Pope Benedict’s surprise resignation has created a media blizzard around one question: Who will be his successor? As cardinals gather in Rome to cast their ballots, betting sites around the world are cashing in. From tongue-in-cheek treatments (such as Religion News Service’s “Sweet Sistine” bracket) to multinational gaming organizations (like PaddyPower in Ireland) to Las Vegas (favorite Peter Turkson is plus-250 on the latest line), everyone is guessing. Some, however, say the answer is already known.
The “Prophecy of the Popes” is a twelfth-century document ascribed to St. Malachy of Ireland. It offers short descriptions of each pope to serve from his time to our own, including some dire thoughts about the immediate future of the Church. Though prognostication—and gambling—can easily be frowned upon by the holier among us, it makes for a good bit of historical fun. You can read all about it in the March issue of Liberty +Vine.
If you are inclined to place a wager on the next pontiff, please also take the time to offer a prayer for him. That’s an investment certain to pay off.
Photo by James Barker, freedigitalphotos.net.