Pope Francis: A Sickness unto Death? Whether by natural causes or, on occasion, by malfeasance (take Stephan I, who in AD 257, the story goes, was beheaded in his papal chair), popes generally die in office. With the rare exception—as with Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned after less than eight years as “Vicar of Christ,” or Pope Celestine V, who, never really wanting the papal miter to begin with, abdicated after only five months on the job—the position of pontifex maximus is usually for life.

For this reason, it’s big news when a pope gets sick. Sickness has been the way that most of the 264 popes have left office, once that sickness leads to death. Thus, when Rome announced that Pope Francis, who turns 85 this December, had “scheduled surgery for a symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon” on July 4, the world took notice. [1]

Official Statement?

Vatican News, an official source for the Catholic Church, depicted the situation as follows: “Pope Francis is recovering well after intestinal surgery he underwent on Sunday at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital, Matteo Bruni, the director of the Holy See Press office, said in his update on the Pope on Thursday. … ‘His Holiness Pope Francis spent a quiet day, eating and moving around independently on his own,’ Bruni said. ‘In the afternoon he wanted to show his paternal closeness to the little patients of the nearby Pediatric Oncology and Child Neurosurgery ward, sending them his affectionate greeting.’” [2]

However, according to an article in The Washington Times, things might not be so rosy for the aging pontiff, who has struggled with health issues since his early twenties, when he had one lung removed because of an infection. Reported the article: “Pope Francis, already suffering from sciatica and with half of a lung removed, is in more serious condition than the world’s media is letting on, a leading Vatican blogger says.” [3]

The article went on to quote the well-known blogger Luis Badilla, editorial director of Il Sismografo (The Seismograph), a leading online source for Vatican and general Roman Catholic news, who blogged that the pope’s condition was “severe and degenerative” and perhaps even “chronic.”

The surgery, which removed half of Francis’ left colon, would be serious for anyone, let alone an octogenarian with pre-existing health challenges. “This is a major operation,” confirmed Yale School of Medicine’s head of colon and rectal surgery Dr. Walter Longo. “There’s no question he will require a lot of physical therapy and recovery time.” [4]

However personal health issues are, it is, nonetheless, different with public figures, especially those in powerful positions—such as the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. In these instances, health issues can have tremendous consequences, which is why the seriousness of the sickness tends to be minimized or obscured.

In one of the most infamous cases, there was absolute denial. Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States, had a series of strokes that left him incapacitated. The White House managed to keep the news hidden from Congress and the American people. An article for the National Institutes of Health claimed that because of his precarious health (he was partially paralyzed), Wilson was unable to push for America to join the League of Nations, which he desperately wanted. “The League of Nations,” its abstract said, “would later prove powerless without American support and was unable to thwart the rise and advance of Adolf Hitler.” [5]

The Vatican has also been known to downplay, even deny, health issues in regard to whoever sits in the papal chair. The New York Times, in a similar vein to Washington, began its article with these sentences: “The day after Pope John Paul II underwent a tracheotomy to relieve respiratory problems in 2005, the Vatican’s then spokesman told reporters that he had enjoyed a breakfast of 10 cookies. He died soon after.” [6]

Prophetic Healing

In the case of Francis, his hospital visit wasn’t made public until the day of the three-hour procedure. Even then, the press releases have been anything but voluminous. “He asked for complete privacy, and that is where the sparse bulletins come from,” divulged La Repubblica journalist Paolo Rodari.

However, New York also quoted journalist and Francis biographer Austen Ivereigh, who applauded, “No pope has spoken with such candor about his health, physical and mental, as Francis.” The article also lists Francis’ acknowledged ailments, even including a couple of his death-defying accounts.

And it seems that this pope isn’t slowing down. Although Vatican News disclosed that the pontiff is spending longer than originally planned in recovery at the hospital and is currently taking a typical hiatus from “general audiences” for the month of July, with the exception of “his weekly Angelus prayer,” Francis nevertheless “announced plans to visit Hungary and Slovakia in September.” [7]

While we do not know what the future holds for the health of any pope, Scripture does provide us with one very important prognosis: that of a strange beast with “seven heads” (Revelation 13:1), one of which is inflicted with a “deadly wound” that is eventually “healed” (v. 3). When this miraculous cure fully comes to pass, we are told that “all the world [will marvel] and [follow] the beast” and that “all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (v. 8).

To learn more about this mysterious prophecy, check out our documentary Revelation: The Bride, the Beast & Babylon. The health of your life might just depend on it. [8]

[1] https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/04/pope-francis-will-undergo-colon-surgery-in-rome-hospital.html

[2] https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2021-07/pope-francis-surgery-recovery-update-july8-children-bruni.html

[3] https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/jul/8/pope-francis-illness-more-serious-media-lets-vatic/

[4] https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/explainer-kind-surgery-pope-francis-78674818

[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26126405/

[6] https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/06/world/europe/pope-francis-surgery-health-vatican.html

[7] https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2021-07/pope-francis-to-remain-a-few-more-days-in-hospital.html

[8] https://www.revelationmystery.com

Papacy Watch

Words of Care and Concern
If anyone should think that we are attacking fellow Christians, please keep in mind that the prophecy is aimed at a system and not individuals. There are sincere, devout Christians in all churches, including the Catholic faith. Bible prophecy simply gives a message of judgment and correction upon a large religious institution that compromised with paganism, as many other churches have also done.