Catholic Eschatology and Predictions of an Antipope

A member of my discussion group, CatholicPlanet.net, asked if a particular prophecy attributed to Saint Francis were genuine.

“1. The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the wicked will increase.

2. The devils will have unusual power, the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity. At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavor to draw many into error and death.

3. Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.

4. There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God.

5. Then our Rule and manner of life will be violently opposed by some, and terrible trials will come upon us. Those who are found faithful will receive the crown of life; but woe to those who, trusting solely in their Order, shall fall into tepidity, for they will not be able to support the temptations permitted for the proving of the elect.

6. Those who preserve in their fervor and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and, persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth. but the Lord will be the refuge of the afflicted, and will save all who trust in Him. And in order to be like their Head, [Christ] these, the elect, will act with confidence, and by their death will purchase for themselves eternal life; choosing to obey God rather than man, they will fear nothing, and they will prefer to perish rather than consent to falsehood and perfidy.

7. Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days JESUS CHRIST WILL SEND THEM NOT A TRUE PASTOR, BUT A DESTROYER.””

My answer is that, in the light of my study of eschatology, the above prophecy seems genuine to my judgment.

However, Pope Francis is NOT the antipope described in the prophecy. The grace and providence of God would not permit anyone to be accepted as Pope by the Church on earth, that is, by the body of Christ, if he were an imposter. The election of Pope Francis is confirmed as valid by that acceptance. And the fact that some persons, unfaithful or weak in faith, have opposed or even rejected him, is like Judas betraying Christ, and does not indicate an invalid Pope.

My view is that the antipope so described occurs after the end of the next Pontificate. When Pope Francis resigns (or dies), the next Pope will be a valid Roman Pontiff, who is very conservative. Then after his death (a martyrdom, I think), two elections are held: one for the true Pope and the other for a very prominent antipope. And that is the antipope described in some true private revelations.

The antipope in question will be liberal, not conservative. He will not be orthodox, like Pope Francis and Pope John XXIII. He will propose changes to Church doctrine and discipline, which accord with the ideas of sinful secular society. Pope Francis is falsely accused of behaving in that way. But the actual antipope, whose time is perhaps only several years away, will clearly reject Church teaching, and teach heresy. He is permitted by God to teach heresy, while true pope are prevented by grace from all grave errors, because he is not a valid Pope from the beginning. His election will not be valid. I think he will take the papal name Pope Peter II, so as to emphasize his (false) claim to be a valid successor of Peter. We should call him Pope Judas, as he will be an antipope from the beginning of his election.

But a true Pope will be elected at the same time. This true Pope will not be pleasing to most Catholics, which is why so many go over to the antipope of that time. The antipope will be charming, eloquent, and pleasing to the most sinful in the Church. He will make excuses for grave sins, just as many unfaithful theologians and many Catholics are already doing, in articles and posts online. He will “teach” them what they already mistakenly think is true, and so they will declare him to be their Pope.

I believe that this situation (two claimants to the papacy) occurs because of World War 3. The Islamic extremists capture Europe, including Italy and Vatican City, and they martyr the Pope (the one after Francis). Then the next election must take place outside of Rome. And there will not be enough Cardinals available for the election, so the Cardinals will decide to permit Bishops to vote also. This decision is valid, but contrary to the rules for electing a Pope. In the absence of a Pope, and in case of dire necessity, the Cardinals have the authority to govern the rules of the conclave. So then they will elect a new valid Pope.

But the unfaithful will realize that an election can be considered valid outside of Rome and with a few Cardinals and many Bishops. So they will gather a few Cardinals and many Bishops, outside of Rome, and elect their own claimed Roman Pontiff, a prominent antipope. Then the two men will each claim to be the Vicar of Christ and true pope.

God has decided to put the members of the Church on earth to the test, at the beginning of the tribulation. Conservatives are being tested right now, and many are failing miserably, due to pride. “For you declare, ‘I am wealthy, and I have been enriched further, and I have need of nothing.’ And you do not know that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” (Rev 3:17). The Vicar of Christ himself offered them correction, and they rejected his correction and his person. For they cannot imagine that they themselves would be in need of teaching or correction from anyone.

