Did the Prophecy of the Popes predict Pope Benedict XVI's resignation?

Irish prophet predicted Pope Benedict XVI would be the second to last pope

Author: Constance Jones, Reporter, Anchor, CJones@Local10.com
Published On: Feb 17 2013 01:01:48 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 18 2013 12:25:42 AM EST

On the same day that Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, lightning struck St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Was this evidence of God's wrath or some sort of supernatural sign from above?

According to a 12th century prophecy, it could be a sign of the end of times. The Irish prophet St. Malachy predicted that the pope that follows Pope Benedict will be the last one.

The Prophecy of the Popes dates back to 1139. In it, it lists only 112 popes before the Last Judgment. Pope Benedict XVI is the 111th.

Barry University Theology professor Dr. Edward Sunshine tells Local 10's Constance Jones, those in academia are not big believers.

"In terms of prophesying it, prophecy in the sense of predicting it, it's a risky business," he said. "All kinds of people have made all kinds of predictions about the end and then when the time has passed, they've had to eat their words."

But many of the prophecies from this document were spot on. A prediction referred to Pope John Paul II as the "Eclipse of the Sun." He was born during the solar eclipse.

As for Pope Benedict the 16th, the prophecy named him with the "glory of the Olive."  He comes from the monastic order known as the Olivetan Congregation.

"You can call it a coincidence or you can say it is a sign of something," said Dr. Sunshine. "As far as proving one or the other, I don't know how you'd do that."

The Catholic Church has not made any comments in regards to the predictions, but one South Florida priest says only God knows when the end of time will come.

"For us Christians, it goes against the Gospel. Jesus has said no body knows the end, not even the Son himself," said Father Marcelo Solorzano. "Only the Father, according to Jesus, knows, so we don't know."

Fr. Solorzano encourages anyone who is worried about the end to depend on a loving God.