
is that the Prophecy of the Popes, although tainted, is still a genuine
prophecy. Despite the superficial insincerity detectable in the first section
of “prophecies,” the post publication predictions show astonishing
fulfillments. We have no critical analysis to explain away the sometimes
jaw-dropping, post-1595 fulfillments. Indeed, we are currently at 111 out of
112 and believers argue they seem to have increased in precision over time. 9
How is this “exciting news,” and how is it “still a
genuine prophecy?” If there really are so many “sometimes jaw-dropping”
fulfillments, why would there be so much skepticism among scholars, even within
the Roman Catholic Church (given that the Church has historically accepted such
dreams, visions and prophecies)?
Exhibit C*
An alternate theory, which the authors seem to accept
as possible, is that even if there is no genuine original first half, the second
half was written by Nostradamus or someone else who was a genuine prophet. It
is difficult to comprehend the logic at work as Horn and Putnam go on to
explain that their conclusions depend heavily on the scholarship of John Hogue
in his book The Last Pope:
In recent history,
the most popular and exhaustive handling of the Prophecy of the Popes is
arguably the book, The Last Pope, by author and self-proclaimed “prophet” John
Hogue. Hogue is a regular guest on the Coast to Coast radio show with a pretty
impressive bio, and we have availed ourselves of his scholarship. While his own
predictions do not typically fare so well, he is a well-respected figure in
Nostradamus studies. 10
So, although the authors rely on Hogue for support, he
is, by their own admission, a false prophet who is highly regarded as an
“expert” on another false prophet, Nostradamus. (And the fact that Hogue is a
regular guest on Coast to Coast is not exactly a positive since that
radio program showcases some of the most outlandish personalities and topics of
any program in the nation.) Furthermore, the “Nostradamus” section of Hogue’s website makes it clear
that he, too, fully believes the prophecies of Nostradamus are genuine, just as
much as Malachy’s are.
It would seem that Horn and Putnam could hardly have
found a more unreliable and biased source of information pertaining to this
particular issue. However, it appears that the authors view prophets and
prophecy the same way Hogue does, namely that genuine prophets aren’t
necessarily 100% accurate.
Hogue follows the
conventional theory dividing the prophecy at Wion’s 1595 publication: “He left
us a list of 35 mottos, numbered 77 through 111 that, unlike the previous 76,
are not 100 percent accurate; however, the average of success makes their
author one of the most astounding prophets in history.”11
The biblical view would not be that the prophecies’
author was one of the most astounding prophets in history, but rather that he
was a false prophet with an astounding accuracy rate. This is consistent
with the prevailing view in the Charismatic movement that prophets of the
present age do not need to be 100% accurate to be genuine prophets of God.
There are two significant problems with this view
because it contradicts both the Old Testament and New Testament standards for
prophecies and prophets. The first problem is that the OT standard is 100%
accuracy and failure to be completely accurate is an identifying characteristic
of a false prophet. The second problem is that it essentially eliminates “false
prophet” as an objective category since someone could have multiple false
prophecies and still be considered a genuine prophet of God. Yet, Peter makes
it clear that false prophets will be a problem faced by the church in this age,
which means they must be identified—but how?
“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be
false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even
denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth
will be blasphemed.” (2 Peter 2:1–2)
Horn and Putnam apparently believe that the entire
original Prophecy of the Popes did exist, and although tainted (by forged
alterations), is still a genuine prophecy. They appeal to book written by a
Jesuit mystic:
Written by René
Thibaut (1883–1952), a Belgian Jesuit, the book is a meticulous reading of the
prophecy which comes to completely different conclusions than his skeptical
predecessors. Adopting the methodology of a mystic as well as a scholar, he
makes a compelling case that the Prophecy of the Popes is a real supernatural
prophecy. [1. Petrus Romanus  (Kindle Locations 727-730).]
Therefore, even though the first half of the list has
been altered, the entire original document, if written by the same person, may
have also been a record of genuine prophecies because of what they maintain are
fulfillments of the prophecies in the second half. The statement about Thibaut
being a mystic is also troubling. Horn and Putnam apparently view this
favorably and see it as a helpful factor in his arriving at correct
conclusions.
As an example of the genuine part of the prophecy,
they present an argument used by Thibaut that a prophecy concerning Pius VI,
the 96th pope “transparently” contains an anagram of his name:
While he is
reluctant to authenticate the legend, he refers to the author as
Pseudo-Malachy, believing him to be Irish. He bases this on the stylistic use
of numbers and word plays which form many acrostics and anagrams.[40]
Commenting on the style, he observes, “Note that this way of dividing the words
to sort various meanings is a method dear to the ancient Irish.”[41] A simple
example of an anagram is seen in the Latin text “Peregrinus apostolicus”[42]
which was the prophecy for the ninety-sixth pope on the list, Pius VI. The
anagram not only reveals the papal name, it does it twice: PeregIinUS
aPostolIcUS. That’s right! The name “Pius” is rather
transparently embedded in the original Latin text twice! 12
At points it becomes rather difficult to take the
authors seriously as they appear to be willing to grasp at virtually anything
for support no matter how far-fetched it seems. In this case, they rely on
Thibeau’s cryptographic analysis of the supposed prophetic text. Much could be
said about just this issue when discussing just the matter of an encryption key
alone.
However, as troubling as it is that Horn and Putnam
