Studies In Official Catholic Prophecy


I have used the search feature here at CA for as far back as 2004, and did not really see a topic that would address my questions in the same scope that I have in mind so I am starting this topic to try and start a study that will address my questions.

To me, as the lowly Protestant here; Catholic ideas on Bible prophecy seem to be non-descript, vague, or atleast very general. It seems too hard for one to actually pin down anything exact, that would be classed as “official teachings,” and that deals specifically with prophecies in Daniel and Revelation.

Can we use this topic to try to explore Catholic prophecies; both in general, and specifically?

1/ What are Catholic principles of prophetic interpretation?

2/ What is the Catholic understanding of a true prophet?

**3/ **Can you name any specific and official Catholic prophecies that have been fulfilled, or are yet to be fulfilled?

**4/ ** Can you name any officially Catholic prophets?

Thanks, in advance, for your willingness to take the time and effort here with me…:thumbsup:


The best way to understand false/true prophet and the prophecy and related issues is to understand Jonah’ Sign to whom Jesus himself referred to, so the Catholic cannot deny that Jonah was a true Prophet of GodAllahYHWH. There cannot be any Prophet without a Prophecy nor there any Prophecy without a Prophet of GodAllahYHWH.
Suppose, if you had been in Nineveh when Jonah presented himself before his people that Jonah was a ProphetMessenger of GodAllahYHWH. If you would have accepted him, with what criteria, and if you would have not accepted him, on what criteria?"
This would form as a standard, as almost all the Christian denominations accept Jonah a true Prophet including the Catholics and Protestants.
For present, it is sufficient, though I intend to write more in future.


There aren’t many. Catholics are amillenialists, but that’s about the only common thread between us. Otherwise, we’re preterists, historisicits, futurists, or some admixture of the same. We are free to explore any ofthese ideas.

2/ What is the Catholic understanding of a true prophet?

Often, Catholics will identify “prophets” with those who were inspired to write scripture and reveal new doctrines (“public revlation”). Since, the fullness of the faith was already given the Church in apostlic times (“the faith delivered once for all”; Jude 1:3), Catholics feel there is no need for more divine revelation.

Still, the Catholic church believes men today can have visions, and be impressed to deliver even “prophetic” messages to his people (“private revelation”). But Catholics are not bound to believe that any or all of these are truly inspired by God; they are, strictly speaking, unnecessary for Christian faith. Furthermore, these revelations should never contradict the faith delivered to us “once for all.”

**3/ **Can you name any specific and official Catholic prophecies that have been fulfilled, or are yet to be fulfilled?

Other the ones in scripture, there are no “official” Catholic prophecies.

**4/ ** Can you name any officially Catholic prophets?

After the apostolic age, there are no “official” Catholic prophets.


we don’t have any “lowly” Protestants here on these boards, we have a very high class of participant.

surprisingly there are rather few specific verses of scripture that bear an official one-and-only this-is-it no-discussion Catholic interpretation.

the only official Catholic prophecy is that contained in Sacred Scripture, if that is what you are asking. Any so called prophecy, predictions, warnings etc. that have been received by any individual as private revelation, locutions etc. are not part of official Catholic dogma, even if the person involved has become a saint.

There are several threads here discussing and providing links to further studies specificially on the Book of Revelation, Daniel, Ezekiel etc., as well as the prophetic books of the OT. a search under the specific book should be helpful.


I appreciate the answers in posts #3 & #4, thankyou. As I study prophecy in general; from both of our perspectives; I am left with a number of questions and items that puzzle me.

The answers above from adventistnomore, in items #2 & #3 will get us started. “Puzzleannie” also concurred in much briefer format the same things.

It is commonly stated by Catholics that they have no “official” prophecies in their doctrinal materials.

The definitions of “public” and “private” revelation is part of my puzzle. It is also stated about both of these that “Catholics are under no obligation to believe or adopt these.”

It is my belief, based on discussions with Catholics both locally, and around the world, that in fact, Catholics do have some prophecies written by some of their leadership.

Perhaps, we could use a clear example so that everyone on both sides would have some idea of what I am talking.

How about Our Lady Of Fatima and her 3 part prophecy? Commonly called “the secret of Fatima;” it has some things in common with Bible prophecy; and some things not.

For eg., the Bible, when talking about prophecy; always considers it in the light of the wording in 2 Pet.1:19 -

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

So we have the Bible calling it “the sure word;” but Catholics calling it “secret.” Why is this?

The first part of the Secret, according to most commonly available sources on the subject, was an allegedly horrifying vision of hell “where the souls of poor sinners go” and contained an urgent plea from Our Lady (meaning Mary) for acts of prayer and sacrifice to save souls.

Given the nature of this statement; and others regarding The Secret of Fatima; how can you say that it is “not prophecy?” And, especially because of implications therein about “Mary” and things she has allegedly said to those children in Fatima, how can this not be called officially Catholic?


Hmmm… well… if your looking for the Church to say “This is what this prophecy means”. Then yes you wont find it as you would in say the Adventist Church or some other protestant Churches. IF your looking for a framework within which to study and develop your own idea’s and interpretations on Bible Prophecy… it is certainly there.

There are many very specific and descriptive idea’s on Bible prophecy by Catholics (for example, Scott Hahn), however, the Church does not require any one interpretation as long as it fits within the framework of the larger body of Church doctrine.


