Why Take the Prophecy of the Popes Seriously?

By Cris D. Putnam

So how do we evaluate something so mystical, so weird, and so utterly unique? While we must allow for supernaturalism a priori, our evaluation must acknowledge the standards of science. Good science is a search for what is true. Science is defined by a process called the scientific method. Typically, this includes an observation about a phenomenon, a hypothesis formulated to explain it, and a test performed via a controlled experiment. The key to the testing process is falsifiability. A positive test result means a hypothesis is plausible, not proven, but a negative test result proves it false. Hence, the proper test of a hypothesis is to make a prediction and devise a test such that at least one outcome proves the theory false. Karl Popper is generally regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the twentieth century. He is famous for establishing the criteria for modern scientific inquiry, two of which are suggested as:


  1. It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every theory—if we look for confirmations.
  2. Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky predictions; that is to say, if, unenlightened by the theory in question, we should have expected an event which was incompatible with the theory—an event which would have refuted the theory.[1]

Now, we are not exactly trying to prove a scientific theory, but the idea is that we want to have this sort of methodology in mind as we evaluate the Prophecy of the Popes. We are not arguing that all of it will stand up to this level of rigor. Even so, we are confident that the Christian worldview explains the reality we observe much better than the naturalistic theories advocated by most scientists. Our faith is grounded in evidence of a historical nature and we are confident and encouraged by the level of intellectual scrutiny that things like the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection can endure. Accordingly, we have no agenda to meet with the Prophecy of the Popes. It either authenticates itself on its merit or it becomes a conversation piece. We mentioned above that one prophecy in particular grabbed our attention in a way that prompted willingness to invest in the research. Benedict XV was assigned the motto Religio depopulate: “religion depopulated.”

Benedict XV

September 3, 1914 to January 22, 1922

Religio depopulata “Religion depopulated”

This is the kind of prediction we like because it was easily falsifiable. For instance, his reign could have been marked by a remarkable revival in the Church. It was a risky prediction and according to Popper, “Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky predictions.”[2] If Roman Catholicism had grown or even stayed the same this would have been necessarily falsified. Yet, in remarkable fulfillment, this was the time when Catholicism lost more adherents in one short period than at any other time in history.

World War I was devastating to the Roman Catholic Church, and then to add insult to injury, some 200 million left the Russian Orthodox fold to join the Bolshevik revolution or were killed or persecuted by the communists. A papal historian confirms, “Lenin declared war on religion and on assuming power was immediately to subject both the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches in Russia to murderous persecution.”[3] According to a leading expert on democide (death by government), “the Soviet Union appears the greatest megamurderer of all, apparently killing near 61,000,000 people. Stalin himself is responsible for almost 43,000,000 of these. Most of the deaths, perhaps around 39,000,000 are due to lethal forced labor in gulag and transit thereto.”[4] Lenin and Stalin specifically targeted religious leaders as they viewed them as a threat. Religion was heavily depopulated during this period. Indeed, the prophecy demonstrates breathtaking accuracy here. Because it is beyond dispute that this was published in 1595, this fulfillment alone seems to defy coincidence and supports taking the prophecy seriously.



[1] Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations (London: Routledge and Keagan Paul, 1963), 33–39.

[2] Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations, 33.

[3] John Julius Norwich (2011-07-12T04:00:00+00:00). Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy (Random House Digital, Inc.. Kindle Edition), Kindle locations 7678–7679.

[4] R. J. Rummel, “How Many Did Communist Regimes Murder?” last accessed January 31, 2012, https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COM.ART.HTM?PHPSESSID=2a47ce24761a818095b37d0dd2e2112c.

About Cris Putnam
Logos Apologia is the ministry of Cris D. Putnam. The mission of Logos Apologia is to show that logic, science, history and faith are complementary, not contradictory and to bring that life-changing truth to everybody who wants to know.


