reported by Digital Journal
Following the announcement that Pope Benedict XVI will resign later in the month, attention has shifted to the question of who the next Pontiff will be. There is a consensus that chances have never been better that the next Pontiff will be a non-European.
Among the front-runners, according to bookmakers, are Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson and Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze. Bloomberg reports that according to bookmakers' odds, Cardinals from Canada, Nigeria and Ghana are the leading candidates to succeed Benedict XVI as Pope.
According to Bloomberg, "Nigeria’s Francis Arinze, 80, is the 2-1 favorite at London-based William Hill Plc, meaning a 1-euro ($1.34) winning wager would return a 2-euro profit. Peter Turkson, 64, of Ghana is second favorite at 5-2. At Paddy Power Plc, Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, 68, is the 5-2 front-runner, while Turkson is 3-1 and Arinze is 7-2.
"Paddy Power Plc is also offering odds of 6-4 that the next pontiff will be Italian, with an African at 2-1 and a Central or South American at 10-3."
While Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson is the overall favorite to become Pope after Benedict XVI resigns at the end of the month, Graham Sharpe, spokesman for Williams Hill Plc, said: "When Joseph Ratzinger took over as pope, Francis Arinze ran him close in the betting. We think he may be well placed to succeed him now, although age could be against him."
But some say that even if one of the African contenders become the next Pontiff, it would not be the first time that someone from the African continent has become the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. According to historians, Africa has produced three Popes. The first was Pope Victor I from 189 to 199 A.D.. Pope Miltiades from 311 to 314 and finally Pope Galasius from 492 to 496.
Read More on Digital Journal
Peculiar 900-year-old Order of the Knights of Malta celebrates anniversary with Vatican mass
reported by National Post
The Knights of Malta, one of the most peculiar organizations in the world, marked its 900th birthday Saturday with a colourful procession through St. Peter’s Square, a Mass in the basilica and an audience with Pope Benedict XVI, himself a member of the onetime chivalrous order drawn from Europe’s nobility.
The Knights are at once a Roman Catholic religious order, an aid group that runs soup kitchens, hospitals and ambulance services around the globe, and a sovereign entity that prints its own passports and enjoys diplomatic relations with 104 countries — yet has no country to call its own.
Some 4,000 people — volunteers in neon orange civil protection suits, children in red berets and members each draped in a black cloak with a white, eight-pointed Maltese Cross on the front — processed through St. Peter’s Square and into the basilica for the Mass marking the 900th anniversary of the order’s recognition by the Holy See.
After the Mass, which was celebrated by the Vatican No. 2, Benedict came to the basilica for an audience during which he thanked the order for its service and urged it to continue providing health care for the world’s neediest while staying true to its Christian ideals.
The order’s work, he said, “is not mere philanthropy but an effective expression and a living testimony of evangelical love.”
The order traces its history to an 11th century infirmary in Jerusalem set up by a monk to care for pilgrims visiting the Holy Land. During the Crusades, as the order’s humanitarian efforts spread, it took on a military role to protect pilgrims and Christendom as a whole from Muslim attacks. In February 1113 Pope Paschal II recognized the order with a papal bull establishing its sovereign status by saying it was independent of both lay and other religious authorities.
During its heyday, would-be members had to prove nobility through all eight great-grandparents. Such requirements are now largely relaxed except in some European countries. Still, the order’s members are drawn from some of the world’s wealthiest Catholics, who fund its health clinics, homeless shelters and old folks’ homes in 120 countries and rally for special appeals when disasters strike.
Sixty of the 13,500 members are so-called “professed knights,” who make vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and live like monks, albeit without being ordained priests.
Read More on National Post
Pope Benedict XVI to resign, first pontiff to quit since Middle Ages
reported by RT
Pope Benedict XVI is to resign for reasons relating to his health, according to a Vatican spokesperson. He's the first head of the Catholic Church to quit the highest post since the Middle Ages.
The 85-year-old is due to step down on February 28. The Pope said he is “fully aware of the gravity of this gesture” but that he lacks the strength to govern Church due to age, according to Vatican's spokesperson Federico Lombardi.
In a statement released by the Catholic Church, Benedict VXI said that “after having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.”
The Pope emerged from the scandal as frail, indecisive, and remote, and concerned only with the spiritual side of affairs while blind to earthly misdemeanors around him. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone – the Vatican’s administrative head – emerged as a figure gaining increasing power as Benedict’s health weakened.
“In the last few months there was much talk about wars inside the Vatican about the future. They said that the Secretary of State Bertone was going to step down, but he did not. The pope did! This was the biggest surprise. Everybody was expecting for some of the administration, of the government, let’s say, of the church, to be changed… Nobody expected the pope to step down,” journalist Franco Oliva told RT.
Paolo Gabriele, the butler involved, said that he "was sure that a shock, perhaps by using the media, could be a healthy thing to bring the Church back on the right track," going on to explain his feelings that the pope was not adequately informed of problems the letters outlined.
