Life, Hope & Truth

Speaking of... Life, Hope & Truth

The Next Pope: Pondering the Possibilities

Forty-five years ago a movie came out that makes you think about a very important event captivating the world right now. The Shoes of the Fisherman, while fictional, gave a lot of factual insight to the workings of the Roman Catholic Church and the process of choosing a new pope.

Spoiler warning: I’m about to tell you the key event in the movie; so if you want to see it, you might skip the rest of this paragraph. The plot climaxes when the new pope comes into power right at the tension-filled height of a world political crisis; and in his first address to the crowds in the Vatican square, he commits the Vatican’s wealth to feeding the starving millions in Asia, thus averting the outbreak of World War III. He is immediately hailed around the world as a hero, a virtual savior of humanity.

Unrealistic? Of course—it was a movie—but it still made quite an impact on me when, even as a young 16-year-old, I could grasp the profound implications if the pope ever did exercise his power in such a way.

The idea of such a time, and such a hero, arising is not implausible. Something like that, the Bible tells us, IS going to happen! It’s just a matter of when, how and who.

Some of the most fascinating prophecies are those in the book of Revelation, regarding world powers that will arise in a political and religious alliance at the time of the end. They will hold great influence in various ways over vast populations, and one of them will be a religious leader called the “false prophet.” He will be widely admired and will perform acts so powerful—even miraculous—that most people will naturally conclude that this is the man of God!

Now ponder the possibilities, the “what ifs,” for the next pope who is chosen to fill “the shoes of the fisherman” (a Catholic inference to Peter).

  • What if he was one who took bold, decisive steps to repair the tarnished image of the Catholic Church by cleaning up the scandals and getting rid of disreputable priests?
  • What if he was a charismatic, strong likable man who had a natural, engaging appeal to people across cultures and ages?
  • What if he proved to be a master diplomat within the Catholic Church, bridging the gap between the conservative and liberal elements on many of their hot-button doctrinal and social issues?
  • What if he proved to be a master diplomat on the world political scene, a key player world leaders would come to respect as a peace broker in troubled areas, especially in the Middle East?

No one can say right now that this or that particular person will immediately perform this or that particular action, like that we see in The Shoes of the Fisherman. But we can expect, someday, someone to be positioned in such a place and time to exercise powers that will alter the course of the world. Prophecy very clearly forecasts the rise of such a mighty religious leader in the last days.

You should become familiar with these prophecies, then watch very carefully for all the possibilities for how those prophecies could be fulfilled.

For Life, Hope & Truth, I’m Clyde Kilough.