Sunday, April 24, 2005

A Review of the Predictions in Future News Article, "The Next Pope"

A Review of the Predictions in Future News Article, "The Next Pope"
Bill Tenuto
April 24, 2005

I posted "The Next Pope" on Future News on April 6, 2005. At the time there was much speculation about who the next pope would be.

Thirteen days later on April 19th, the College of Cardinals elected the next pope with surprising speed, "surging to election in a scant four votes over less than 24 hours of conclave." Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI. (See "A Swift Surge That Defied Expectations," by Daniel J. Wakin, The New York Times, April 21, 2005.)

While the specific details of some predictions in "The Next Pope" remain to be seen, verifications of several predictions already were streaming in on April 19th, immediately after Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected. Here is a listing of the predictions (in bold) from "The Next Pope" which already have been verified. Statements quoted from the news media provide verifications of each prediction.

1. Cardinals knowing in advance who the next pope would be.

"What I sense, however, is that most if not all of the 117 cardinals who will be voting know in advance who the next pope will be."

"I wonder if it [the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger] was almost pre-ordained",
(Neil Cavuto in a conversation with Senator Rick Santorum. (R), PA, Your World w/ Cavuto, Fox News, April 19, 2005)

The fact that the cardinals came to a decision so quickly on the fourth vote "shows that they knew exactly the guy they wanted." (Bishop Arthur Serratelli, Bishop of Paterson, NJ, Your World w/ Cavuto, Fox News, April 19, 2005)

"I think the College knew what they wanted. They clearly knew what they wanted." (Paul Begala, Special Report with Judy Woodruff, CNN, April 19, 2005.)

"There was an overwhelming consensus among the cardinals going into the conclave that Cardinal Ratzinger was the frontrunner." (John Allen, CNN Vatican Analyst, CNN, April 19, 2005.)

2. The decision was made while John Paul II was alive.

"I feel this decision had been made while John Paul II was alive."

"When only three of the Cardinals going into the conclave were not appointed by John Paul II, then it's his agenda and his doctrine on orthodoxy"
that they voted for. (Monsignor James Maroney, Special Report with Judy Woodruff, CNN, April 19, 2005.)

"The cardinals want to continue the legacy of John Paul II which Cardinal Ratzinger had a lot to do with." ( Delia Gallagher, CNN Vatican Analyst, CNN, April 19, 2005)

One parishioner from Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City said, "I think maybe it was the will of our prior pope that this man fill in next." (Special Report with Judy Woodruff, CNN, April 19, 2005)

3. The Cardinal in Black.

"I see a man who is dressed in black…. He may be Italian or Spanish, but I feel he is a Latin American cardinal."

"What I see could represent one specific cardinal who has a major influence, but the image could also represent a bloc of cardinals, perhaps all of the cardinals from Latin America."

"With 40% of all the world's Catholics living in Latin America, the cardinals from Latin America as well as Africa and other third world countries"
are likely to have a major influence over the outcome of this papal election. (Fox News Report, April 18, 2005.)

"The prospect of a drawn-out battle scared off the liberal opposition, and their leader, [Cardinal] Carlo Maria Martini, sent his votes to Cardinal Ratzinger." (A Swift Surge That Defied Expectations," by Daniel J. Wakin, The New York Times, April 21, 2005.)
(Note: this quote suggests the literal cardinal in black, whom I saw in my vision, would be Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, whereas the symbolic cardinal in black, as represented by the cardinals from Latin America, Africa and other third world countries, would be what this New York Times article called "the liberal opposition."--B.T.)

4. My Vision of the Next Pope's Appearance.

"He has the appearance of an Asian man. I sense that the new pope could be from the Philippines or from China. His features are Asian. He is stocky looking, probably not too tall."

In my vision I saw a fair-skinned man, not too tall. Also he was stocky looking, perhaps because all the vestments he was wearing when he appeared for the first time in public made him look short and stocky. This could have been a picture of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, but my vision gave him Asian features (I saw folds at the corners of his eyes). This of course was inaccurate. I don't know why I saw this, but the face I saw definitely was that of a fair-skinned, Asian male.

I believe the personality traits I described, including the "mental and/or emotional disconnect and the potential impact on dividing and fragmenting the church," fit Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's personality. (Some verification of this appears below.)

As for the face in my vision, perhaps I simply saw the face of a man other than Pope Benedict XVI. It could be that the face I saw is representative of something which is yet to unfold.

