My comments on Fr. Z.’s predictions for 2012

Fr. Z. has offered some predictions for 2012. My commentary on some of his predictions:

“Israel will attack Iran (one of these years I’ll be right about this).”

Iran has been known to be developing a nuclear bomb as well as a nuclear missile for many months. And yet Israel has not chosen to use overt military force. They have perhaps been behind the recent explosions at a missile development site. They perhaps assisted the U.S. in developing the cyber-warfare attack called stuxnet and duqu, which has slowed Irans uranium enrichment program. But at this point in time, it is perhaps too late for them to use overt military force. Most of the work in developing a nuclear bomb is completed. And Iran has centrifuges under a mountain at the Fordow plant (near Qom).

So I disagree. I think it is more likely that Israel will continue various efforts short of overt military action, until it is too late, and Iran builds a bomb.

“Egypt will become an Islamic Republic.”

I agree that Islamists will begin taking over Egypt and other nations in that region. I will go so far as to say that, by the end of 2012, all of the Arab/Muslim nations of the Middle East and northern Africa will be led by Islamic extremists.

“Women will not be ordained deacons. (Good for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016…)”

I’m predicting that a future Pope will teach that the Church has the authority to ordain women to the deaconate, and that this Pope will permit the valid and licit ordination of women deacons beginning in January of 2016. Father Z. disagrees. I’m sure he realizes that the Magisterium has only decided the question of the priestly ordination of women (as priests or bishops). But he is of the opinion that this also extends to the deaconate.

“Pres. Obama will not be re-elected.”

Unfortunately, as with many other persons’ political predictions, this seems to be wishful thinking. The incumbant has a substantial advantage over any challenger. And at the present time, conservatives are divided as to whom they might support.

In my book Notes on the Apocalypse: 2012, I analyze what effect Iran will have on the U.S. Presidential election process, if Iran obtains nuclear weapons, and especially if Iran attacks the U.S. with a nuclear bomb in 2012. Either event could change the political landscape suddenly; the latter event would instantly change the race for the Presidency.

So anyone who does not take this possibility (or rather this eventuality) into account has misunderstood this election cycle.

“Benedict will still be Pope at the end of 2012.”

I think that Pope Benedict will die soon because, in my understanding of eschatology, the new Pope must have his reign beginning in 2012, most probably within the first few months of the year. The trip abroad is a more likely time for the Pope’s death because it puts additional strain on his decreasing health, and also possibly (but hopefully not) makes him more vulnerable to assassination attempts.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and Bible translator

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