appeal to Hogue for support, it is quite incredible that Christian authors
would also cite a significant number of pagan apocalyptic prophecies as further
evidence that Malachy’s prophecy is almost certainly true:
The Mayan calendar
ends in 2012 with the return of their flying dragon god Kulkulkan.
The Aztec calendar
ends in 2012 and their flying dragon god Quetzalcoatl returns.
The Cherokee
Indian calendar ends in the year 2012 and their flying rattlesnake god returns.
The “Cherokee Rattlesnake Prophecies,” also known as the “Chickamaugan
Prophecy” or the “Cherokee Star Constellation Prophecies,” are part of a series
of apocalyptic prophecies made by members of the Cherokee tribe during
1811–1812. Like the Maya, the Cherokee calendar ends mysteriously in the year
2012 when astronomical phenomena related to Jupiter, Venus, Orion, and Pleiades
cause the “powers” of the star systems to “awaken.”
According to
ancient Mayan inscriptions, in 2012, the Mayan underworld god Bolon Yokte Ku
also returns.
The Hindu Kali
Yuga calendar ends in the year 2012 at the conclusion of the age of “the male
demon.” 13
After this series of pagan prophecies, the authors
then cite Jonathan Edwards:
Over two hundred
sixty years ago, the leader of the first Great Awakening in America, Jonathan
Edwards, tied the arrival of the Antichrist and Great Tribulation period to the
timeframe 2012. 14
Then they refer to William J. Reid, a 19th century
Presbyterian minister:
One hundred thirty
years after that, in 1878, Reverend William J. Reid did the same, writing in
his “Lectures on the Revelation” concerning the papal system: “…we are prepared
to answer the question, When will the Papal system come to an end? [It] will be
destroyed in the year 2012.” 15
The obvious question this raises is, How is this
minister’s prophecy any different from the utterly failed prophecies of Harold
Camping concerning the Rapture taking place in 2012? Or how does it differ from
Edward Whisnant’s predictions, which are set forth in his book 88 Reasons
Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988?
But there is more. For additional support, Horn and
Putnam also delve into the mystical writings of the Zohar, the most
important text of Jewish Kabbalah:
In addition to
interpreting Scripture, the “Vaera” section (volume 3, section 34) includes
“The signs heralding Mashiach,” or “The coming of the Messiah.” The fascinating
date for “his” appearance is set in the Zohar in late 2012! Given the rejection
of Jesus by orthodox Jews as Messiah, Christians understand this “coming” would
herald the unveiling of Antichrist in 2012.
J. R. Church of
Prophecy in the News called our office a couple years back and led us through
verses 476–483 of this part of the Zohar to point out what nobody in the 2012
research community had written before—that the time of Jacob’s trouble (the
Great Tribulation, which some Catholic scholars say begins with the election of
Petrus Romanus) will commence according to this ancient text in the year 2012
when the “kings of the earth” gather in Rome, possibly during a papal conclave,
and are killed by fiery stones or missiles from the sky. 16
With all of the above prophecies, Horn and Putnam
make exactly the same mistake made by Jonathan Cahn in a message when he said
of parts of the text of the Zohar, “God just got in there.” 17
Perhaps the authors would also defend their conclusions on the same grounds as
Jonathan Cahn, as he has countered that the Zohar is simply a “hostile
witness.” However, this defense only works if the rabbis weren’t inspired by
God. If God was directly involved, as Cahn says, this removes the significance
of it being a “hostile witness.” In fact, the authors do cite Balaam’s prophecy
concerning the Messiah, referring to it as a “hostile witness.” (This is
discussed more in a note after the next paragraph.)
Even though angelic beings (elect or evil) might be
able to make good guesses about the future, they are not omniscient and
therefore cannot see or otherwise know the future with certainty. Another
possibility is that demons manipulate events so as to give the impression of
fulfilled prophecy. (Horn and Putnam acknowledge both of these near the
beginning of chapter 2.) Therefore, prophecies cannot be considered reliable
unless it is presumed that God is involved in some way—that somehow “God just
got in there” and in some way inspired all those pagans to accurately prophesy.
If this were not true they would be relying on false prophets, who are either
making predictions on their own or are being influenced by demonic forces.The
problem is that they have no objective way to determine which of the various possibilities
is actually occurring, yet in the final analysis they choose in favor of God’s
inspiration and genuine prophecies through multiple pagans and false prophets.
NOTE: Cris Putnam responded to
the first version of this article, citing Balaam’s prophecy which he says
concerns the star that guided the magi at Jesus’ birth to justify seeking
support from the Zohar, pagan prophecies, Nostradamus, etc. (For what it’s
worth, the star is probably Christ himself, but that doesn’t matter here.)
However, there are at least a couple of problems with this defense. First,
false prophets not only get things wrong, they also get things right by
guessing or by demonic influence, which is how they can be deceptive. Second,
Balaam’s attitude had changed by the time he gave the “star” prophecy and he
knew that he was speaking exactly what the Lord had verbally given him to say.
He wasn’t just inspired in some subjective, mystical way. And third, we only
know that the Lord gave Balaam the words to say because the Holy Spirit has
revealed this in Scripture. However, Horn and Putnam have no way of knowing
whether God actually inspired any of the prophecies they use for support. They
are guessing as much as a false prophet does when he tries to foretell the
future. And they can only hope they are right just as the false prophet. (This
is not to say Horn and Putnam are false prophets, but that their methodology is
similar.)
And if all this were not enough to recognize the
insurmountable problems with Petrus Romanus, the authors actually go so
far as to appeal to “prophecies” made by a computer program known as the “Web
