Election of Pope Benedict Will Usher In Dramatic Clash Between Good and Evil
With the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to the Throne of Peter, the spiritual war brewing for so long now will be fully engaged. There is first of all the name: Benedict. As a symbol in the fight against evil, that name is below only the Archangel Michael, hearkening to the great St. Benedict of the Sixth Century who rose to gird the Church at a time when the civilized world had been overrun by pagan and Arian tribes, rapidly lapsing into barbarism, the Church wracked by schisms and the community of Christians guilty of shameful sins that (if this sounds familiar) their youth imitated.
St. Benedict was constantly assaulted by the evil one but rose above that with the monastic rule of life -- just as the former Cardinal Ratzinger will almost surely face a far more open form of crushing evil at a time when there are what the late Pope John Paul II, in one of his very last writings, called "dark shadows" enshrouding the planet.
That darkness will react to the exorcistic power behind the very name of Benedict -- which is best represented in a highly popular medal that is actually a Crucifix with the visage of Benedict -- tall and strong -- on the back.
The above features were finally incorporated in a newly designed medal struck in 1880 under the supervision of the monks of Montecassino, Italy -- where, it is reported, the new Pope often has gone on retreat!
Benedict fought to unite Christians against the rise of evil as Pope Benedict XVI immediately announced that he too will do. In a vision, St. Benedict once saw as in a single sunbeam the whole world in the Light of God (as many believe there will one day soon be a light that shows the modern world its own conscience).
Benedict was buried on the site of an altar dedicated to the "god" Apollo -- which the saint had cast down! The medals, imbued with a special power of exorcism, are in wide circulation around the world and will almost surely now become a Catholic staple.
Interestingly, St. Benedict is invoked by those suffering from rashes, inflammatory diseases, poison -- and especially witchcraft. Through history, many "Pope Benedicts" have been on the scene just before the world was faced with "anti-popes," which we can interpret as forces aligned against the Mother Church of Rome, and not necessarily indicating the immediate successors (see Popes Benedict III, IV, VI, and VIII).
In his Good Friday meditations this year, filling in for Pope John Paul II, Benedict XVI specifically mentioned "paganism, which in its attempt to do away with God once and for all, has ended up doing away with man."
There it is: a straightforward call to arms against what amounts to witchcraft.
And then there is the prophecy. As so many now know, St. Malachy of Ireland allegedly had a vision in which he saw the remaining succession of popes, and foresaw that after a pope associated with the sun (John Paul II was born and his funeral was on the day of an eclipse, and he was closely tied to Fatima, where there was the famous sun miracle) would come a pope de gloria olivae, "from the glory of the olive."
St. Benedict and the popes who took his name have often been associated with peace-making (the olive branch) and St. Benedict's very order, the Benedictines, are also known as "Olivetans" and has an olive branch as its symbol.
In fact, there are those who believe St. Benedict himself once predicted that before the end of the world his order would lead the Church triumphantly in its fight against evil.
Whatever the case, the Pope of the Woman Clothed with the Sun (John Paul II) has been followed by the Pope who grapples with the Red Dragon (see Revelation 12) and persecution.
In the true way that prophecy operates, many expected that, to fulfill Malachy's prophecy, the next Pope would have to be a Benedictine -- when in fact it turned out to be a cardinal who meditated in Benedictine monasteries and took the name Benedict!
There is now a Benedict on the Throne of Peter and this means that there will be a great tightening within the Church, a circling of the wagons, and a more pronounced direction to Catholics to avoid succumbing to the world.
As a Cardinal, Joseph Ratzinger often admonished that the Church must remain separate from the world, and he is nearly sure to shake some of this worldliness from bishops -- especially those whose waywardness has caused what he just recently described as "soiled garments" in the Church of Christ. He has spoken against bishops who act more like bureaucrats than holy men.
This will deepen the spiritual conflict.
A defender of Vatican II, Pope Benedict XVI nonetheless believes it has been misused, quoting another cardinal as comparing that Council to a huge site of construction.
"But a critical spirit later added that it was a construction site where the blueprint had been lost and everyone continues to build according to his taste," said Ratzinger. "The result is evident."
Thus, there is going to be a clamping down on the liturgy, which will precipitate yet more warfare.
Pope Benedict has also been critical of the "right," particularly followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. He has called the positions of such ultra-traditionalists "absurd."
He knows what he faces. In a book called The Ratzinger Report, Pope Benedict said, "It is not Christians who oppose the world, but rather the world which opposes itself to them when the truth about God, about Christ, and about man is proclaimed. The world waxes indignant when sin and grace are called by their names. After the phase of indiscriminate 'openness' it is time that the Christian reacquire the consciousness of belonging to a minority and of often being in opposition to what is obvious, plausible, and natural for that mentality which the New Testament calls -- and certainly not in a positive sense -- the 'spirit of the world.' It is time to find again the courage of nonconformisms, the capacity to oppose many of the trends of the surrounding culture."
In this vein, and while the new Pope shares John Paul II's vision of a new springtime, he does not see a coming springtime of massive renewal. Speaking with the Polish Catholic news agency KAI, he recently said that the “new springtime” of the Church is a reality, but that it will not “necessarily” be significant in terms of numbers.
The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith explained that “we should not think that in the near future Christianity will become a movement of the masses again, going back to a situation like Medieval times. At least we cannot expect that in the current conditions."
And so we are back to prophecy. There are those who claim (emphasize "claim") that "just before his death, Pius X had another vision. 'I have seen one of my successors, of the same name, who was fleeing over the bodies of his brethren. He will take refuge in some hiding place; but after a brief respite, he will die a cruel death. Respect for God has disappeared from human hearts. They wish to efface even God's memory. This perversity is nothing less than the beginning of the last days of the world.' I had expected the current pope to take the name Piux XIII to fulfill this prophecy, but the prophecy is still fulfilled by the personal names of the popes. Pius X's name was 'Giuseppe' (Joseph in Italian if I am not mistaken). Ratzinger's first name is Josef."
Any truth to that? Or to the internet prophecies, such as one propagated by a man named Ronald L. Conte who -- before the papal election -- reportedly predicted that "the next Pope after John Paul II will take the name Pope Benedict XVI, in imitation of Saint Benedict and also of Pope Benedict XV. Just as Pope Benedict XV was an emissary of peace, so will Pope Benedict XVI be an emissary of peace. Just as Pope Benedict XV sought peace and spoke of peace and wrote papal documents seeking peace, so will Pope Benedict XVI do also. Just as Pope Benedict XV failed to achieve peace in the world, so will Pope Benedict XVI fail to achieve peace in the world. Just as the Pontificate of Benedict XV began prior to World War I, so will the Pontificate of Benedict XVI occur prior to World War III. After the Pontificate of Benedict XVI, World War III will begin. The Arab nations will threaten and attack the United States; they will threaten, attack, invade and conquer Europe; they will threaten, attack, invade and conquer the northern part of Africa. It is God's will."
Conte went on to predict a relatively short reign for Benedict and period of great upheaval from now until 2035, with persecution, martyrdoms, and long wars involving Arabs. These will involve the "Seals" of Revelation. After 2035 will come the "Trumpets" [see alleged prophecy]. And then a time of glorious renewal and peace.
Truth or overwrought biblical interpretation?
Let us say this for now:
There are the signs of coming conflict and there is now too the bright light of a leader who by all appearances, in the looming immediate battles, is not afraid to face up to it.
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