One has to give this work high marks for research--all inclusive assembly of works of other authors on this subject. Much work, perhaps, too much work went into its production. I particularly like the use of genres--intermingling bits of descriptive events into what otherwise would be dry narrative.
Yet, there is little here of an explosive nature that will keep its visitor awake. For those familiar with 12th century Malachy, there is little new and interesting material we have not heard before. For those not familiar with Malachy, a chapter could have done the job.
True of all predictions of `the end,' there is much talk of numbers. The authors cite a wide assortment of `independent' sources of various combinations of numbers and circumstances that add up to 2012. Conspicuously missing are the endless array of `independent' sources of various combinations of numbers and circumstances that add up to 2013...2014...2015...
Yet, there are things here that do catch the eye. Example: the parallel between the basilica dome and the obelisk in St. Peter's Square and the matching capitol dome and obelisk in Washington. More importantly, there is talk of the coalition of Masonic forces in Washington and the Vatican and its ability to control the destiny of the western world and each other. Could it be the end of Rome and the `Last Pope' will not be a product of Satanism as the book implies, but the will of Washington as one author proved the fate of the `Last Italian Pope' in Murder in the Vatican: The CIA and the Bolshevik Pontiff To my knowledge, the only complete true record of this pope's life from his childhood through his unwitnessed death. Answers the question: Did his struggle for basic human rights and dignity for women, homosexuals and the poor cost him his life?
Regardless, there is too much myth here. To begin with, the book begins with myth--the Malachy prophesy: `there will sit Peter the Roman who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations, when they are finished, the City of Seven Hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people.' Followed by Nostradamus, Rosemary's Baby, red dragons, green goddesses, Osiris' giant phallus and an endless array of other specters, far too much for the plate of the serious reader. Take the third myth of Fatima,
`...the Holy Father passed through a blood-soaked city, ...in ruins afflicted with pain and sorrow He tread on the souls of the corpses he met on his way... on reaching the mountain top... killed by soldiers firing bullets...there perished priests, men, women, children...'
`Petrus Romanus' cites the most popular fulfillment of this prophesy--the attempt on John Paul II's life in St. Peter's Square. Yet, one can make the case for most any event.
Consider the ill-fated bishop of Vittorio Veneto (John Paul I) scene of the bloodiest battle of WWI - cousin against cousin, brother against brother, so much so, when the war ended, less than 1 in 20 of the inhabitants of the mountain province was still alive. The 33-day Pope, like his mentor John XXIII, did not believe in the visionary saints, the reason John XXIII limited canonization to those of good causes rather than those who fooled sheep into believing they had talked to ghosts and be venerated for their so-called purity. As one knows, John XXIII coined the phrase `The Fatima Cult;' he did not publish the third letter because he did not want to spread myths. John's church was not a mythical church, but a real church.
Yet, much to its credit, this book has strains of realism. Consider the faithful practice of kneeling down and talking to the index fingers and other remains of unknown people in jeweled caskets--the so-called bones of Peter in the crypt beneath St. Peter's despite the historical and Biblical fact, Peter was never in Rome. In nearby Calgate, one can pray to the foreskin of Christ for a few dollars. I would have liked to see more of this kind of exposé in these pages.
Nevertheless, its countless predecessors are its greatest enemy. One must not cry `wolf' too often.
We have heard this before in as many different ways--the end in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 - all claims supported by `independent' sources of various combinations of numbers and circumstances that add up to each of these years. Believe me, when the final bell tolls in 2012, `Petrus Romanus' would have outlived its shelf-life. What's more, despite rumors to the contrary, Benedict XVI will ring that bell.
Above all, this book fails to create an air of suspense. After all, `the end' is what this book is all about. That it fails to threaten its audience is its greatest void.
Please don't take me wrong, but, I think the authors would have been better served to have presented this material in a fun and entertaining way which would reach a wider audience, rather than presenting it as an overabundance of referenced material which appeals to we few so-called `intellectuals' who talk down our noses as if we know something the rest of the world doesn't know.
Alles nur Vermutungen, eigentlich ist nicht klar geworden, was der Autor sagen will. Sehr kritisch der Kirche gegenüber, viele Darstellungen stimmen nicht. Der gerade gewählte Papst heißt auch nicht so, wie im Buch sehr sicher beschrieben worden ist. Empfehlen würde ich das Buch nur Leuten, die einen starken Glauben haben.