Benedict has reportedly been critical of his predecessor, John Paul II, for remaining in the position as he became too old and incapable to fully cope with its demands.
Read More on RT
Petrus Romanus: 900 Year Old Prophecy Says Next Pope Will Oversee End of Days
reported by SHFTplan.com
In 1139 A.D. the Catholic Saint Malachy was said to have experienced visions during a trip to Rome. He subsequently put these visions to paper and penned a document containing 112 short phrases purporting to describe all future popes that would head the Catholic Church. Though not a part of official Catholic dogma or church teachings, this Prophecy of the Popes is well known by Vatican officials and church scholars because it has been remarkably accurate about naming the last 111 heads of one of the world’s oldest and most widespread religions.
According to researchers, theologians and evangelical scholars, the phrases Malachy scribed in his writings offer up the “nature, name, destiny or coat of arms” of every pope in succession and culminate with the naming of the 112th pope.
This morning, Pope Benedict XVI announced he would be retiring. Jokingly referred to as “God’s Rottweiler” in some circles, the German born 111th Pontiff as described in Malachy’s prophecy is called the Gloria Olivae, or ”glory of the olive,” which some supporters of the prophecy suggest is a reference to the Benedictine Order of monks from whom Benedict got his namesake. The monks are also known as the Olivetans, and are represented by an olive branch, leaving many to believe that Saint Malachy was, once again, right.
Now, according to prophecy, the 112th Pope will step up to head the Church, and he will be named Petrus Romanus, or Peter the Roman.
Whether you’re Catholic, Christian or not a religious person at all, the fact that a 900 year old prophecy is coming to a close is intriguing. And one way or the other, whether its predictions turn out to be true or not, the prophecy concludes with the next Pope.
Eerily, the prophecy describes the Catholic Church’s last Pontiff as overseeing a new era, and one that will be met with great difficulty and destruction:
“In extreme persecution the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman…”Within the Book of Revelation, also known as The Apocalypse of John, are references to the destruction of the City of Seven Hills (Rome) and to the many trials that will be faced by mankind ahead of the final judgement – the rapture, the rise of the anti-christ, seven years of tribulations, and the end of days.
“Who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the terrible or fearsome judge will judge his people.
Prophecy of the Popes – Attributed to St. Malachy circa 1139 A.D.
Read More on SHFTplan.com
A signal from above? Lightning hits St Peter's hours after Pope Benedict stuns cardinals with first resignation in 600 years
reported by dailymail.co.uk
The Catholic church was thrown into turmoil today after Pope Benedict XVI made the shock decision to quit the papacy because of his deteriorating health.
In a decision that has surprised even his closest aides, the 85-year-old Pontiff said his strength was 'no longer adequate to continue in office due to his advanced age'.
He announced his resignation in Latin to a meeting of Vatican cardinals this morning, saying he did not have the 'strength of mind and body' to continue leading more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide.
The decision is unprecedented. He is the first Pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415 and no Pontiff in history has stepped down on health grounds.
The move allows the Vatican to hold a conclave before Easter to elect a new pope, since the traditional mourning time that would follow the death of a Pontiff does not have to be observed.
There are several papal contenders, including Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson who is a front-runner to become the first black Pope.
VIDEO Spokesman: Pope no longer able to 'cope' with challenges
Read More on dailymail.co.uk
MSNBC report on Pope Benedict and child abuse
reported by nbcnews.com
Resigning Ratzinger Covered Up Global Child Abuse - Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God
reported by DavidIcke.com
Alex Gibney explores the charged issue of paedophilia in the Catholic Church, following a trail from the first known protest against clerical sexual abuse in the United States and all the way to the Vatican.
Watch this and you will not be surprised that Pope Benedict XVI has become the first Pope to resign in 600 years.
Nazi Youth member Joseph Ratzinger was appointed in 1981 to head the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), formerly the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition - the mass murdering and torturing 'Holy Inquisition' - by the wrongly rose-painted Pope John Paul II.
The same Pope decreed in 2001 that all child abuse cases worldwide involving the Catholic clergy should be dealt with directly by Ratzinger at the CDF with the role, carried out with vigour, of stopping the Church-destroying truth coming to public attention and, in doing so, denying justice to abused children and allowing paedophile priests and bishops to stay in their jobs and continue their abuse of other children.
Ratzinger has resigned because of ill health? His mate John Paul II continued in his last four years despite suffering from Parkinson's disease, severe arthritis and having difficulty speaking and hearing. Popes don't resign and this is why it hasn't happened for 600 years. This is really about the truth coming out and there is a tidal wave of that still to do so - especially in Ratzinger's case.
I have said it for two decades and I will go on saying it - paedophilia and Satanism are the cement that hold the global Establishment together and the Roman Church is founded upon both going back to its theological 'inspiration' in Babylon and beyond.
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