  1. Patrick Henry says:

    Difference this time…the American religious conservatives are amred to the teeth. Won’t be all that easy to use democide against the people of faith.

  2. SWIFT says:

    One thing about this prophecy, we won’t have to wait long to see it’s fulfillment. Patrick Henry is right; we are armed this time and there will be no freebees.

  3. David Endsley says:

    The best news about all this is, if it’s really true, then the return of Jesus Christ is that much closer. In fact, it’s Jesus Christ that we are supposed to be watching for. He gave us all the signs that would indicate his return and they are happening all around us. Our blessed hope is about to be fulfilled. Jesus Christ is about to return, in the flesh, just as it was foretold, to sit on David’s throne, and establish his kingdom.

    • Cris Putnam says:

      David, that is my hope as well. I am not by any means saying that any of this is a sure thing but I am saying the evidence is compelling. The fulfillment described above seems well beyond coincidence to me.

      • Joy van der Steen says:

        He is already here! This specific person knows the name of the Stone from Revelation 2:17, which is His proof to be a descendant from the tribe of Judah/Ben Daveed.

  4. Guest says:


    Being “armed to the teeth” doesn’t mean a thing unless it also includes all of the following:

    a. The true tactical and technical knowledge to be able to fight effectively

    b. The absolute and unfailing willingness of each knowledgeably armed individual to fully accept the high probability of their death if they enter the fight

    c. That individual actualy enters ‘The Fight’, and enters for the duration of the fight and / or their life

    d. That a large enough group of similar individuals come together, organize paramilitarily, and fight effectively in tacticaly organized fighting units

    e. “d” above, presupposes that the guerilla ad hoc paramilitary organization has already been contacted by an outside state or “non-state” organization that is willing to supply the guerillas in exchange for terms to be delivered by the ad hoc paramilitary force at the conclusion of hostilities (world history supports the contention that no successful guerilla armies ever succeeded without outside support…. a “little” something to think about)

    f. The ad hoc paramilitary unit has reasonable, all encompassing, and protected logistical train that will outlast the enemy’s

    g. The tactically organized units are able to ultimately apply overwhelming combat force upon the enemy BEFORE the enemy does that to them

  5. Kate says:

    @David Endsley: Nowhere is it stated biblically that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will return in the flesh. He came “in the flesh” when He walked the earth before the advent. He will return on a cloud. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God on The throne of David Now brother. We are to seek the Holy Spirit for all revelation for answers in “Spirit and in Truth”. Depend on NO MAN when seeking “The Truth” , ONLY asking the Father to send His Holy Spirit for conformation in prayer to your questions and the Holy Spirit WILL confirm in your heart.

    • Cris Putnam says:


      It seems you deny the Lord will return in the flesh? How do explain the promise he will stand on the Mount of Olives? When he ascended into heaven the Angel told the disciples, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”(Ac 1:11) The “same way” he was taken up was in the flesh. Also in the OT it is promised, “On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, …” (Zec 14:4) “His feet shall stand” sure sounds like a physical body to me and this also supports the Angel’s words in Acts 1 perfectly. How do you explain these passages?

  6. Incriminally Sane says:

    IT would only make sense that the controlling entities would want to get rid of all the major religious figures in the 19th & 20th centuries by removing the ones with true knowledge and installing a facade in an envelope labelled “True Religion” with puppet preachers and payed informants they can set up their global dictatorship with their new global religion which justifies the change of the book of Apocalypse to Revelation, they were able to trick humanity into believing their lies and murdering 43 million people in their quest for a global Government.

