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An author who predicted Pope Benedict XVI would be the first pontiff in nearly 600 years to resign believes the election today of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the 266th Roman Catholic pontiff lines up with a medieval prophecy that would make him the “final pope” before the End Times.
Tom Horn, co-author with Cris Putman of the book “Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope is Here,” told WND today Bergoglio’s selection was a “fantastic fulfillment of prophecy.”
His book examines St. Malachy’s “Prophecy of the Popes,” said to be based on a prophetic vision of the 112 popes following Pope Celestine II, who died in 1144.
Malachy’s prophecies, first published in 1595, culminate with the “final pope,” “Petrus Romanus,” or “Peter the Roman,” whose reign ends with the destruction of Rome and the judgment of Christ.
Horn has said a pope of Italian descent would fulfill the prophecy, noting Bergoglio is the son of Italian parents and a Jesuit.
“Being a Jesuit is a very important aspect of our prediction in our book,” Horn told WND in an email.
Citing his book, Horn said the name “Petrus Romanus” in the prophecy “implies this pope will reaffirm the authority of the Roman Pontiff over the Church and will emphasize the supremacy of the Roman Catholic Faith and the Roman Catholic Church above all other religions and denominations, and its authority over all Christians and all peoples of the world.”
Horn pointed out the Jesuits order was organized “to stop Protestantism from spreading and to preserve communion with Rome and the successor of Peter.”
He also sees significance in Bergoglio naming himself after Francis of Assisi, an Italian, or Roman, priest whose original name was Francesco di Pietro (Peter) di Bernardone, “literally, Peter the Roman.”
As WND reported, Horn and his co-author, Cris Putnam, predicted in their book Benedict would step down, making way for history’s “final pope.”
The 2012 prediction
Remarkably, Horn told WND, more than 60 years ago a Belgian Jesuit theologian and academic named Rene Thibault came up with the date 2012 as the culmination of Malachy's prophecies.
Horn points to reports that Benedict made his decision to resign last year, before announcing it in February.
Thibault's was published in French only four months before Thibault died.
Horn and Putnam translated the Belgian priest's rare 1951 book, “The Mysterious Prophecy of the Popes,” into English.
"Adopting the methodology of a mystic as well as a scholar," Horn and Putnam write in the first chapter of their book, Thibault "makes a compelling case that 'The Prophecy of the Popes' is a real supernatural prophecy."
Horn noted Thibault is among many Catholic leaders, including popes, cardinals and priests, who have affirmed Malachy's work, which was kept in the Vatican archives for five centuries before it was first published.
He said Thibault used a number of methods of cryptographic analysis to come up with the date 2012, including calculating the average length of papal reign up until the time he wrote his book.
"In other words," Horn and Putnam write, "2012 was seen as an end-times 'event horizon' by at least one Jesuit priest before most readers were born."
St. Malachy, an Irish saint and the archbishop of Armagh, who lived from 1094 to 1148, described the "final pope" this way: "In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit Peter the Roman, who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the City of Seven Hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people."
As WND reported, he described the penultimate pope, which Horn believes is Benedict, as “Gloria Olivae,” or “Glory of the Olive."
Benedict was not a Benedictine priest, yet he chose the name of the founder of the Order of Saint Benedict, which also is known as the Olivetans
The symbol of the Benedictine order includes an olive branch.