-- ZENIT.org News Agency
Philippine Bishops' Conference President Downplays 'Last Pope' Prophecy
Archbishop Jose Palma Says Church Is Always in the Hands of God
MANILA, February 19, 2013 (Zenit.org) - Contrary to doomsday prophecies, the Catholic Church will continue for many more years, the head of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said.
Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu, the current CBCP president, stated that there is nothing to fear about the "last pope" scenario as prophesied by St. Malachy following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.
"Even if the Pope resigns or in times of succession, the Church is always in the hands of God," Archbishop Palma said. "The Church has been here for the past 2,000 years and we're [still] here and we're increasing."
St. Malachy, the archbishop of Armagh who was canonized in 1190, supposedly predicted that the next pontiff would be the last and the Judgment Day will follow.
In his prediction, dated 1139, St. Malachy claimed that there would be 112 more popes from his time to the Apocalypse. Benedict is supposedly the 111th pope.
Archbishop Palma said that Benedict XVI will be missed but the Church will endure and will continue its mission.
He stressed that Benedict XVI's resignation should not be viewed as something negative because the pontiff resigned for the good of the universal church.
"There are big challenges and while we feel that it's a great loss in the sense that he is a great pope, still to us we are challenged to believe that the Church is in the hands of God," said the CBCP president said.
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