Bot Project”:
Also of interest
is the Web Bot Project, which was developed in the late 1990s for tracking and
making stock market predictions. This technology crawls the Internet, much like
a search engine does, searching for keywords and following “chatter” in order
to tap into “the collective unconscious” of the global community for tipping
points regarding past, current, and future buying patterns. In 2001, operators
began noticing what looked like more than coincidences, and that the “bot” was
taking on a mind of its own, accurately predicting more than just stock market
predictions, including June of 2001 when the program predicted that a
life-altering event would be felt worldwide and would take place within sixty
to ninety days. On September 11, 2001, the Twin Towers of the World Trade
Center fell. The Web Bot also predicted the 2001 anthrax attack on Washington
DC; the earthquake that produced the December 26, 2004, tsunami; Hurricane
Katrina; and more. The Web Bot has now foretold global devastation for late
December 2012. 18
Did God “just get in there,” too? 19. Beyond the
absurdity of appealing to a computer program because of its supposed accurate
“prophetic” abilities, Horn and Putnam seem to miss the obvious explanation for
the program’s prediction of apocalyptic events in December 2012. The results
provided by the Web Bot Project depend entirely upon tracking references on the
internet to the end of the world. The end of the Mayan calender cycle on
December 21, 2012, which was interpreted by many as marking doomsday, was
discussed by countless writers on countless websites and media outlets around
the world. How can it be actually suggested that this is a prediction by a
computer program that was “taking on a mind of its own?” Any search engine
would have produced the same results, as it was only monitoring things that had
already happened. The fact that the Web Bot Project even needs to be
discussed at all is probably sufficient commentary on the whole issue by
itself.
The authors also spend a lot of time discussing the
historicist view of the book Revelation, which holds that the last book of the
Bible portrays how history will play out. This is in contrast to the futurist
view which sees the entire fulfillment of Revelation in the future, after the
rapture of the church. Although they argue for a “hybrid view” with elements of
both the historicist and futurist views, they lend a lot of weight to the work
of historicists, particularly a number of date calculations that point to 2012
as the endpoint and year of the culmination of these events. While not drawing
firm conclusions based solely on these, they do believe all of these things
seem to provide significant support for their overall thesis.
The fulfillment of the
“prophecy”?
Unfortunately
for Horn and Putnam, we are now well into 2013 and none of the supporting pagan
prophecies were fulfilled in 2012. And yet, in spite of the overwhelming
problem this presents, Horn remains unfazed as is clear from the quote in the WND
story cited earlier where it is reported that he “believes the election today
of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the 266th Roman Catholic pontiff lines up with a
medieval prophecy that would make him the ‘final pope’ before the End Times.”
[1. http://www.wnd.com/2013/03/pope-francis-historys-final-pontiff/#jEkZ7zX5UAzSW7OM.99]
Although Horn now believes that Cardinal Bergoglio
likely became the fulfillment of Malachy’s prophecy on March 14, when Petrus
Romanus
was released almost a year ago, he and his co-author spent a great
deal of time trying to show how several other cardinals could fulfill the
prophecy and become Peter the Roman. In fact, they provide a list of
their top ten candidates based on their extensive research.
Besides Francis
Arinze, Tarcisio Bertone, Peter Turkson, and Angelo Scola, we would round out
our top ten candidates for the Final Pope in descending order with Cardinals
Gianfranco Ravasi, Leonardo Sandri, Ennio Antonelli, Jean-Louis Tauran,
Christoph Schönborn, and Marc Quellet. 20
How is it that the authors can have such a high degree
of confidence in their research and conclusions concerning everything else,
when Bergoglio was not even on their radar as a possible candidate? Perhaps
this is connected to a pattern particularly characteristic of Horn’s approach
(both in this and other works, which I may deal with in a future article). The
pattern that seems to emerge is that no matter what actually happens it is
inevitably interpreted as either a confirmation of one of his theories or the
fulfillment of a prophecy, including those of mystical and pagan origin. The
matter of Bergoglio being elected as the pope is just one clear example of this
tendency. In spite of the fact that they apparently had not even considered
Bergoglio as even being in the running, Horn now confidently declares
Bergoglio’s election to the papacy to be a “fantastic fulfillment of prophecy.”
Horn has explained that Pope Francis fulfills the
specific prophecy of being “Peter the Roman” even though he didn’t take the
name Peter and he is not from Italy (i.e., Rome)—and yet Horn has explanations
for how he fulfills this part of the prophecy, as well. Part of his explanation
includes the fact that Bergoglio’s parents were Italian immigrants to
Argentina. However, Bergoglio was born in Argentina and is an Argentine
citizen. But, even if Horn is given the benefit of the doubt on this point,
another major point is at best very contrived and less than convincing—and at
worst it is misleading and arguably dishonest:
He [Horn] also
sees significance in Bergoglio naming himself after Francis of Assisi, an
Italian, or Roman, priest whose original name was Francesco di Pietro (Peter)
di Bernardone, “literally, Peter the Roman.” 21
So, what this means is that not only is Pope Francis
not “Peter, the Roman,” neither was Francis of Assisi, as is claimed in the
cited article. Rather, Francis of Assisi’s name means “the son of Pietro, the
son of Bernardone.”
However, this is not the only problem in Horn’s
argument concerning prophetic fulfillment and the name Benedict XVI’s successor
would take for himself. One person with great influence on the author’s theories
is Ronald Conte, Jr., who believed that Francis Arinze would be the next pope
