POPE...OLD PROPHECIES FULFILLED
By Jon Christian Ryter
April 20, 2005
Only two days and four ballots into the election process to select a new pontiff for the Roman Catholic Church, Germany's Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger emerged as the new pontiff, taking the name Pope Benedict XVI, and raising the specter that he may have unwittingly—at and least partially— fulfilled a prophecy uttered by St. Benedict (b.480-d.547AD) that the last pope of Roman Catholic would be a Benedictine. While Ratzinger was never an Olivetan monk, there is a certain prophetic irony in the papal name he chose. A second irony may come from St. Malachy's prophecy itself. In his prophecy, the 12th century cardinal described the last pope by the symbol, Glory of the Olives. While those speculating what the term means naturally connected olives with the olive branch—which denotes peace—and saw the last pope as a peacemaker who would likely help bring peace to the Middle East. A peaceful solution to the dilemma between the Palestinians and the Jews is a precursor to Bible prophesies concerning the endtimes. Perhaps the analogy is even more simple: the Benedictines were Olivetan monks, and its leader, rightfully, can be construed as the glory of the olives. Time will tell. And time is running out.
With respect to the conclave that met and selected a new pontiff in what is either the second or third fastest election in papal history, if popes were picked like ponies, the bookmakers favoring Cardinal Ratzinger of Germany would have crowned him with a wreath of roses, By the time of Pope John Paul II's funeral Ratzinger had 50 of the 78 votes he needed to assure his victory already in his pocket. With only 115 eligible voters (two eligible cardinals, one from Mexico and one from the Philippines were sick and did not come) Ratzinger would still have to pull 28 additional ballots out of his hat to win in the opening rounds of voting where 2/3 of the cardinals had to agree on one candidate for the pontificating of a candidate to occur. It did not seem likely, with the cultural differences of the cardinals, and the agendas that each carried with them to the Sistine Chapel, that any front-runner would win since it appeared more likely that gridlock would ensue with Ratzinger and Italian Cardinal Dionigi Tellamanzi killing each other's chance of winning. When Ratzinger failed to score a first or second ballot victory, the oddsmakers raised him from the 4-to-1 favorite to a 7-to-1 challenger.
Many of the newly anointed bishops and cardinals favored Cardinal Angelo Sodano who greatly influenced the decisions of John Paul II and played a key role in selecting all of the cardinals appointed from 2001 until the death of his benefactor and friend, John Paul II. Although popular with the Italian laity, Sodano was clearly out of the running before the running even began. He knew he would never get the nod from the conclave because his influence died as the last breath passed from the lips of John Paul II.
The three most influential voting blocks in the conclave were the Italians—with 20 votes, the United States—with 11 votes and the Spanish-speaking nations, which collectively had 22 votes. There were 17 votes each in North and South America, giving those the western hemisphere a voting bloc of 34 votes. Europe has enough votes to elect a pope without the consensus of any other continent—58 votes—if ten days elapsed without naming a pope. Had that happened, either Cardinals Tellamanzi or Martini would likely have received the nod.
But, in the final analysis, Cardinal Ratzinger, who had a deliberate, well-calculated plan to win the job, won the job. Reportedly Ratzinger was already campaigning for the job when the Vatican announced that the death of John Paul II was imminent. Ratzinger wanted to be the pope (unlike his friend, Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtkyla who not only did not campaign for the job—but was surprised when he got it).
As the Conclave of Cardinals met on Monday, April 18, 2005 to select the replacement for Pope John Paul II, few people in the world knew that the bizarre hybrid eclipse witnessed by millions of people around the world on April 8, 2005 was prophesied by a Catholic cardinal in 1140 AD specifically as a sign for that pontiff. Pope John Paul II was described by 12th century Roman Catholic Cardinal Malachy as "De Lobaore solis" (Of the eclipse of the sun). The Malachy Prophecy, penned by Cardinal Malachy while on his way to Rome for the coronation of Innocent II, described by symbol, the papal succession from Celestine II (the pope would succeed Innocent II) to the end of the world. Interestingly, on the day of his birth, a solar eclipse occurred that was visible over Poland, the nation of Karol Wojtkyla—the man who become pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.
Thus far, the Malachy Prophecy has proven to be 99% accurate. Whether or not it proves to be 100% accurate will depend on whether or not any other pontiffs follow the pope who was symbolically described as Gloria Olivae (the glory of the olives)—and whether the event know as the Tribulation commences with three and a half years of global prosperity followed by three and a half years of global economic and political devastation during the reign of the pope about to be selected by the Conclave of Cardinals in the Vatican.
When the description of this uncommon hybrid type of eclipse appeared in the article The Malachy Prophecy on my website, the site received scores of emails from readers poophahing an eclipse that would circumvent the globe, alternating from a total to a partial eclipse and back again as it traversed the world. While it is a rare phenomenon, hybrid eclipses are not unknown. The April 8 hybrid was visible from within a wide angular corridor that was predominantly visible from the southern hemisphere.
The total eclipse, which began southeast of New Zealand traveling on a narrow band 28 kilometers wide quickly narrowed to a sliver within the first 13 minutes of its journey past of Tahiti on its way to Pitcairn Island. It continued on a northeastern course as it crossed the Pacific Ocean to Panama, Columbia and Venezuela. (One of the photos, above, was taken on Pitcairn Island). The moon's penumbral shadow cast a wide swath across half of the planet, covering all of New Zealand, Australia, the South Pacific islands and much of South and North America from southern California on the west coast to New Jersey on the east coast. Over a period of 3 hours and 24 minutes, the eclipse traveled 14,200 kilometers.
first annular eclipse (a hybrid that switches from a total to a partial
eclipse and back again) occurred on May 6, 1464—30 years before Christopher
Columbus set sail on a journey that would bring him to the New World.
The next hybrid eclipse will occur on April 20, 2023.
© 2005 Jon C. Ryter - All Rights Reserved
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Jon Christian Ryter is the pseudonym of a former newspaper reporter with the Parkersburg, WV Sentinel. He authored a syndicated newspaper column, Answers From The Bible, from the mid-1970s until 1985. Answers From The Bible was read weekly in many suburban markets in the United States.
Today, Jon is an advertising executive with the Washington Times. His website, www.jonchristianryter.com has helped him establish a network of mid-to senior-level Washington insiders who now provide him with a steady stream of material for use both in his books and in the investigative reports that are found on his website.
Perhaps the analogy is even more simple: the Benedictines were Olivetan monks, and its leader, rightfully, can be construed as the glory of the olives. Time will tell. And time is running out.