For one Future News reader's view of this possibility, see Mike's comment under "The Next Pope." Mike made his comment on April 9th, before the conclave to elect the new pope had convened. At that time, Mike made a reference to the "secret" or "mystery cardinal," about whom we were hearing so much in the days immediately after John Paul II's death. At about the same time Mike posted this comment, the Vatican suddenly denied that a "secret" or "mystery cardinal" even existed. Anderson Cooper, host of CNN 360, said in a surprisingly brief statement, "The Vatican has announced there is no secret cardinal." From that moment on, there was no more discussion about it anywhere in the mainstream media.

Before the Vatican's denial, one popular theory put forward by the media stated the "secret" or "mystery cardinal" might be Asian--a Chinese cardinal secretly appointed by John Paul II. If there were a "secret cardinal" in China, the Vatican would want to deny his existence, guarding the secret to protect this cardinal from the Chinese Communist government. And the mainstream media, perhaps in the spirit of cooperation with the Vatican's wishes to protect this cardinal, may have agreed to back off of the story. I am curious to see what information may later surface about this possibility.

(If you are interested in reading more about how my vision works and how I analyze and interpret what I am "seeing," please see the note at the end of this post.)

5. Awkwardly political.

"But there is an energy about this gesture which feels awkwardly political to me. It may be literal or symbolic, but, as a symbol, the awkwardness I feel about it suggests something is not quite right about the cheering that the new pontiff asks for."

Something still feels not quite right to me. I feel this pope will operate his papacy on two levels. There will be the friendly and loving Pope Benedict XVI, but there will also be the rigidly structured and authoritarian Pope Benedict XVI. The former will be the seeker of peace; the latter will create a reactionary opposition.

On April 23rd, as I was preparing to finalize this piece, New York Times Op-Ed columnist, Maureen Dowd, published an article, "Uncle Dick and Papa," in which she had this to say about the new pope and his politics:

"It was a move so bold, accomplished with such backstage finesse, that it was worthy of Dick Cheney himself."

"Just like Mr. Cheney, once the quintessential deferential staff man with the secret service code name 'Back seat', the self-effacing Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has clambered over the back seat to seize the wheel (or Commonweal)."

"They are both old hands at operating in secrecy and using the levers of power for ideological advantage. They want to enlist Catholics in the conservative cause, turning confession boxes into ballot boxes with the threat that a vote for a liberal Democrat could lead to eternal damnation."

"As fundamentalism marches on…U.S. conservatives are thrilled about the choice of Cardinal Ratzinger, hoping for an unholy alliance. They hope this pope--who seems to want a smaller, purer church--encourages a militant role for Catholic bishops and priests in the political process."
("Uncle Dick and Papa," by Maureen Dowd, The New York Times, Op-Ed Section, April 23, 2005)

6. A mental and/or emotional disconnect; the church will become divided.

" I sense something is out of balance. There is a mental and/or emotional disconnect for the new pontiff. The church will become divided because of this new pope. His personality exhibits a flaw which suggests some sort of instability. For whatever the reason, the new pope will cause great division among the clergy and the Catholic laity. He seems to want to rally Catholics together in a common restoration of the spirit of the Church, yet he will create the opposite effect."

Immediately upon Cardinal Ratzinger's election questions came up, echoing the same problems and concerns described in the above prediction.

"Will he be a uniter or a divider?" (Paul Begala, Special Report with Judy Woodruff, CNN, April 19, 2005.)

"Some Catholics at Saint Patrick's are very disappointed at the selection of the new pope. They really think he's too conservative."
(Correspondent Debra Feyerich at Saint Patrick's Cathedral, New York, Special Report with Judy Woodruff, CNN, April 19, 2005.)

"It's clear that by some large number, they [American Catholics] would like to see some changes." (Judy Woodruff summarizing a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll of American Catholics, Special Report with Judy Woodruff, CNN, April 19, 2005.)

"'He could be a wedge rather than a unifier for the church', said the Rev. Thomas Reese, editor of the Jesuit weekly magazine America." (, "Pope Benedict XVI a wedge or a unifier?")

And New York Times Op-Ed columnist, Maureen Dowd, also had something to say about this subject in her April 23rd article, "Uncle Dick and Papa":

"Unlike Ronald Reagan and John Paul II, the vice president [referring to Dick Cheney] and the new pope do not have large-scale charisma or sunny faces to soften their harsh 'my way or the highway' policies. Their gloomy world outlooks and bullying roles earned them the nicknames Dr. No and Cardinal No. One is called Washington's Darth Vader, the other the Vatican's Darth Vader."

