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Anonymous wrote:

Hi, guys —

Recently, I have seen write-ups on a number of Catholic web sites on Nostradamus, and, what they call, his "catholic" prophecies about the end times and the Church. In other books, they mentioned that he said the Catholic Church would fall.

My questions are:

  • Is Nostradamus considered a true prophet by the Church?
    A friend said a true prophet of God must be completely correct in his predictions.
  • Is this true?
  • Was Nostradamus wrong on anything he said?
  • Will the Church fall or can it fall in the future?

Thank you for any help you could offer me on these questions.


  { Is Nostradamus considered a true prophet by the Church and can the Church fall in the future? }

Richard replied:

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for your note. Here's a start toward answering your questions:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church gives the following guidance on the subject of foretelling the future:

Paragraph 2115: "God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints.
Still, a Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.

"2116: All forms of *divination* are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to 'unveil' the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect and loving fear that we owe to God alone."

  • What is the Church's stance on Nostradamus?
  • Was he excommunicated?
  • Did he profess his Catholic Faith?

Here's an answer by Warren H. Carroll, Ph.D. on March 1, 1999:

Nostradamus was a French astrologer of Jewish origin, who however claimed to be a Catholic. He wrote a book of alleged prophecies in 1555. This book was condemned by the Vatican, but not until after his death. The Church has always condemned astrology. To my knowledge he was not excommunicated, probably due to resistance by the young kings of France in his time and their mother, Catherine de Medici, who were much taken with him. - Dr. Carroll

And in another answer on the EWTN site, writer Karl Keating observes (April 25, 1998):

"Nostradamus isn't even mentioned in the massive Catholic Encyclopedia, which suggests the Church hasn't paid much attention to him and certainly hasn't taken his prophecies seriously."

I hope this helps.

On the general subject of the ultimate destiny of the Church and the return of Christ, let me refer you to the Catechism, paragraphs 668 — 682.

God bless you!

Richard Chonak

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