CBCP plays down prophecy on pope's successor

Posted at 02/18/13 2:02 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said there is nothing to fear about the supposed end of the world as prophesied by St. Malachy O’Morgair amid the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

“Even if the Pope resigns or in times of succession, the Church is always in the hands of God. The Church has been here for the past 2 thousand years and we’re here and we’re increasing,” CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma told Radio Veritas.

Based on an analysis regarding the predictions of the Irish prophet, the next Pope after Benedict XVI will be the last. St. Malachy said the successor, Peter the Roman, "will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The end.”

Malachy supposedly received a vision that there will be 112 popes from his time.

Interest in the Irish saint again emerged after the surprise resignation of Pope Benedict, whose rise to the Catholic throne was also “predicted” by St. Malachy.

Of Benedict, Malachy said he is “Gloria Olivae” or “The Glory of the Olive,” who is supposedly the 111th pope. The order to which Benedict belongs to is the Olivetans.

But Palma said the Church is only in the hands of God. “There are big challenges…we feel sad and we feel that it’s a great loss in the sense that he is a great Pope. Still, to us, we are challenged to believe that the Church is in the hands of God,” he said.

He also said the pope's resignation may have come in the “Year of Faith” of the Catholic church. Still, Benedict inspired the church to survive amid modern times, he said.