If you’re a devoted Catholic – or simply follow world news – you know that the office of the pope is currently vacant after the 265th guy with a pointy hat, Pope Benedict XVI, resigned on the 28th of February. He was the first pope to resign on his own initiative since 1294 as popes tend to die of more or less natural causes. The office of the pope needs a pope (otherwise it would only be a normal office) and tomorrow, the College of Cardinals will start their papal conclave, the process of electing the next pope. This is a, to put it lightly, fairly complicated process that I can only imagine involves an intricate mess of internal politics, negotiations, accusations and wild promises.
Even though you might now be a Catholic, or even remotely interested in anything religious, I recommend that you read this article on Wikipedia to learn more about how the papal conclave works. It’s a fascinating read and on this level it’s mostly about politics anyway.
If being a pope sounds like something you’d like to give a go, you should also have a look at this excellent video by CGPGrey:
Sheppard to over one billion people, eh? That doesn’t sound so bad now, does it? But unless you’re already (as the video points out) a catholic, a man and a cardinal right now, you’ll never become the pope. Why? Because according to the Prophecy of the Popes the next pope will be the last one: He will bring the destruction of the city of Rome and usher in the beginning of the Apocalypse.
So the world is about to plunge into chaos. Again. The last big apocalyptic prophecy was the 2012 end of the Mayan calendar. Some people did what some people always do when they hear these kinds of prophecies: They believe in them. But the world didn’t end on December 21, 2012. I know that because I’m writing this. You know that because you’re reading it. And there’s a good chance that nothing will happen during the reign of the next pope either (even though the prophecy is very well aligned with North Korea’s latest shenanigans). The destruction of the Catholic church might very well come though, being that it has slowly destroyed itself from the inside for quite some time now. Search for “catholic scandal” on the internet for a wide selection of examples.
But if you are, like me, fascinated with all the imaginative ways the world is supposed to crash and burn, the Prophecy of the Popes is a good read. In addition the Wikipedia article I linked to above, there’s also a good article on Skeptoid. You’ll also find tons of links on Google and I’m pretty sure you’ll see a lot about this particular apocalyptic prophecy in main stream media in the near future.
Happy reading! But please don’t believe everything you read. Or everything you think, for that matter.