Bono for Pope at the end of the world?
According to an ancient Irish saint and Paddy Power, Bono and Father Dougal McGuire from 'Father Ted' have outside chances of presiding over the end of the world.
What nonsense is this you say?
First let's clear up the less alarming bit, the end of the world. Saint Malachy, an Irish bishop of Armagh in the 12th century, had purportedly made a series of prophecies after a vision in 1139 which predicted the next 112 popes.
According to his prediction, Pope Benedict XVI is the penultimate pope before the end of the world. The short cryptic phrase that Malachy had for the 111th pope, Pope Benedict XVI, was "Glory of the olive" which is thought to refer to the crest of the Benedictine Order to which the Pope belongs and which contains an olive branch.
Other worryingly accurate predictions include the one for Pope John Paul II who died in 2005 and was born on the day of a solar eclipse. Malachy's phrase for him was "From the labour of the sun".
Pope Innocent II, who was around in 17th century was originally called Antonio Pignatelli del Rastrello, Rastrello being Italian for rake. Malachy's prediction for him was "Rake in the door".
Rome's reaction to the predictions
A record of Malachy's premonition was kept in the Vatican archives and forgotten about for more than 400 years, until its rediscovery in 1590 when they were published by a Benedictine historian.
This has all been taken seriously in past by the Catholic hierarchy.
Apparently, in 1958, just before the conclave that would elect the next pope, Pope John XXIII, Cardinal Spellman of New York hired a boat, filled it with sheep and sailed up and down the Tiber.
This was an attempt to show he was the fufillment of the saint's prophecy "Shepherd and sailor". Hmmm, sounds like they were trying a bit too hard to make the prophecy correct.
You can hear more about the saint in this YouTube clip from bibleortraditions.
What of the future?
So, what is the prediction from the Irish sage for the final pope? "Peter the Roman, who will Nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The end."
Do Bono or Father Dougal fit the bill? According to Paddy Power they are both also-rans in the race for the papacy, but they have been wrong before.
Unlike Saint Malachy it seems.
Maybe Father Jack will get it instead.
Picture courtesy of BeniGoat.