John Paul near the end
The Washington Post, 15 October 2001, has headlined:
"John Paul's Health Raises Fresh Concerns -– A few years ago, when Pope
John Paul II was subject to mysterious fevers, stomach viruses or tough bouts
with the flu, worry in the Roman Catholic Church centered on whether he might
These days, a second concern has spread among Vatican
watchers: that the pope, 81, his old athlete's body giving in to the battering
of age and Parkinson's disease, might drift into incapacitation and leave the
church rudderless or in the hands of aides and associates acting in the name of
an unwary pontiff.
Fears of such a crisis heightened last month when the pope
visited Central Asia and the south Caucasus region. While thanking the head of
the Armenian Orthodox Church for letting him sleep in his house, John Paul
suddenly slumped in a chair. An aide read the rest of the text.
The Vatican's numerous laws and regulations do not deal
with the incapacitation of a pope. No mechanism exists for removing a pope who
becomes chronically addled, senile or even comatose. No one has the authority to
end the pope's life in the event he is placed on a respirator and the
diagnosis does not offer hope of recovery.
For the moment, only resignation or death can end a papacy
-– an affirmation of a Vatican adage that the church can deal with a dead pope
but not a sick one...
'It wasn't always a problem,' said the Rev. Thomas
Reese, a Jesuit theologian and keen observer of Vatican politics. 'Elderly
popes used to die more quickly -– the medical skills to keep them alive didn't
exist. Or if they drifted off, they could always be locked in a back room and
kept out of sight. Not likely with this pope. In the bad old days, of course, they
could just be poisoned...
Occasionally, stories leak from inside the Vatican walls
hinting at the pope's fragility. He travels the long palatial halls not by
foot but by electric cart...
By tradition and necessity, popes jealously guard their
power. To designate a person or persons to decide on the pope' capabilities
might erode his supreme authority, church commentators say...
As the pope's health declines, a quiet debate continues
over what structure might be put in place...
The inability to communicate, for instance, is a sign that a
bishop must go. In the pope's case, such a decision might be made by the pope's
camerlengo, or chamberlain. He is the official who declares the pope
deceased and who marks the end of the papacy by smashing the late pontiff's
And who would then take over? The vicar of Rome, the papal
aide who runs the day-to-day diocese of Rome on the pope's behalf, is one
The administration would then be by the camerlengo and two
'One always hopes that a fire extinguisher will never be
needed,' Provost wrote. 'There are enough precedents to warn us that
both fire extinguishers and special laws are eventually needed.'" (emphases
In Biblical prophecy, we read in the book of Revelation 13:11
, the following:
"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and
he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon."
This second beast is called in the Word of God elsewhere, the
False Prophet, who will work inconjunction with a political man, called the
Anti-Christ or the First Beast.
These two, representing religion and politics, will work
under the divine power of Satan or Lucifer.
These three will control the world during the Tribulation
period of three and a half years, and bring massive sorrow and destruction to
those who are still left on earth. The Word of God teaches that Noah was saved before
the flood, Lot was saved before the fire and therefore it is important
that you the reader, make sure that you have received Jesus Christ as your own
personal Saviour, and that you will go up to be with Him just before this
dreadful Tribulation period.
God bless you as you pray the sinner's prayer which
involves the following words: Lord Jesus I come to the cross where you died for
- I repent of my sin and I turn away from it, and ask you to
have mercy on me.
- I believe the Bible is true when it says without the
shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness for sin and I thank you that your
blood is enough to cleanse my sin.
- I invite you to come into my life to be my personal
The Bible promises as in John 1:12, we read: "But as many
as received him (Jesus), to them gave he power to become the sons of God..."
Pray for this old man who is in his latter years, that
he too will see the light and turn to Jesus, repent, believe on His precious
blood and let Jesus become Lord of his life, before it is too late.