The Drudge Report posed the question on Wednesday whether or not Pope Francis is the Antichrist, the shadowy "end times" figure foretold in the Christian Bible's Book of Revelations.
Talking Points Memo reported that the conservative news hub posted a photo of the pontiff with the caption, "POPE FRANCIS ANTICHRIST?" followed by the sub-headline: "Stand on Islam, capitalism, New World Order fuel chatter..."
The link clicks through to an article from Charisma News -- a Pentecostal website dedicated to "Christian and under-reported secular news that concerns Christians" -- titled "Why So Many People Think Pope Francis Is the Antichrist."
Contributor Jennifer LeClaire wrote, "If you type 'is Pope Francis antichrist' into Google, you'll get about 425,000 results in .37 seconds. By way of comparison, if you ask Google the same question about Pope Benedict you only get 137,000 and it takes a little longer -- .47 seconds."
However, Raw Story found that if you type "Is Obama the Antichrist" into Google, you'll get about 784,000 results in .27 seconds, meaning President Barack Obama is way, way, way more Antichrist-y than Francis and Benedict combined. Combined! And about .10 seconds faster about it!
"Francis has been vocal about the evils of capitalism while backing off conservative views about homosexuals, asking, "Who am I to judge?" He's even called for a New World Order more than once. Some predict he will usher in this New World Order on Sept. 25, just 10 days after the end of the Shemitah year, which has a swirl of speculation about economic collapse around it," wrote LeClaire, hinting that just maybe there's a new End of the World event just a few weeks away.
Pope Francis, she darkly warned, prayed with Muslim leaders and said that the faiths should be partners, not enemies, which, LeClaire darkly warned, has been seen by some "as a precursor to the one world religion."
She then fell back on what some Christian mystics believe are a series of prophetic warnings about the fate of the church.
"Here's what we know: More than 50 years ago, a Jesuit priest predicted the resignation of Pope Benedict -- to the day -- and now Tom Horn, who worked with Cris Putnam to unveil a 900-year-old prophecy buried in the library at the Vatican that describes a series of 112 popes, and others are looking at his research," she wrote.
"These are strange days in which we live," she concluded. "How do you feel about the Pope's stand on homosexuality, Islam, capitalism and the New World Order?"
Drudge was once hailed by consummate Beltway insider Mark Halperin as the unofficial assignment editor of D.C. media -- the Game Change author famously quipped that "Drudge rules our world".
Recent years have seen a steep erosion of the once-mighty Drudge Report's fortunes. Proprietor Matt Drudge hung out his shingle as a news aggregator early in the history of the web and helped lead the news cycle for more than a decade, but has struggled, in recent years, to remain relevant.