  7. If the people of our Awesome incredible Holy and All Righteous Christian Creator God that we profess his Son Jesus Christ..Who is the ONLY Way to the Father and is the Son of God who shed his sinless blood for us…. And if we would do our in-depth research and well needed homework..it is that–WE would see how near we are to the Lord Jesus’ coming as He is revealed from heaven in vengeance and in flaming fire!.. (See 2 Thess 1:16-12.). We are about to come into Rev ch 12 and ch13..SOON

    Anyone interested– I suggest you go to Chick Publications website and search for the Book with the shocking information and what is a true BOOK called SMOKE SCREENS as.Its there for you to read.. As this Book tells all of the background of the Roman Catholic (church) and its inquisitian. Many call it a church but it is an instituation. Also see the History Channel DVD on Angels and Demons – Decoded is the title in which is a documentry decoding the movie for us..on Rome. The movie of the same name..ANGELS AND DEMONS on the Vatican…This tells us time is runnng out as a New Pope is soon to appear..MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT AND THE MOTHER of Harlots..that is found as in Rome..And seen as the “city!” See Rev 17 and 18. See the Youtube movie with the tilte “A Lamp in the Dark” with more truth and excellent to know. as it is that persecution is coming to God’s true called out Church and body of Jesus in the Western World.
    A real f riend of Jesus our coming KING of kings and LORD of lords….(Rev 17:14; Rev 19:11-18)..

  8. Art says:

    Hello Chris,
    This interview goes very deep into the Jesuit power of the world. It reminds me of the interview you recently did with Tom and Steve and Shannon. Bless you for your great work brother. Arthur…

    Cut and Paste


  9. Dear Chris, It in vital that Christians pay great attention to the prophetic switfy events that are taking place now before our very eyes to fulfill Matthew 24; Mark 13 and Luke 21 and 2 Timothy 3 and 2 Timothy 4….. If one is truly serious and fears and above is obeying our Mighty and All Powerful Heavenly Father God and what is HIs words the scriptureds… It is we would have the spiritual godly discernment to see with clear vision and be diligently and eanestly willing to contend for the “Faith” that WAS once delivered unto the sainta.. ( See Jude) And in enestly seeking the face of our God and His Son the Lord Jesus and in turning from all sin and iniquity what is (lawlessness) in our lives.. We as who are among the believers that profess to know the True Lord our Messiah and our coming King Jesus. It is that we must study All the Scriptures that speak of “the” coming and what is the revealing of Jesus Christ from heaven.

    Never does Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles does he write in his adonitions and warnings of ever using the work “coming” in the plural. Always in the singular..There is only two comings of the Lord– one at his Christ;s birth and one at his revealing in the end and inj His coming from heaven with his holy angels in flaming fire and in vengrancce uypon thos who know not God and them that obey not the gosple of Jesus Christ… And to be glorified IN His saints .. See all of 1 Thessalonians 1:6-12..There is one coming of our Lord Jesus and it is in the Day of the Lord at the Midnight hour. As he comes like a thief in the night fo those who are sleeping and are not awake and watching and sober minded..See as is written in 1 Thessalonians 5. Than see Matthew 15:1-13. Many Christians have been led to believe that they shall be evacuted out of this world in what is erroneously taught them as a Pre Tribuation Rapture before the Great Tribulation begins and this not consistant with All Scripture.

    There is a warning from Jesus himself found in Matthew 24:4-5.. TAKE HEED and let no man deceive you.. for many shall come in my name, saying I am Christ and shall deceive.. many.” (to lead away many..from safety see the Greek) Paul the Apostle also warned as well found in Acts 20:26-30..Our God Chris is raising up a remnant of holy ones separed unto our God alone..that are living the life and walking that narrow way that few ill dar to WALK ..in the Truth which is in Jesus ONLy.. The Vatican is about to r present the wolrd wiht their new Pope and he is seen in Rvevaltion 13: and we are very soon to see hat is coming through the POne wold governmenet as well inspired by Satn the seprne the devil himself. BUT..God is going to intervene in His appointed time as he always does in His time.. May we Christoands be not as the folish virgins that were sho ut our of thw wedding when the Bridegroom comes at that MIdnight hour.. amen..

    • Mark says:

      Thank you Chris for all your work in Christ. Until we meet again, rest in Gods peace.