"The Republicans can build their majority by bringing strict Catholics and evangelicals--once at odds--together on what they call 'culture of life' issues."

"But there is a risk, as with Tom Delay, Dr. Bill Frist and other Republicans, that if the new pope is too heavy-handed and too fundamentalist, his approach may backfire."
("Uncle Dick and Papa," by Maureen Dowd, The New York Times, Op-Ed Section, April 23, 2005.)

Other predictions I made in the "The Next Pope" remain to be seen. We can monitor upcoming events and check for possible confirmation of these predictions in reports we will be getting from the news media in the weeks and months ahead. Here are some of the predictions we can monitor:

1.) What about he "cardinal dressed in black"? The prediction in "The Next Pope" said, "the cardinal in black will exert a powerful influence over the next pope during his papacy." Does this refer to the influence of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini and the bloc of cardinals from Latin America, Africa and other third world countries? Will this become evident in the news?
2.)Will Pope Benedict XVI be forced to "remove himself for a time from the public eye, perhaps for his own safety"?
3.)What will be the exact nature of Pope Benedict XVI's "mental and/or emotional disconnect" and how will it "cause division among the clergy and Catholic laity"? In her April 23rd article, "Uncle Dick and Papa" (quoted above), New York Times Op-Ed columnist, Maureen Dowd, may have begun to answer this question.
4.)Will Pope Benedict XVI divide and fragment the Catholic Church? Will "the people scatter"?
5.)Will Pope Benedict XVI "be so out of touch with the clergy and the Catholic laity that his authority will be diminished," and will the Church "become fragmented"?
6.)Will there be "a political link between the new pontiff, the Vatican and Asia"? Will this link be the source "that will stir unrest in Asia, perhaps in the form of religious, social or political upheaval and conflict"?
7.)In "The Next Pope" I said, "I see the new pope coughing. Possibly he is ill." I feel it is possible that Pope Benedict XVI would die because of an illness or resign from the papacy because of an illness. Will this happen?

8.)What about the start of World War III and the impact of this on the Vatican? The Mayan Elders have predicted World War III will start in March 2006. In "The Next Pope" I said, "Now I see an image of the ground under the Vatican cracking, causing the floor on which the new pope stands to break, separate and open." Will this prediction be accurate, and if so will it be literal or symbolic?

Note: how my vision works and how I analyze and interpret what I am "seeing."
As I reflect on "The Next Pope" and the vision I saw of a fair-skinned, male face with Asian features, it might suffice to say that this vision was completely wrong. This certainly is a possibility. But to leave it at that would also be wrong. I have learned over the years that it is usually not the pure vision itself that is off the mark when something like this occurs.

In this case, the pure vision itself may have been accurate, but I unwittingly may have put my own political spin on it. In the training I received many years ago, I was taught to be on the lookout for this sort of distortion, but nonetheless there are moments when my own political ideas or other viewpoints can slip in and obscure the clarity of a vision.

Also I am aware that when I receive these visions, they flash in an out of the "viewfinder" of my mind's eye very rapidly. It is possible that, while I was describing my vision of the next pope's face, two different visions came to me in extremely quick succession, with one overlaid on top of the other. The first of these visions would have been that of Cardinal Ratzinger's literal, future presence on the Vatican balcony where he stood after he was elected pope. The second of these visions may quickly have overlaid itself over the first, to show me a symbol of what I predicted would be the new pope's "link to the Vatican and to Asia" and the problems that would ensue.

It is not unusual for the information I receive to come to my awareness in exceptionally quick flashes, changing in a fraction of a second, with one bit of information after the next appearing my mind's eye in a rapid sequence. If I had been more sharply observant of this, it is possible I would have been able to discern between the literal picture of Cardinal Ratzinger as the new pope and the symbolic meaning of the face with Asian features.

A reader of Future News, Pam, suggested, before the conclave began, in her comment under "The Next Pope" that I may have seen a vision, not of the future Pope Benedict XVI, but rather of the next pope after Pope Benedict XVI.

As events unfold, it will be interesting to see which explanation best fits the facts reported by the media in the news of the future.

© 2005 by William L. Tenuto


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