Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Black Smoke White Smoke

They’re picking the last pope now. Have you heard?
And to no one’s surprise, on day one of the conclave no one won in the first ballot. That’s because everyone voted for themselves as this is the rumored tradition.
So they had a black smoke paper fire today.
But back to my original statement. Some say that the pope that is picked this time out is going to be the last in the long line of popes stretching back to the stuff of myths.
The story goes that Saint Malachy, a 12thcentury Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland had a vision wherein he saw who were going to be the next 112 popes starting with Celestine  II who rose to the papacy in 1143, serving for a whole year.
Here’s the rub. Malachy wrote that the next to last pope was going to be named Benedict, and that the last pope was known as” Peter the Roman.”
Now there are no Italian cardinals known as Peter, but then one takes his name after being named, not before. But one of the more interesting assertions is that the manuscript was “discovered” much later than they were said to have been written, in 1595, and more importantly, the popes named in the first 500 years of popedom were surprisingly accurate, and the predictions afterward were wildly inaccurate.
This is a common practice in Christendom. Prophecy is commonly the writing of history after history has already been made. Christ’s prediction of the destruction of Solomon’s Temple being one of them. It has been argued that that prediction was recorded 100+ years after it happened.
But mysticism is, has been, and always will be a part of the papal process. Picking the next bearer of the black secrets of the Catholic Church is serious business, one not to be taken lightly.
Even when the last one served in Hitler’s army by shooting down allied bombers.

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