(and who also happened to be black). Conte is a Roman Catholic layman who
identifies himself as a theologian and to whom Horn and Putnam refer as a
mystic in Petrus Romanus. 
On this order, the
man who in 2002 correctly predicted that the pope succeeding John Paul II would
be named Benedict XVI, Ronald L. Conte Jr., believes the next pope will be
Cardinal Francis Arinze and that he will take the name Pius XIII. This name (Pius)
is associated historically with popes who emphasized authoritative doctrine
during their pontificates. Cardinal Arinze fits this description, and Conte
interprets this qualification as best fulfilling “Peter the Roman” as a pope
who “will reaffirm the authority of the Roman Pontiff over the Church; 22
Clearly, his argument is no more convincing than
Horn’s. Furthermore, while they mention a supposedly accurate prophecy by
Conte, thereby giving credence to Conte’s claim (and apparently their belief)
that he is a genuine prophet, he made a number of predictions concerning 2011
that demonstrate that he is nothing more than a false prophet of the highest
order. The following are just some of those predictions:
Pope Benedict XVI
suggests building three places in Jerusalem, a Temple, a Church, and a Mosque,
so that the three religions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, can worship in peace
in the City of Peace. (But it does not happen soon; instead there is war.)
The
Jews decide to build the Third Temple of Jerusalem
There is war,
insurrection, and coups among the Arab/Muslim nations of the Middle East and
northern Africa. Extremist leaders fight against more moderate leaders, and the
extremists win. If they cannot win by coups and insurrections, then one Arab
nation attacks another in outright war.
The war and the
insurrections and coups end within the same year that they began. Then the
leader of Iran and the leader of Iraq will have much power and influence over
the other Arab/Muslim nations, all of which will be led by extremists.
The holy Pope
Benedict XVI dies.
The holy Pope
called ‘Peter the Roman’ by St. Malachy is elected. I think that he will be
Cardinal Arinze and that he will take the name Pope Pius XIII.
New York City will
be struck by a nuclear bomb (not a missile; not a dirty bomb) in 2011 (sometime
after the Miracle, in the same calendar year). You will make them like an oven
of fire, in the time of your presence. The Lord will stir them up with his
wrath, and fire will devour them.
World War 3 begins
as a result of the nuclear attack on New York City. World War 3 is the first
horseman of the apocalypse and the first of the Seven Seals.
World War 3 is a
war in which the Arab/Muslim nations of the Middle East and northern Africa
invade and conquer all of Europe, parts of Eastern Europe, parts of
Scandinavia, and the northern part of Africa above the equator.
During the Reign
of Pope Pius XIII (2011 to 2013) he will emphasize the authority of the Roman
Pontiff.
In the year 2012,
during World War 3, he will flee the Vatican at night, he will flee to a
location to hide, but then he will be captured by the Arab forces, he will be
taken to Syria, he will put on trial and be given an unjust verdict and
sentence, he will watch as they kill members of the clergy in front of him.
Then they will blind him by putting out his eyes. They will bind him and send
him to prison in Iraq. Soon he will die in that prison in Iraq; no one will be
able to rescue him.
For a time, the Popes
after him will not reign from Rome, until the year 2040, when the papacy
returns to Rome. He is NOT the last Pope ever; there will be many more Popes
and many centuries before Christ Returns.
It is difficult to fathom the sort of ethic and
methodology that would allow Horn and Putnam to use part of Conte’s work as
support for their theories while remaining completely silent about the vast
majority of his predictions, which have turned out to be patently false and /
or completely contradicted other portions of their theories.
Horn also believes that another way in which Bergoglio
is a “fantastic fulfillment of prophecy” is the fact that the new pope is a
Jesuit, and thus a “black pope.” What is truly astonishing about this
“fulfillment” is that the “black pope” issue has nothing to do with Malachy’s
prophecy, but rather involves a “prophecy” from none other than Nostradamus:
In Quatrain 6.25
Nostradamus wrote:
Through Mars
adverse [a time of war] will be the monarchy
Of the great
fisherman [the pope] in trouble ruinous
A young black red
[a young black Cardinal] will seize the hierarchy
The predators
acting on a foggy day
23
Apart from the serious problem of Horn directly
relying upon a false prophet for support, his conclusion that Pope Francis
fulfills the prophecy by being a “black pope” seems to be a real stretch. It is
true  that the Superior General of the Jesuit order is sometimes popularly
(or pejoratively) referred to as the “black pope” because of the fact that
the he wears a black cassock and has worldwide authority, usually for life,
over the order. However, there is nothing official about this title and it is
is not one used by the Jesuits themselves. Beyond that, it is a completely
different type of fulfillment than the one he and Putnam suggested in Petrus
Romanus
. After giving their list of potential papal candidates, they write:
With these in
mind, a finishing thought each of these papal contenders may want to consider
is how many Catholics believe the sixteenth-century seer Nostradamus was
actually the author of “The Prophecy of the Popes.” If that is so, a point made
by the National Catholic Reporter earlier in this chapter concerning the
popular West African Cardinal Peter Turkson being “young” in terms of
electability at age sixty-three may have a way of coming back around. The “dark
horse” candidate Turkson—and his ideas for a one-world financial and political
authority housed in the United Nations—could become a remarkable and unexpected
fulfillment of both the Prophecy of the Popes and Nostradamus’s prediction of
an end-times “young black pope” who seizes control of the Roman Hierarchy with
the assistance of conspirators during times of darkness and war. 24
So, rather than even considering that “black” might
