Question: "Does the Bible say anything about a black Pope in relation to the end times?"
Answer: The idea of there being a black Pope in the end times does not come from the Bible, but rather from the visions of Saint Malachy in the 12th century. In approximately A.D. 1139, Saint Malachy received a vision in which it was revealed to him that there would be 112 more Popes, with the last one being the “black Pope.” Interestingly, the current Pope, Francis I, is Pope number 112 after Saint Malachy’s vision (although the count of Popes varies somewhat). Some see a connection between Pope Francis I and the color black due to Francis I being a Jesuit, and Jesuits traditionally wearing black cassocks. So, is Pope Francis I, the 112th Pope, going to be the black Pope?
Biblically speaking, there is absolutely no connection between a black Pope and the end times. The Bible does not even mention the papacy. The idea of a supreme leader over the entire Christian church is not found in the Bible. There may be an end-times prophecy about the city of Rome (Revelation 17:9), as Rome is the city on seven hills. Some interpret the whore/beast of Babylon as the Roman Catholic Church and believe that in the end times the Roman Catholic Church will actually welcome the coming of the Antichrist. Some hold that the black Pope will be the one who leads the Roman Catholic Church into this apostasy. Again, let it be said, the Bible does not say anything about Popes in general or an end-times Pope in particular.
There is also the question of what Saint Malachy’s vision of a black Pope means in regards to the use of the word “black.” Some believe it refers to an evil nature; thus, the last Pope will be an evil Pope. Others believe that it refers to skin color; thus, someone of African descent will be elected Pope. In recent papal elections, several African candidates have been considered. Whatever the case, even if someone of black/African descent is some day elected Pope, it does not necessarily have any bearing on the end times. Instead of studying purported visions and wild conspiracy theories, our focus should be on what the Bible actually says about the signs of the end times.
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