If we accept the visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (like any mystic, her predictions can’t be all taken as gospel!), we’re left with an interesting conundrum: which Pope was she referring to, in 1820, when she had a flurry of visions about the Church?
Also this query: are the visions even relevant to our current Vatican, or, if valid, do they speak of a future one?
Again, if you accept them, then it’s up to you to decide.
For instance, on August 10, 1820, the German stigmatic-mystic said, “Last night I was taken to Rome where the Holy Father, immersed in his sorrows, is still hiding to elude dangerous demands made upon him.
“He is very weak, and exhausted by sorrows, cares, and prayers. He can now trust but few people. This is mainly why he is in hiding. But he still has with him an aged priest who has much simplicity and godliness. He’s his friend, and because of his simplicity they did not think it would be worth removing him. But this man receives many graces from God. He sees and notices a great many things which he faithfully reports to the Holy Father. It was required of me to inform him, while he was praying, of the traitors and evil-doers who were to be found among the high-ranking servants living close to him, so that he might be made aware of it.”
If so desired, one could read Pope Francis into the above. For though, obviously, he is not literally in hiding, there certainly is commotion and a degree of conspiracy around him — certainly dissension — and he has an “aged priest” named Benedict to consult (many don’t know that Francis supported the election of Cardinal Ratzinger.) Further, Emmerich described this Pope as “living in a palace other than before” — which, if interpreted loosely, could be read as the dormitory Francis now calls home, having eschewed the opulent papal apartments. Or could it be Benedict?
Those who want to see an opposite view can read this from Emmerich — the same year, during which she is obviously describing a schism, a subversive “Church of Darkness” that would deceive Catholics into “complete decadence”:
“I saw the relationship between the two Popes. I saw how baleful would be the consequences of this false Church. I saw it increase in size; heretics of every kind came into the city [of Rome].”
“I saw deplorable things: gambling, drinking, and talking in church,” said Emmerich in September of that busy year. “They were courting women. All sorts of abominations were perpetrated there. Priests allowed everything and said Mass with much irreverence.”
Clearly, we are not quite there yet.
Could it occur at a future time? And “two popes”: would it have to be a schism or could it be a retired one?
How careful we must be with visions, and yet also how open-minded. Woe to those whose minds hearken only to ratiocination.
Oh well, so: one of those things you classify under “curiosities,” hoping that it’s an errant set of predictions, whether it pertains to the past, to the now, or to a time in the future.
[resources: The Life and Revelation of Anne Catherine Emmerich]