Ronald L. Conte jr. is a Catholic lay theologian and fanatic. His website is rather fascinating, particularly because of the tension created by his fanaticism and his pretty ardent attempt to trying to stay in line with official Catholic dogma. He does, to a certain extent, accept the theory of Evolution, for instance, though he has to add some twists and take away a few bits that he doesn’t feel fit in with his fundamentalism – the result sounds a little more like Old Earth Creationism – and much of his website is devoted to debunking “private revelations” claims, which actually seems like a reasonable project (including a section “Tricks Used by False Private Revelations”)
But the madness is pretty ardent as well. Some may react to his breathtakingly detailed rules for sexual behavior within marriage (sex outside of marriage is of course not a topic, and he is opposed to contraception, suggesting instead “Natural Family Planning”), but Conte settles any question about his rationality with his prophecies. These include the claim that “Jesus will return in 2437 AD”, “nuclear attacks on New York in 2010 [which launches World War III] and Vatican City in 2013.” He predicts that the Holy Father will die in 2009 or 2010, to be replaced with two popes (both killed in the nuking of Rome in 2013). Hillary Clinton will be elected President and will become pro-life in 2009, Muslims will dominate the world from the 2020s to 2040s; then domination goes to Russia, to be followed by the dominance of Africa, India and China in the 23rd century. The tribulation will start on April 10, 2009, when each person on Earth will be presented with a vision explaining his or her sins.
As you may have noted some of these predictions are a couple of years old, but Conte seems unaffected by the fact that their accuracy has turned out to be, shall we say, disputable. He did, however, correctly predict the name of pope Benedict – which is remarkable, since he had as much as four or five names to choose from. His fans do, however, have to downplay the fact that he also predicted this pope to be black.
His latest prediction (from 2011) is that the Apocalypse will begin in 2012. Luckily he’s written an Apocalypse Survival Guide for Christians that you can buy from his website.
Diagnosis: At least he avoids the vagueness of Nostradamus; he can do that, since he seems to be entirely unaffected by his lack of accuracy. Overall Conte is an interesting fellow, and hopefully harmless, though there are concerned reports on the web about people actually taking him seriously.