As many of my readers know, I write eschatology, including proposals as to the dates or time frames for various predicted future events. The field of Roman Catholic eschatology is largely speculative. Most of the assertions in any work of eschatology are not a matter of dogma or doctrine; there are few required beliefs concerning future events in the Church. Moreover, the proposal that a certain event will occur on a particular date or in a particular year or range of years, is also speculative. It is a matter of theological opinion, not doctrine.
For my defense of the usefulness of speculative theology, eschatology, and the attempt to discern the dates of future events, see my free PDF booklet:
On Speculative Theology and Eschatology
The dates that I have proposed for events at the start of the tribulation have been wrong a number of times. On several occasions, I have reworked those dates because events did not occur within the time frame that I had proposed. Some commentators say that these repeated changes to dates discredits my entire body of work in eschatology. My reply is that all eschatology is speculative; it is not reasonable to expect a theologian — writing in any field of theology, especially eschatology — to be infallible. Admitting errors and revising one’s work is a necessary part of any field of theological, philosophical, or even scientific inquiry.
However, I believe that once the tribulation begins, the dates for subsequent events during the tribulation will be easier to ascertain.
As of 31 December 2012, I’m revising the dates for events at the start of the tribulation to the following. Dates beyond the years stated below remain unchanged. These dates and my eschatology in general remain in the realm of speculative theology.
In the year 2013
Iran uses a nuclear bomb against New York City, initiating World War 3 — which is the first horseman and the first Seal of the apocalypse.
Pope Benedict XVI dies. The next Pope will be Cardinal Arinze, who will take the name Pope Pius XIII.
Pope Pius XIII requires all Catholics to believe and practice the Catholic Faith in order to receive Communion and be considered a faithful member of the Church. His teachings are entirely in accord with Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium, and yet most of the members of the Church reject him and leave the Church, in the great apostasy. So the great apostasy begins in 2013, sometime during the year of Faith (Oct. 11, 2012 to Nov. 24, 2013).
The world falls into severe civil disorder due to: the nuclear bomb explosion in NYC, fear concerning the War and possible subsequent uses of nukes, and severe economic hardships. The cities in the U.S. and Europe are particularly hard hit by civil disorder, but every nation is affected. This severe civil disorder is the second horseman and the second Seal.
The great famine begins in mid-2013 (summer) and continues until mid-2020. This event is the third horseman and the third Seal. It starts with sharp increases in food prices, disruptions in food production and distribution, and progresses to rationing and (especially in Europe) outright famine.
World War 3 continues to unfold. The nuclear attack by Iran on NYC causes the Arab/Muslim nations of the Middle East and northern Africa to rally behind Iran. Extremists quickly rise to power in each of those nations. An extremist leader takes over Iraq and becomes one of the more powerful leaders, second only to the leader of Iran.
In the years 2014 and 2015
World War 3 continues. The civil unrest, famine, and economic collapse weakens the European nations, making invasion by the Arab/Muslim forces easier. First Turkey, and then other European nations begin to fall.
The great apostasy worsens. Vast numbers of Catholic laypersons, as well as priests, deacons, religious and more than a few Bishops leave the Church. Some of these persons begin to try to set up a new version of the Church, a false version of Catholicism that rejects the conservative teachings of Pope Pius XIII.
World War 3 continues; extremists consolidate power. Italy is invaded.
Pope Pius XIII is captured in 2014. Next, he is put on trial, blinded, and sent to a prison in Iraq.
The city of Rome falls to the Arab/Muslim forces in 2014.
Pope Pius XIII dies in a prison in Iraq (2014 or 2015).
A new Pope is elected, but not at Rome, so some persons doubt the election. Those who left the Church during the great apostasy then attempt to elect their own pope (an antipope). He will be the most prominent antipope in the history of the Church so far.
In 2015, the Allies retake the city of Rome. The new Pope and the antipope both go to Rome, each one to bolster his claim to be the true pope. But because the extremists could not hold the city, they strike Rome and Vatican City with a nuclear missile (in 2015, perhaps in the summer). Both the true Pope and the antipope are killed by the missile strike.
Subsequently, a liberal Pope is elected; he is a true Pope, but many conservatives reject him.
The Pope ordains women deacons (January, 2016).
The Warning, Consolation, Miracle (Good Friday, Easter Sunday, May 12th evening).
Chaos in Europe as a result of the Warning; extremists become frantic and desperate.
War intensifies; European nations fall like dominoes.
Extremists solidify their gains and mop up remaining pockets of resistance.
2018 – 2019:
War winds down.
The great famine ends (mid-2020).
All Christians will be united in one restructured Catholic Church.
Some of the above dates and the dates for the rest of the events of the tribulation are unchanged. See my many books and booklets of Roman Catholic eschatology for more information on each predicted event. I have not updated the dates in my books and booklets, but, other than the dates for several events at the start of the tribulation, those books and booklets accurately express my current views on eschatology.
Some online commentators object to my attempt to discern the dates set by the will of God for future events. My reply to their objections is this:
“What I have written, I have written.”