refer to a Jesuit, they were focused on two Cardinals who are racially black.
Then the authors demonstrate that they are willing to grasp at anything to
prove their points as they go on to suggest that Barack Obama’s election as the
first black American president could actually pave the way for a black pope.
And this is where
things start getting interesting, as some soothsayers were already predicting
that the author of the document, Peter Turkson of Ghana (Peter the Roman?)
could be the next pope, as he is considered papabile by the College of
Cardinals. Following the election of America’s first black president in Obama,
analysts around the world began speculating that perhaps Rome would follow suit
and roll out the red carpet for a black pope, the first in fifteen hundred
years, in somebody like Turkson. 25
Is it even remotely possible that the College of
Cardinals (which is an international group of men who answer to no one except
the pope) would be influenced in the least by the race of the President of the
United States? It is just this sort of tortured logic that is actually the glue
that holds everything in Petrus Romanus together and that even now
continues to allow Horn to see fulfillment of the prophecies of Malachy and
Nostradamus in the newly elected pope.
And finally, although Horn and Putnam do state that
they are not setting dates and argue that they are merely reporting what others
have written concerning 2012, in Petrus Romanus they are very focused on
2012 as the likely year of fulfillment of Malachy’s prophecy. This can be seen
in the pagan prophecies they cite, all of which point to 2012. They also see
significance in the fact that 2012 was predicted by Thibaut, as well.
As we write, it is
two days before Christmas, 2011. At the risk of sounding like a “bird of ill
omen,” 2012 is here folks! Over sixty years ago, Thibaut derived the ominous
date of 2012 by calculating the average length of papal reign up until the time
he wrote his book circa 1950 to be eleven years. We have verified his math and
extrapolated it to our current time. Astonishingly, the average of eleven has
held true to three decimal places, 1/1000th accuracy. For this simple
derivation, allowing the average of eleven years per reign and a total of forty
popes (11 x 40) he extrapolated 440 years from 1572 (1572 + 440) to arrive at
the date for the arrival of Petrus Romanus in 2012. 26
In other words,
2012 was seen as an end-times “event horizon” by at least one Jesuit priest
before most readers were born. 27
Also note the
quote above asserts, “in many ways” this means he derives 2012 from several
distinct methods of cryptographic analysis. These will be examined after we survey
some essential background, but as the final year he derived 2012 exclusively.
Indeed, while he (and us) acknowledges the folly of setting a date for Christ’s
coming, he still centers on 2012 but for no other reason than he believes the
prophecy demands it. 28
The work that Thibaut does to come to this conclusion
involves tortuous logic and tortuous calculations that even Horn and Putnam
agree feel contrived. Yet, in the end, they seem to ultimately yield to
Thibaut’s conclusions because they apparently agree with him that the results
point to a supernatural origin.29
They further point to what they was an accurate
prediction on their part concerning the resignation of Benedict XVI based on
Thibaut’s calculations that the penultimate pope would leave office in
2012. They stated in Petrus Romanus that if he were to resign in
April 2012 that this would be a “staggering authentication of Thibaut’s work
but anytime in 2012 would still be incredible.”30 Even though we know that
Benedict XVI resigned on February 23, 2013 the authors argue that he really
resigned in March or April of 2012 because they say that is when he informed
some within the Vatican of his decision. But, it would appear that whatever
Benedict XVI did in 2012, it was not a resignation. To quote Yogi Berra, “It’s
not over till it’s over.”
Exhibit D*
Once again, it seems that no matter what actually
happens, virtually everything is interpreted as being a confirmation of their
conclusions. However, Horn and Putnam are still faced with the fact that
essentially none of the supporting / corroborating pagan prophecies were
actually fulfilled in 2012.
To be fair, it must be noted that Horn and Putnam
acknowledge the possibility that the Roman Catholic Church, being aware of the
prophecies, may actually implement certain strategies in order to cause
the fulfillment of Malachy’s prophecies. However, they also dismiss that this
is sufficient to account for what they believe are many things over which
individuals and the Church as a whole could not exercise influence.
Summary and conclusions
So, is
Pope Francis history’s final pope? The Lord certainly knows. But that he is the
final pope cannot be known based on the research, evidence and logic used by
Horn and Putnam in drawing their conclusions on this point. Although they have
done a tremendous amount of helpful research, the emphasis they place on the
accuracy of extra-biblical prophecies and conjecture, including those from
pagan sources, and the conclusions they draw from these present serious
problems. As it relates to the prophecies, much of the foundation upon which
the authors have built is made up of the work of pagans, mystics, frauds,
forgers, heretics and false prophets.
The following is just one of numerous examples of how
the authors acknowledge the potential problems with their methods and
conclusions, but seemingly dismiss those problems and proceed:
Please note that
we do realize that date-setting has a well-documented 100 percent failure rate
but, even so, we must acknowledge, there it is, 2012, brazened all over the
pages of this 1951 tome. The simplest calculation which derives 2012 for the
last pope is based on extrapolating the average papal reign of eleven years.31
This issue is even reflected in the subtitle of Petrus
Romanus—The Final Pope Is Here. 
On the one hand, even though in a
comment criticizing this article Putnam says that he only assigns a 60-70%
probability that they are right, the subtitle of the book implies that they are
quite confident they have it right when they conclude that the pope following
Benedict XVI would be the final one.
 

