As my regular readers know, I believe that Cardinal Arinze will be the next Pope. I’ve already explained why, at length, in my booklet: The Future and the Popes. I this post, I will answer a few additional questions on the subject.
Does the installation of 22 new Cardinals affect who will be the next Pope?
In my opinion, this appointment of new Cardinals will not change the outcome of the next papal election. There are a few reasons for this. First, almost all of the Cardinals of the Church are more conservative than the general laity. The range of opinions among Cardinals from the more liberal to the more conservative, occupies a much narrower range than among the laity, and that range is more towards the conservative end. A liberal Cardinal is probably still a conservative, from the point of view of liberal Catholic laypersons. The new Cardinals are not outside this range of opinions. So Arinze, as a conservative, would be favored by many Cardinals.
Second, while Arinze is even more conservative than many Cardinals, he will still be able to gain quite a few votes from the liberal Cardinals. Many Cardinals would like to continue the recent precedent of electing non-Italian Popes. The Church is worldwide and universal, so the Pope need not be Italian. And many Cardinals would like to extend this precedent, so that the next Pope would be non-European as well. The liberal Cardinals would prefer a Pope from the developing world. As a non-European from Africa, Cardinal Arinze would gain some votes from liberals.
Third, the current rules for electing the Pope have changed. A simple majority is no longer sufficient; two-thirds majority is necessary. So neither the liberal Cardinals, nor the conservative Cardinals, have a majority. They need to find a candidate that is acceptable to both groups. I believe that Cardinal Arinze is that candidate.
Is the next Pope the one called Peter the Roman by St. Malachy?
Yes, I believe so. We are now on the threshold of the tribulation. St. Malachy described the next Pope, the last Pope on his prophetic list of future Popes, as one who reigns during the tribulation.
Is the next Pope the last Pope ever?
No, certainly not. The next Pope is the last one on St. Malachy’s list of Popes, but he is not the last Pope ever. This is clear from the words of the Virgin Mary at La Salette, in which she describes a number of future Popes, after the tribulation begins, including a true Pope who will be a recent convert from Protestantism.
How long will the reign of the next Pope last?
The reign of the next Pope (Cardinal Arinze) will be brief. For he will die a martyr during the tribulation, perhaps as soon as 2013.
More on this topic in my booklet:
The Future and the Popes