Documentary explores intrigue that has lasted for centuries
A new documentary is the first effort to take an objective look at the prophecies of a 12th century Irish Catholic saint and what they portend for the future of the Church and Pope Francis.
According to the Prophecy of the Popes, a time of vast biblical significance is now at hand.
“The Last Pope?” includes medieval historians, Vatican-affiliated experts and authors. From Ireland to Italy, “The Last Pope?” tells a riveting story of eschatological intrigue. The film is based on the book,“Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope is Here,” by Tom Horn and Cris Putnam.
“The Last Pope?” delves deeply into the prophecies of St. Malachy, an Irish saint and archbishop of Armagh who lived from 1094 to 1148. Malachy’s “Prophesies of the Popes” is 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. A modern version of Malachy’s prophecies was published in 1969 by Archbishop H. E. Cardinale, the Apostolic Nuncio to Belgium and Luxembourg.
The film examines Malachy’s prophecies, which are a series of statements that purportedly provide clues as the identity of each of the 112 popes, in a critical light. Some of the statements refer to a particular town, while others make references to the coat of arms representing each pontiff.
Skeptics have said the book is nothing more than a collection of phrases similar to the writings of Nostradamus. Putman says people have a right to be skeptical, and if Malachy’s revelations are correct, they should stand up to scrutiny using the scientific method. He goes on to say that they provide a fascinating insight into the history of the popes.
“The way the scientific method works is you develop a hypothesis and you don’t try to prove a hypothesis, you try to disprove it,” Putnam said. “It’s easy to find some kind of confirming evidence if you go fishing around. In a lot of these prophecies, I think that’s a valid criticism.”