 Exhibit E*
One concern with this is that despite these problems,
the authors are apparently having a tremendous influence on at least certain
segments of the Body of Christ. As of today, March 22, 2013, the paperback
version of Petrus Romanus is ranked at #945 out of millions of books on Amazon.com,
with it sitting at #4 in the “Religious Warfare” category, #4 in the
“Catholicism” category and #74 in the “Christian Living category. However, even
more telling and more sadly, the Kindle version of Petrus Romanus is
ranked at #1 in both the “Eschatology” and “Prophecy” categories, and #10 in
the “Christian Reference Works” category. This represents a lot of books being
sold and a lot of people being influenced—undoubtedly believers and unbelievers
alike.
However, beyond their influence through this book as
well as interviews and articles, the authors are being offered major speaking platforms.
For example, Tom Horn was a keynote speaker at the The Strategic
Perspectives Conference 
in last October, which was hosted by the
Koinonia House ministry of Chuck Missler, who was also a keynote speaker.
(Other speakers included Jonathan Cahn and David Barton—both of whom have had
questions raised about the accuracy of their work, and Joseph Farah, who
continues to promote books on the WND website which have serious
problems, even heresy in the case of books by Joe Kovacs, one of their
contributing writers.)
In June of last year, Tom Horn was keynote speaker at
the 2012 Prophecy in the News Conference in Branson Missouri. Speakers at that
conference included Jonathan Cahn, Joseph Farah, Chuck Missler, Bill Salus, and
Gary Stearman among others.
In July of this year, Horn will be addressing the
Pike’s Peak Prophecy Summit, which is already sold out of tickets. The list of
other speakers includes Cris Putnam, Jonathan Cahn, Joseph Farah, Gary
Stearman, Chuck Missler, L.A. Marzulli, Mark Biltz, Lennart Moller, Bill
Koenig, Ken Johnson, Paul McGuire, Jerry Robinson, Stan Monteith, Doug
Woodward, Bob Cornuke, Barrie Schwortz, Doug Hamp, Bill Salus, David Olander,
Samuel Hoyt, Doc Marquis, Derek Gilbert and David Brennan. I do not know about
the work of some of these men, but the list does include those who are
respected and have quite a bit of influence among believers. When good men join
together with those whose work is problematic, especially in a conference-type
forum, it can create a lot of unnecessary confusion within the Body of Christ.
Although we cannot know with any certainty whether or
not Pope Francis will be the last pope, we can know with certainty that we
continue to witness the ongoing erosion of biblical discernment as evidenced by
the sales of books like Petrus Romanus and attendance at conferences
where these kinds of things are taught. Beyond this, those who are exposing
these issues are coming under fire more than at any time in recent memory.
Endnotes:

