On the Destruction of Rome and Vatican City

In my speculative eschatology, I have long predicted that the first event of the tribulation (first horseman/first Seal) would be World War 3 — a war between the Arab/Muslim nations of the Middle East/northern Africa (led by extremists) and the West (the U.S., Europe, and allies). Discernment of the correct date for the start of the War has so far eluded me. However, my current thinking is that the War will begin in 2013 (before the end of summer), with a nuclear bomb explosion in New York City.

Formerly, I predicted that the extremists forces would strike Rome and Vatican City with a nuclear missile, during World War 3, in July of 2013. Yesterday, in my post:
Reassessing the Dates in my Eschatology: 2013
I revised that date to sometime in 2015 (no month specified). In this post, I want to emphasize that I am no longer predicting that Rome and Vatican City will be struck, in July of 2013, by a nuclear missile, but that this event will occur at a later date.

There are a couple of reasons for the revision of the date for this event.

1. It is an event during World War 3, which has not started yet. Even if the War begins soon, certain events must unfold first, and those events require more months than are left between now and July 2013.

2. The nuclear missile strike on Rome and Vatican City is preceded by certain events in the Church, which require more months than are left between now and July of 2013.

Prior to the missile strike, Pope Benedict XVI dies and is succeeded by Pope Pius XIII. Then Pope Pius XIII reigns for some number of months, but almost certainly more than a year. Pope Pius XIII is captured during World War 3, as the extremist forces advance through Italy. Then Pope Pius XIII dies in a prison in Iraq. The extremists forces will be occupying Rome at that time. Then there are two papal elections: a true Pope is elected, and a prominent antipope is elected.

Next, the Allies retake Rome, and the two claimants to the papacy both go to Rome, each to bolster his claim to be the true Pope. Finally, the extremists forces (led by Iran and Iraq) strike Rome and Vatican City with a nuclear missile, because they were unable to hold or retake the city. This missile strike kills the true Pope and the prominent antipope:

{13:7} Awake, O spear, against my shepherd and against the man that clings to me, says the Lord of hosts. Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. And I will turn my hand to the little ones.

The phrase “my shepherd” refers to the true Pope, and the phase “the man that clings to me” refers to the prominent antipope. These two terms also refer, symbolically, to Vatican City (my shepherd) and Rome (the man that clings to me). The spear that strikes is a nuclear missile. The result of this event, which destroys Vatican City and kills the true Pope, is that the sheep will be scattered. There will be much confusion and fear among the faithful in that time.

At least a couple of years are needed for the events that must precede the destruction of Vatican City to unfold. Therefore, I have changed the date in my eschatology from July of 2013, to sometime in 2015 (no month specified).

The Warning of Garabandal

Several persons have suggested to me that the events of the tribulation, including World War 3, might not begin until after the Warning, the Consolation, and the Miracle (in early 2016). See my book on Medjugorje and Garabandal.

There is a certain coherence to this point of view. It is similar to my earlier predictions, in that the Warning, Consolation, and Miracle are placed prior to the start of the tribulation. However, at this point in time, I don’t think that view is correct. There is too little time for World War 3 and the succession of several Popes, and other significant events to unfold between that date (2016) and subsequent events. The subsequent events include: the Unification of all Christians in one restructured Catholic Church, a great martyrdom of Christians, the election of the Angelic Shepherd, the war of the great Catholic monarch (World War 4), etc.

So my current view is that the tribulation begins in 2013, and the Warning, Consolation, and Miracle occur a few years later, and then the tribulation continues until early 2040, when the Three Days of Darkness scourges the whole world and brings an end to the first part of the tribulation.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and
translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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