Hal Lindsey and Newsmax Get Medieval

Hal Lindsey’s latest ramblings on WorldNetDaily:

As I studied the many Bible prophecies of the Last Days, I found a most unusual extra-biblical prophecy made by an Irish Catholic bishop in the 12th century.

Or, if Lindsey is truly honest: “As I was surfing Newsmax last week, I found an article I could rip off” –  Lindsey’s  “borrowings” are extensive, and unattributed.

According to his biographer, St. Malachy was visiting Rome in 1139 when he went into a trance and received a vision. Malachy wrote down this extraordinary vision in which he claims to have foreseen all of the popes from the death of Innocent II until the destruction of the church and the return of Christ. He named exactly 112 popes from that time until the end.

Lindsey’s lifted that virtually word-for-word from Newsmax, but both sources are inaccurate, as the on-line Catholic Encylopedia makes clear:

The silence of 400 years on the part of so many learned authors who had written about the popes, and the silence of St. Bernard especially, who wrote the “Life of St. Malachy”, is a strong argument against their authenticity…

So, that should be “not according to his biographer”. But, like Ed Wood, Lindsey is interested in the big picture, not the details:

St. Malachy wrote a few prophetically descriptive words in Latin about each one of the popes. He then gave the manuscript to Pope Innocent II and it was deposited in the Vatican Archives where it was forgotten for several centuries. Then in 1590, it was rediscovered and published.

Here Lindsey has decided to drop a qualification at the end of the Newsmax version:

Afterward he wrote a few words about each pope and gave the manuscript to Pope Innocent II, who is said to have deposited it in Vatican Archives, where it lay forgotten until it was discovered in 1590 and published. At the time, some questioned its authenticity and it has been the subject of debate ever since.

The document attributed to Malachy consists of obscure mystical titles used to describe the future Popes, although he does not give their actual names or dates. Many commentators note that the “prophecies” about supposed future Popes between 1139 and 1590 are rather more impressive than those given for Popes after the document’s publication; readers can judge for themselves on this site. Newsmax and Lindsey then relate standard interpretations by believers for the most recent Popes (The Catholic Encyclopedia also notes that Malachy supposedly prophesied England being reconverted to Roman Catholicism).

Lindsey does add a bit of his own stuff, and he brings in the Book of Daniel (his more usual topic). He then gives his own view about the last Pope:

…But it is the prophecy of the 112th and last pope that is most fascinating. St. Malachy predicts, “In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign “Petrus Romanus” (Peter the Roman), who will feed his flock amid many tribulations; after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people.”

…Now one last and extremely important detail. The “Prince who is to come”  [in the Book of Daniel] will be of the same people that destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70. They were Romans…John Paul II was a great and good man. But the coming popes will seize upon the popularity he created with the world. With the help of the media, it is easy to foresee how “Peter the Roman” will be able to mesmerize the world to follow his counterfeit of Christ.

But what the hell is he on about? According to the document (and according to some sites I ploughed through, this bit was added in 1820 anyway), Petrus Romanus will “feed his flock”; but at the same time, he’s going to be the “false Prophet” who acts as the sidekick to the Anti-Christ. How does that work?

The bigger question, though, is why Lindsey, a fundamentalist Protestant, is suddenly raving over medieval Roman Catholic prophecy. Surely Mel Gibson hasn’t been that effective? The reason, of course, is that Lindsey is opportunistic. When Immanuel Velikovsky was popular, he used some of his ideas; and in the 1990s he jumped on the Y2K bandwagon. He also promoted the cause of Mike Warnke, a pathological liar whose stories about Satanism helped to create the Satanic panic of the 1980s; Lindsey denounced the Christian journalists who uncovered Warnke’s falsehoods on the grounds that his tales had led to conversions (see this book). But should we really expect anything more from a man willing to lionise the terrorists of the Israeli far-right?

(Newsmax link from Conwebwatch)

One Response

  1. […] Lindsey is also an enthusiast, although “Glenn Beck’s End Times Prophet” Joel Richardson, who […]

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