The great apostasy and the papacy

In my speculative eschatology, I am predicting immense changes for the Roman Catholic Church worldwide over the next few decades, including a great apostasy in which most Catholics leave the Church, repentance and return to the Church of the apostates, the union of all the Protestant denominations in one Catholic Church, and a great Ecumenical Council that will answer many questions of faith and morals, settle many controversies, and have an immense effect on the Church for a long time.

The first part of the tribulation will begin in 2011 and will last through early 2040. Subsequently, there will be a time of worldwide peace, holiness, and rebuilding. The Gospel will be preached throughout the world with great effectiveness. The vast majority of the citizens of the world will become Roman Catholic. The only three religions at that time will be Catholic Christianity, Judaism, and moderate Islam.

The future and the Popes:

Pope Benedict XVI dies not long after the Warning and Miracle, probably in 2011.

His successor is Cardinal Arinze, who takes the name Pope Pius XIII. He is the Pope referred to as Peter the Roman by St. Malachy. His reign will be short. He will require Catholics to believe and practice the Faith in order to receive the Eucharist. He will not tolerate heretics (as they are so widely tolerated today). Most Catholics will leave the Church rather than adhere to Catholic teaching. Some Bishops and many priests and religious will also leave the Church. This event is the long-prophesied great apostasy.

Pope Pius XIII is captured during World War 3, taken to a prison in Iraq, where he dies. Rome is captured and many of its churches are burned or otherwise destroyed.

The rules for electing the next Pope say that the election must take place in Vatican City. But this will be impossible since Rome will have been captured. Some Cardinals will doubt that a conclave would be valid, since the rules require it to be held in Vatican City. Also, the great apostasy and the war will reduce the number of Cardinals who can participate in a conclave. Therefore, Bishops who remained faithful to the Pope will be allowed to vote with the Cardinals for the next Pope. They will meet in some location other than Rome, and will elect a new Pope. But many will doubt that his election was valid.

Those Catholics who left the Church in the great apostasy will hold their own election. They, too, will allow Bishops to vote with the Cardinals. They will elect a liberal Cardinal, one of those who left the Church in the great apostasy; his election is not valid, and so he is an antipope. Then there will be two claimed Popes, the one true Pope and the antipope.

When the Allies recapture Rome sometime in 2013, both men will go to Rome, each to bolster his claim to be the true Pope. Then, in July of 2013, the enemy will strike Rome with a nuclear missile, killing both men.

[Zechariah]
{13:7} Awake, O spear, against my shepherd and against the man that clings to me, says the Lord of hosts. Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. And I will turn my hand to the little ones.

The next Pope will be a liberal but valid Pope, and he will heal the schism in the Church. His reign will also be short.

Much more about future Popes and the future of the Church is found in my books of eschatology.

by Ron Conte, Catholic theologian

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