2.Horn, Thomas; Putnam, Cris D.
(2012-04-15). Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here (Kindle Locations
421-430). Defender Publishing LLC. Kindle Edition 

6.Petrus Romanus (Kindle
Locations 327-337). 

8.Petrus Romanus (Kindle
Locations 444-452). 

9.Petrus Romanus (Kindle
Locations 452-459). 

10. Petrus Romanus
(Kindle Locations 465-467). 

11. Petrus Romanus (Kindle
Locations 950-952). 

12. Petrus Romanus
(Kindle Locations 737-747). 

13. Petrus Romanus
(Kindle Locations 9287-9301). 

14. Petrus Romanus
(Kindle Locations 9305-9307). 

15. Petrus Romanus
(Kindle Locations 9308-9311). 

16. Petrus Romanus
(Kindle Locations 9262-9265). 

17. This part of Cahn’s message
was subsequently removed from YouTube.com by someone at Beth Israel because
of the controversy it generated. 

18. Petrus Romanus
(Kindle Locations 9313-9320). 

19. To be fair, Horn and Putnam
did not use this phrase. It was used by Jonathan Cahn in a similar context as
noted above 

20.  Petrus Romanus
(Kindle Locations 9238-9240). 

22.  Petrus Romanus (Kindle
Locations 8666-8670). 

23.  Horn, Petrus
Romanus
(Kindle Locations 9246-9253). 

24.  Petrus Romanus
(Kindle Locations 9240-9246). 

25.  Petrus Romanus
(Kindle Locations 9046-9050). 

26.  Petrus Romanus
(Kindle Locations 792-797). 

27.  Petrus Romanus
(Kindle Locations 798-799). 

28.  Petrus Romanus (Kindle
Locations 801-804). 

29.  Petrus Romanus
(Kindle Locations 1592-1593). 

30.  Petrus Romanus
(Kindle Locations 1693). 

31. Petrus Romanus (Kindle Locations 1231-1233). 

*Republished with permission of the author. Graphic
exhibits were added. This article was originally published on March 22, 2013
and posted on The Alliance for Biblical Integrity website here: http://www.biblicalintegrity.org/blog/2013/03/22/pope-final-2/.
The article was subsequently revised by James and republished on March 26.
James’ note at the top of the revised article reads: Note: portions of this
article have been edited to more accurately reflect portions of Petrus Romanus
in response to comments by one of the authors, Cris Putnam concerning the
original version of the article.
The blog responses and back-and-forth
discussion can be found at the original posting. Dave James is the author of The Harbinger: Fact or Fiction? and
has been threatened with a lawsuit by Charisma Media, publisher of The
Harbinger
by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. See: http://www.biblicalintegrity.org/blog/2013/01/31/threatened-lawsuit-harbinger-publisher-author/
and http://apprising.org/2013/02/20/apprising-ministries-exclusive-actual-statement-from-charisma-house-and-jonathan-cahn-re-david-james-and-possible-lawsuit/

*Exhibit A was published on Tom Horn’s Raiders News Update
website, “Today’s Top Raids,” 2/11/13, with the promotional text:
“Re-Read The Series From Last Year! Who Will
Be The Last Pope?
Having documented what we have in the last few entries,
one could think with some certainty that Cardinal Bertone is a shoo-in for
Petrus Romanus. However, as we move into 2012, cracks are suddenly appearing in
the foundation of his sand castle, and not everybody in the Curia—including
Pope Benedict XVI, himself—may wind up as eager to support him as they once
were. As Pope Benedict’s health weakens, the sharks smell blood, and claims of
mismanagement have been increasing from competing factions in the Church that
are more than happy to seize opportunity to cast aspersion on Bertone in order
to elevate their own standing among the College of Cardinals. This may include
Archbishop Vigano, whose personal letters to Pope Benedict and Cardinal Bertone
concerning his reassignment as Nuncio were partially broadcast by an Italian
television news program in January 2012. The letters, confirmed by the Vatican
as authentic, exposed a blistering relationship between himself and Bertone
involving political jockeying and financial deal making including charges of
“corruption, nepotism and cronyism linked to the awarding of contracts to
contractors at inflated prices.”

*Exhibit B is apparently an image of St. Malachy. It was
published on Tom Horn’s Raiders News Update website, “Today’s Top
Raids,” 2/11/13, with the promotional text:
“As Predicted By St. Malachy Before Tom Horn & Cris Putnam —
The Last Pope Is Here
! As the legend goes, Malachy experienced what is
today considered a famous vision commonly called “The Prophecy of the Popes.”
The prophecy is a list of Latin verses predicting each of the Roman Catholic
popes from Pope Celestine II to the final pope, “Peter the Roman,” whose reign
would end in the destruction of Rome. According to this ancient prophecy, the
very next pope (following Benedict XVI) will be the final pontiff, Petrus
Romanus or Peter the Roman….”

*Exhibit C was published on Tom Horn’s Raiders News Update
website, 2/13/13, “Today’s Top Raids,” with the promotional text:
So What Did Tom Horn & Cris Putnam Write
In 2012 About The Prophecy Of The Popes? Here Is Part One
. Sixteen months
after the journey began Malachy finally arrived in Rome, his heart and mind
lifted and hopeful. Quickly, he was brought to Pope Innocent II for official
audience. Innocent approved Malachy’s request for the pallia but with strict
conditions: Malachy would take on new responsibilities. He was now the Papal
Legate of Ireland with all of its ensuing political intricacies. This was not
what he had wanted; he so desperately desired the peace and serenity of the
Abbey. It was upon leaving the seven-hilled city so frustrated, framed by the
breathtaking Western view from Janiculum Hill that it came upon him. Because of
the impiety of the popes, Rome would burn. As the legend goes, Malachy
experienced what is today considered a famous vision commonly called “The
Prophecy of the Popes.” The prophecy is a list of Latin verses predicting each
of the Roman Catholic popes from Pope Celestine II to the final pope, “Peter
the Roman,” whose reign would end in the destruction of Rome. According to this
ancient prophecy, the very next pope (following Benedict XVI) will be the final
pontiff, Petrus Romanus or Peter the Roman.”

