When Benedict XVI become the first pope to resign from office in hundreds of years, and only the second in history, I wrote about some of the conspiracy theories surrounding his departure. Now that his replacement has been named I felt that it was time to return to the subject, especially since the Pope Francis I will be the first ever from the order of Jesuit – a branch of the church which has always been at the heart of some of the world’s most interesting conspiracy theories.
The Last Pope
The most interesting conspiracy theory I found in relation to the resignation of Benedict XVI was the ‘last pope’ prophecy.
A 12th century Irish saint called Malachy wrote a series of 112 mystical poems, describing the attributes of each pope from Malachy’s life until ‘the destruction of the church’. Benedict XVI was the penultimate pope, and supposedly the last true pope. The 112th and final pope – Francis I – “will pasture his sheep in many tribulations: and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the terrible judge will judge his people. The End,” says Saint Malachy. The final pope is described by many interpreters of Malachy’s writings as and ‘image of Satan’.
Over the centuries various writers have found correlations between Malachy’s verses and the real popes. Benedicts XVI, for example, is described as the “Glory of the Olive”, and comes from the Benedictine Order whose cresent depicts Olive Branches. Interestingly, a book about the last pope called Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here by Tom Horn and Cris Putnam predicted Benedict’s Resignation almost a year before it happened. (see the links below the article for Putnam’s reaction to the election of the new a ‘last’ pope).
The First Jesuit Pope
The Jesuits have always been a controversial order, associated with many intrigues over the years – both within the church and within broader politics. They have been associated with the Illuminati and the New World Order, and play a leading role in many conspiracy theories.