(OPINION) ExpressPope Francis could fulfill what would be the final piece of a 900-year-old doomsday prophecy this year, according to a source close to the Vatican leader. After all his overseas visits were canceled due to the pandemic, the Pope is set to make what will be his first trip in more than a year.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the Pontiff will visit Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, and Ur, a city linked to the Old Testament figure of Abraham. The 83-year-old will also head to Erbil, Mosul, and Qaraqosh in the Nineveh plains, during his trip in March 2021. But some do not expect it to happen.

Francis took over the papacy in 2013, following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI – a controversial move and the first of its kind in more than five centuries. And a source close to the Church claimed he could do the same thing. Austen Ivereigh, the former Director for Public Affairs of the previous Archbishop of Westminster – Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor – claimed:


“I don’t think there’s ever been any doubt that he will resign in 2020. “He made clear from the beginning that he regarded Pope Benedict’s (XVI) act as a prophetic act of great modesty and he would have absolutely no problem in doing the same.” Mr Ivereigh pointed out a speech made by the Pope where he said he would have “a short papacy of about five years”.

But the writer added: “What I’m hearing now from people close to him is that he’s going to need seven years to achieve his five-year plan and that, of course, would mean staying on until 2020.” The prospect of his resignation will no doubt leave some concerned as it could apparently fulfil a 900-year-old prophecy made by 12th-century Archbishop Saint Malachy. READ MORE


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