*Exhibit D was published on
Tom Horn’s Raiders News Update website, 2/14/13, “Today’s Top Raids,”
with the promotional text:
AS
TOM PREDICTED 1 MONTH AGO. How Did Tom Horn Know? Told Stunned Audience Over A
Month Ago Benedict’s Resignation Was Imminent
. As heard on The Hagmann
& Hagmann Report last month: Pope Benedict XVI will resign… Prophecy
unfolding before our very eyes: Tom Horn, author of Petrus Romans, The Final
Pope is Here, and author Steve Quayle will join us for a very special Hagmann &
Hagmann Report this Thursday, February 14, 2013. 11 February 2013: In the wake
of today’s news that Pope Benedict XVI will resign on February 28, 2013, the
first papal resignation in nearly 600 years, listeners to the Hagmann &
Hagmann Report will recall this historic date: Sunday, January 13, 2013. That
was the broadcast with Steve Quayle and Tom Horn, author of Petrus Romanus, The
Final Pope is Here when the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI was discussed –
nearly one month before this official Vatican announcement. The 3-hour audio
program from January discussed the resignation of the Pope and the ushering in
of Petrus Romanus according to the prophecies of St. Malachy and ancient
documents, along with the future of the Vatican, the Papacy and the world.
FAST! GET THE BOOK & FREE LIBRARY SO YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS
ACCURATELY PREDICTED

*Exhibit E was published on Tom Horn’s Raiders News Update
website several times. The first time we noted it, 8/18/12, it was with the
promotional text: “
Does Ancient
Catholic Prophecy Suggest The End Is Near?
In this installment of Prophecy Update Radio, host Bill Salus takes a look
at the end time’s role of Roman Catholicism in Bible prophecy. Bill interviews
Cris Putnam, the co-author with Tom Horn of the bestselling book called Petrus
Romanus. This timely and fascinating interview takes a close look at the world
religion of the last days, and its potential ties to Catholicism. John spoke
about a literal city that reigns over the kings of the earth. He says it was a
city sitting upon seven hills, which at the time was known by both pagan and
Christian sources as the city of Rome. These clues in addition to the other
details John included, strongly suggest that he was describing a future
apostate religious system that would be headquartered in Rome. Moreover, an
ancient Catholic prophecy predicts there will be a final Pope. Some believe the
next Pope might be him. His name could be Peter the Roman (Petrus Romanus).
Could we be living in the final generation during the time of the final Pope?
What are the prophetic implications of an ancient extra – biblical prophecy
written by Saint Malachy?”
On 12/26/12
the graphic appeared with the following promotional text: “
RFID Tracking Chips At The Vatican: Is This Prophetic
Move In Rome Fulfilling The Prophecy Of The Popes?
The announcement that thousands of Vatican clergy and
employees will be issued an identification card with an RFID tracking device
comes as no surprise following the Vatileaks scandal. Even the Pope needs to be
concerned about confidentiality and security. However, His Holiness seems to be
following the Prophecy of the Popes and bringing us one step closer to
Armageddon. Sound far fetched? The fact that the last 111 popes were all named
in a 900-year-old prophecy is thought provoking enough. But the idea that Pope
Benedict XVI may be the Last Pope before the Apocalypse, he’s issuing tracking
devices to the masses, and he’s one of the most politically influential men in
the world should make you sit up and take notice. Because according to the
Prophecy of the Popes, the next pope will be the last, and he’ll usher in the
Antichrist. Nine hundred years ago, Pope Innocent II summoned Saint Malachy to
Rome for an annual accounting of his Northern Ireland Parish. On his return
trip, Malachy had a vision in which God revealed to him the identities of the
next 112 popes. While the names Malachy saw in his vision were cryptic,
theologians have found them to be extremely accurate. For example, in the
vision, Pope number…”

 

NOTE: The Discernment Research Group has written
extensively about the rise of apocalyptic paganism in the prophecy movement of
the evangelical church. Other HERESCOPE articles on this topic include:

”COSMS, CODES, AND CRYPTOLOGIES:”

Part
7: Quantum Prophecy 
“Nephilim
Eschatology: A Crash Course in the Emerging Endtime Prophecy Heresy”

For a biblical
examination of the “Nephilim,” See: Pastor Anton Bosch,
“Nephilim,”Discernment Newsletter, July/Aug. 2011, pp. 4-7; http://www.discernment-ministries.org/Newsletters/NL2011JulAug.pdf;
and also: Pastor Larry DeBruyn, “Demons, Daughters and DNA,” Guarding His Flock
Ministries; http://guardinghisflock.com/2011/06/22/demons-daughters-and-dna/