But after Pope Francis’ pontificate ends, I think with his resignation, the next Pope will be very conservative. And then liberal Catholics will be put to the test. Many will fall away under each Pope, that is, Francis and his successor. For pride and attachment to various grave sins has gripped many of the followers of Jesus Christ.

by
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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4 Responses to Catholic Eschatology and Predictions of an Antipope

  1. Francisco says:

    Ron, if I’m not mistaken, an antipope is someone who is invalidly elected Pope and is usually in opposition with a validly elected Pope who reigns during the same period of time that the antipope is “governing”. So, during the period of time that an antipope (or antipopes) is “reigning”, there is also the one true Pope reigning. In other words, during this same period of time, there is the one true Pope and the antipope(s). This has occurred in the history of the Church and sometimes it happens that a particular antipope is not necessarily a “bad” person.

    Now, I have heard the claim by sedevacantists who claim that all Popes from John 23 to the current Pope are antipopes and that they have been teaching heresies after heresies. But contrary to the history of the antipopes, none of these supposed “antipopes” (John 23 to Francis) have been in opposition with any supposedly “valid” Pope also reigning at the same time. The fact that all these Popes (John 23 to Francis) have been the only elected Popes without any opposition of any supposed “true” Pope reigning at the same time wouldn’t make them “antipopes”, at least by the usual historical standards. Why then would they call them “antipopes”? It is because their teaching do not fit with their narrow minded idolatry of conservatism. They think that Catholicism equals conservatism, so, to them, any Pope who teaches contrary to their misunderstandings of Catholicism is an “antipope”. For them there is no room for development of doctrine or changes to their favorite disciplines. To them, the chair of St. Peter has been vacant since October 9, 1958 (59 years so far) by proposing some “conspiracy theories”, etc.. But their thesis is in compatible with the promise of Christ that He will be with His Church ‘always’ until the end of time (Matthew 28:20). Jesus wouldn’t go against His own promise and leave His flock like sheep without shepherd, He actually had compassion so see people like that (Matthew 9:36), so it would be even worst if He would leave people like that for a considered amount of time that so many of His sheep can be lost to Hell by the supposed “heresies” taught by the ones leading His Church. It would be Christ’s irresponsibility for leaving his sheep wandering around without His Vicar. So we see here how their thesis is incompatible with the Gospel. On the contrary, Jesus said that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against His Church (Matt 16:18). They also say that the prophesies given by our Lady at La Salette support their claim by quoting: “Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the antichrist”. But this cannot possibly be regarding any true validly elected Pope because Jesus said “But I have prayed for you [Peter], so that your faith may not fail, and so that you, once converted, may confirm your brothers.” (Luke 22:32) and the indefectibility of the Church (Matt 16:18) (18:18) who was divinely instituted.

  2. Matt says:

    Regarding #2, doesn’t the first secret of Medjugorje, “break the back of Satan?” Why would the devils have unusual power during the Tribulations?

    Regarding #4, what does it mean that “except those days were shortened,?”

    • Ron Conte says:

      The more people sin, the more influence fallen angels have in the world. The first secret brings many many persons to repentance, thereby breaking the back of Satan. But that figure implies he still has some substantial influence. It is not said that his neck is broken, but his back. So, among the unrepentant, grave sins continue and worsen.

      The expression “except that those days were shortened” is from Matthew 24.

  3. Matt says:

    Message of Our Lady Queen of Peace, Pedro Regis – transmitted on 11/11/2017 Google Translation

    Dear children, depart from all evil and serve the Lord with joy. Ye are of the Lord, and the things of the world are not for you. Do not be slaves of sin. You are important for the realization of My Plans. Be docile. Your doubts and uncertainties are interference from My adversary. Your goal must be Heaven. Everything in this life passes, but only the Grace of God in you will be Eternal. Cherish prayer, for only then can you grow spiritually. Do not stray from the path I have pointed out to you. When you are far away, you become the target of the devil. I am your Mother and I love you. I do not want to force you, for you have freedom, but do not allow your freedom to keep you from the path of salvation. You will still have long years of hard trials on Earth. In these difficult times, seek strength in Jesus. Listen to His Words and everywhere testify that you are the Lord’s. Whatever happens, stay with the True Magisterium of the Church of My Jesus. Difficult times will come and in the House of God there will be much confusion. I suffer for what comes to you. Do not retreat. In all God in the first place. Forward in truth. This is the message that I am sending you today in the name of the Most Holy Trinity. Thank You for allowing Me to meet you here one more time. I bless you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Be at peace.

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