Back in 1997, I read a very freaky masterpiece of paranoia and prophecy entitled APOCALYPSO. It was extremely entertaining, combining elements of the prophecies of Nostradamus, St. Malachy, the Bible and astrology. It would have made for a much better novel than the LEFT BEHIND books or THE DAVINCI CODE, and made me think of a religious Umberto Eco writing on acid.
One thing interesting was how it predicted that John Paul II would be followed by a Jewish Pope, namely, Jean-Marie Lustiger, the cardinal and former Archbishop of Paris. The writer viewed this as something intimately related to the end times; one interesting synchronicity that I discovered independently was that a new political leader in a country the writer had identified as being of particular interest, Azerbaijan, had a nickname noted as The Coming Man by the CIA World Fact Book.
Now, I regarded – and regard – this as nothing more than idle speculation. Back in the year 998, many Christians across Italy were terrified that Duke Romantius Crescentius was the Antichrist, and considering that he’d actually chased the Pope from Rome and installed his own creature on the Throne of Peter, they had very good reason to fear him, if not on Biblical grounds. The end is always nigh, and still it has not yet appeared.
But the value of a prophecy is in the accuracy of its predictions. If the conclave names Lustiger, that will be a rather interesting and unexpected turn of events.