You might read the lengthy “Theological Commentary” at the end of this Vatican Document on “The Message of Fatima.” It explores the nature and limitations of private revelation vis-a-vis the deposit of faith far better than I could. Here’s a key paragraph:

In this regard, Cardinal Prospero Lambertini, the future Pope Benedict XIV, says in his classic treatise, which later became normative for beatifications and canonizations: “An assent of Catholic faith is not due to revelations approved in this way; it is not even possible. These revelations seek rather an assent of human faith in keeping with the requirements of prudence, which puts them before us as probable and credible to piety”. The Flemish theologian E. Dhanis, an eminent scholar in this field, states succinctly that ecclesiastical approval of a private revelation has three elements: the message contains nothing contrary to faith or morals; it is lawful to make it public; and the faithful are authorized to accept it with prudence (E. Dhanis,Sguardo su Fatima e bilancio di una discussione, in La Civiltà Cattolica 104 [1953], II, 392-406, in particular 397). Such a message can be a genuine help in understanding the Gospel and living it better at a particular moment in time; therefore it should not be disregarded. It is a help which is offered, but which one is not obliged to use.


The Fatima prophecies were secret in a literal sense; the third prophecy remained unpublished until the last ten years. Only the Holy See and the individals who received the vision knew what they had been shown.


Is Scott Hahn then considerd a “prophet” from the Catholic point of view?

Considering the Secret of Fatima; is then “Mary” a prophet, according to Catholic views?

If a given “interpretation” does fit within the larger body of Church doctrine;" why then are you not required to believe it? Or to adopt/accept it?


Scott Hahn is a theologian.

In Church-approved apparitions for those who believe them, Mary could be considered a prophet, esp. in the sense of speaking a message from God. She could also be seen as one in the sense of speaking about future events in some cases, but as far as I know, the Church has not assigned the title of “prophet” to her. I don’t think the Church has officially assigned anyone the title of Prophet, outside of those referred to in Scripture, and of course Jesus, who is Priest, Prophet, and King. Someone can correct me if I am wrong.

Public Revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle. Anything after that is considered private revelation, and is not binding upon anyone to believe. The interpretation may correspond to what the Church teaches, but we are only required to believe in Official Church Teaching, not in the vision, locution, or revelation given to an individual. All we need to know is contained in Public Revelation, given to us by Jesus Christ and handed down by the Apostles. This protects our unity and preserves us from error. It also keeps our focus on Jesus Christ, not the individual who receives a revelation.


No… he’s a theologian.

Considering the Secret of Fatima; is then “Mary” a prophet, according to Catholic views?

No more than Gabriel, when he delivered a prophetic message to Daniel.

If a given “interpretation” does fit within the larger body of Church doctrine;" why then are you not required to believe it? Or to adopt/accept it?

Because it is not of itself “Church doctrine.”


She is, however, Queen of patriarchs and prophets


It is hard to see clear with such statements with all the circumstances surrounding the Fatima Secret, and with the clear Bible revelation that revelation and visions do not in fact end with the New Testament; and the Bible is clear that prophecy if it is Bible prophecy, and backed up by the Bible, that prophecy always leads people to Jesus. True prophecy is HIS-Story and fixes our eyes on Jesus, not on Mary, as does the Fatima Secret.

The Fatima Secret appears to be a prophecy widely promoted by Popes, Bishops, and other faithful Catholics. I will be interested in discussing this more, but am out of time for now


Whether or not you want to call it “doctrine” or not; it is obvious that this Pope was utterly convinced of the reality of the Fatima Secret.

That’s why its called “private” revelation… individuals are free to embrace it if they so choose. This would include John Paul.

Why then would not Catholics who consider him “infallible” as far a matters of faith are concerned, not also be obligated to accept his convictions here?

I recommend you begin reading the appropriate chapter of the Catechism, since you evidently have never studied the Catholic idea of infallibility. The bishop of Rome exercises the infallibility of the Church when, by virtue of His office as head of the Church entire, he formally defines/clarifies a matter of faith and morals. His personal opinions, thoughts, or speculations, on the other hand, are not infallible; popes in the past have expressed what would later be recognized as heretical theological opinions.


They are (probably) not all correct, but Catholics are free to consider/entertain any of them in their study of scripture.

Let’s think of it this way: how long did it take Christians to “discover” that Rev 13 foretold a coming sunday law? Adventists admit that idea was finally apparent in the 19th century. Before that time, Christians had still not arrived at that conclusion.

Now, Catholics don’t embrace the Adventist interpretation of Rev 13, but we, like Christians for 20 centuries, are still exploring the prophecies, and are open to listening to God’s word. If it took you 19 centuries to discover your “true interpretation”, perhaps you don’t waiting for us to discover ours. The Church gives us the freedom to continue exploring any and all possible interpretations towards that end.


Here’s something approved ByThe Catholic Church:Prophecy


So is it official Catholic Church teaching that prophecy has nothing to do with “matters of faith and morals?” That really sounds obtuse. I have read the CC just yesterday on this; and I figured you might bring up this point re “infallibility,” but if a Pope/s are convicted that something is true; it must be. And there are many Popes who have endorsed the Fatima Secret. It cannot possibly be “heresy” because too many have endorsed the vision, and “Mary’s” message therein.

I certainly do not see the value or the truth in not wanting to admit that prophecy is the same as doctrine. And why the two would not be synonymous as in “infallible.” The Bible even calls it “the sure word of prophecy.”

In reference to your question about waiting for Catholics to decide what brand of prophecy is “true” I find that to be amazing. Surely, a Church that professes to have “the depository of truth” can decide atleast in principle, that not all of the 3 methods of prophecy are correct? To allow church members to study all 3 is no different than most churches; but to just say you still don’t know which is true is incredible given the “truth” you say you already have. Why would God give any prophecies of warning to anyone, without being clear on what He is warning us about? How can you not know?


Thanks for this link. Is this short exerpt taken from the Catechism?



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