Petrus Romanus, or Peter the Roman is the final pope in an 800 year old prophecy which legend holds was written by St. Malachy in the 12th century. The prophecy itself riddles out a line of popes and with the last, the destruction of the city on seven hills. While many scholars have dismissed the prophecy entirely, many, even within catholicism, have noted some striking coincidences regarding the prophecies for each pope leading up to the current, Benedict XVI. Incredibly, the prophecy of the popes has largely been ignored within evangelical Christianity, perhaps because we have a tendency not to allow much credence to anything outside of Scripture in regards to prophecy. But Tom Horn and Cris Putnam have offered a ton of information in Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here and suggested a watch and see approach. Either way you look at it, the final pope according to the prophecy is up next and with Pope Benedict XVI looking at possible retirement and failing health at the age of 85, along with the scandals coming out of the Vatican right now, it appears Petrus Romanus could assume the role at just about any moment. What may be most interesting about that is the current year, 2012; and with all the clamor surrounding 2012, it certainly gives us something else to pay attention to.
Cris Putnam has been an acquaintance of mine for several years, meeting on the Berean Online Fellowship prior to those discussion forums being merged into the Koinonia Institute forums. His Logos Apologia site exists “to show that logic, science, history and faith are complementary, not contradictory“. It was some of Cris’s earlier apologetics videos that really helped to foster my own interest in the field and discipline of defending the faith. That being said, its really exciting to see his ministry extended and given the opportunity for further impact.
Having just finished the book a few days ago I can say it is extremely well written and well thought out. It is indeed a page turner that is informative on many levels. While Tom Horn has written several books (perhaps my favorite being Apollyon Rising 2012; referenced several times in Petrus Romanus) and has a knack for throwing more information at you in a few sentences than you could have thought possible, Cris Putnam is clearly another gifted writer with the ability to explain biblical relevancy in a way that is sharp and easy to understand. Combined, they are able to approach a topic like this from numerous angles while keeping it entertaining and easy to digest.
Petrus Romanus is broken out into 4 sections as Section One: Prophecy at our Doorstep, Section Two: Essential History of the Papacy, Section Three: Doctrines, Dogmas, Supernaturalism, and the End Times, and Section Four: The Final Conclave. Coming out at 486 pages along with another 40 pages for 722 footnotes alone, this isn’t going to be just an evening read.
In Section One: Prophecy at our Doorstep we are introduced to the prophecy of the popes and the alleged author, St. Malachy. Once that is underway we come to the time period of today, the year 2012, and the work of a Jesuit named Rene Thibaut who had concluded that the final pope according to the prophecy would arrive on the scene this year. That wouldn’t mean much if Thibaut was someone who wrote in the last 10 years or so, but he isn’t. Instead, the work being referenced comes from his book The Mysterious Prophecy of the Popes published in 1951. Certainly very few were concerned about the year 2012 back in 1951 and Thibaut derives this year not just on a whim, but from several angles in the text itself, along with the average reign of the popes from 1572. His calculations have remained true even over the last 60 years. After a brief discussion about the false prophet and antichrist, we come to Malachi Martin, a high ranking Catholic Theologian who claimed there was a force at work behind the scenes to use the Vatican to bring about the antichrist system. Martin is no doubt controversial but in his book Windswept House he claims that through an enthronement ceremony in 1963, the devil’s seed was indeed spawned through a ritual victim, not unlike that which we see in the movie Rosemary’s Baby.
In Section Two: Essential History of the Papacy the reader is given a tour through the history of the Catholic church and the claims of the papacy. This is required reading for anyone who is unfamiliar with the Petrine succession claimed by the popes. Through sound biblical exegesis the notion that the papacy is divinely instituted by Christ in Matthew 16:18-19 and John 21:15-17 is completely demolished. The Donation of Constantine, the pope as antichrist and various approaches to biblical prophecy are all discussed here at length. Section two will make great reference material for just about anyone who needs to get at information pertaining to these topics.
In Section Three: Doctrines, Dogmas, Supernaturalism, and the End Times one of the greatest discussions of the sacraments I’ve read takes place with an emphasis on contrasting biblical doctrine and Catholic tradition. The things claimed by catholicism’s own apologists are just jaw-dropping. My wife and I actually read through some of this material twice. The eucharist, mariolatry, various interpretations of Revelation 12 and Jerusalem are all discussed here at length.
Finally in Section Four: The Final Conclave the puzzles are put together. From the messianic fervor, the possible destiny of America to the evangelicals that unknowingly support such things, the world seems to be ready for someone to come on the scene that can offer peace and stability. 2012 gives us an election of the next American president and almost certainly the next and final pope according to the prophecy. Whatever happens, it’ll be incredibly interesting to watch.
In conclusion, Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here is a thoroughly informative book with a lot of detail about the Roman Catholic Church that I was simply unaware of or, at least, unrefined in my understanding of. If the prophecy of the popes is genuine and is to be fulfilled then the time is now to get equipped for what could take place. But even if Petrus Romanus tuns out to be nothing more than the next pope in succession, there is still no better time to equip yourself and help others proclaim what the Spirit has been saying since the first century in Revelation 18:4:
“Come out of her, my people,
lest you take part in her sins,
lest you share in her plagues…”
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