A spokesman for the Vatican did not have any more information, and the announcement was just made to the Catholic church. A pope has not resigned for 600 years."

Now, THAT is historic, something happening that hasn't happened for over half a millennium.

No doubt, the 'Prophecy of the Popes' will come up in your mind at this historic moment in time. I say, 'Watch, test all things, dispense with the false and hold fast to the good.'

With high levels of skepticism and even with one eye shut, holding our nose, I refer to the "The Prophecy of the Popes" by Malachy. This 'extra-biblical' prophecy according to a Wikipedia definition "is a list of 112 short phrases in Latin. They purport to describe each of the Roman Catholic popes (along with a few anti-popes), beginning with Pope Celestine II (elected in 1143) and concluding with the successor of current pope Benedict XVI, a pope described in the prophecy as "Peter the Roman", whose pontificate will end in the destruction of the city of Rome."

In effect, this extra-biblical prophecy says that the next pope will be called Petrus Romanus and will be the last pope presiding over the papacy during a time of terrible global tribulation.

The longest and final motto of Malachy's prophecy reads in the original Latin:
"In eſecutione extrema S.R.E. ſedebit. Petrus Romanus, qui paſcet oues in multis tribulationibus: quibus tranſactis ciuitas ſepticollis diruetur, & Iudex tremẽdus iudicabit populum ſuum. Finis."

This is usually translated into English as:
"In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit [i.e., as bishop]. Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations: and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the terrible judge will judge his people. The End."

I am no fan of extra-biblical revelation. However, it IS pretty interesting that a guy in some tiny Irish town a thousand years ago made a list of popes that ends at exactly a time when true believers see the biblical prophecies already coming together. Malachy could have listed 100 popes, or 150 popes, but he didn't. The list ends...at this point in time just as Christians are seeing the tribulation events appearing on the horizon. That merits a 'hmmmm' from me.

Compelling, but don't build a doctrine out of it. The currently reported weakness of the Pope and the prospect of installing another one is always interesting because by far the Roman Catholic Church is one of the largest false religions in the world, with roots that can be directly traced back to the first false religion, Babylon. For that reason alone, the new Pope is worth watching, because it is highly likely the Catholic religion will have some role to play when true believers are raptured away. As head of that religion, the Pope will need to send assurances to the billion Catholics left behind. The Pope, whoever he will be, will be prominent in the news and on the world stage. There are approximately 1.1 billion Catholics, and 1.5 billion Muslims so the number of false religion adherents left behind will undoubtedly embody and perpetuate the Lie. (2 Thess 2:11).

If the next pope is Peter the Roman, we tend to will believe the prophecy of Malachy. If he is not Peter the Roman, then we know according to the standard for prophetic validation set out in Deut. 18:21-22 the prophecy was false. Because with all things, the bible is the only standard of truth.