Peter Cardinal Mathews
|Born||? years before Rapture|
|Died||Midpoint of Tribulation prior to Nicolae Carpathia's assassination|
|Occupation||Former archbishop of the diocese of Cincinnati, Ohio, later Pontifex Maximus of Enigma Babylon One World Faith, Mystery Babylon The Great|
|Religion||Roman Catholic (originally, nonbeliever)|
Enigma Babylon (converted, post-Tribulation)
|First Appearance||Tribulation Force|
Peter Cardinal Mathews, later Pontifex Maximus Peter II, is a supporting antagonist in the Left Behind series. He was the former archbishop of the diocese of Cincinnati, Ohio who became the pope of Enigma Babylon One World Faith. He played the role of Mystery Babylon The Great.
Following the Rapture of Pope John XXIV (who reigned for only five months), Peter Mathews was proclaimed the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. When the world's religions came together to form a unified doctrine of all religions being valid pathways to God, Mathews became the head, calling himself Peter II, an insult to the papacy as no Pope has ever taken the name of Peter because the Apostle Peter is recognized as the first Pope of the Catholic Church.
Peter Mathews' arrogance and his eventual attempt to usurp Nicolae Carpathia's power caused his downfall, especially when his attempt to assassinate the Potentate through the bloody rift between the United African States subpotentate Rehoboth and his rival Mwangati Ngumo was discovered. Nicolae Carpathia and Leon Fortunato want him eliminated so Carparthia hypnotized Enoch Litwala, the subpotentate that replaced Rehoboth after his death, to implant the plans the murder in his mind. It would involve the subpotentates calling a meeting with Mathews at the Global Community Grand Hotel and in honor of Mathews have a ice sculpture of Mathews depicted as an angel. The subpotentates would then break the ice feathers of the statue to stab and bludgeon Mathews to death. The murder weapons would melt and Mathews' corpse would be cremated under the pretense that he contracted a highly contagious disease that causes bleeding in the mucous membranes. Subpotentate Od Gustaf is a physician, so he can sign Mathew's death certification that he died of a highly contagious decease. Since the subpotentates concurrently murdered Mathews, they cannot implicate each other without implicating him/herself.
The plan can be considered a "perfect crime" since there would be no evidence and the murder cannot be traced back to Carpathia. The murder fulfills prophecy in Revelation 17 that the Beast and the ten horns would hate the prostitute and consume her with fire, although the subpotentates did not literally consume his flesh. Afterwards at the Global Gala, Nicolae hypnotizes the crowd to inform them that though they were about to hear of Pontifex Maximus (abbreviated as P.M.) Peter II's death, they would not be shocked at the news; his memorial service was cancelled due to the lack of interest.
- The Papal name of Peter II may also connect to St. Malachy's Prophecy of the Popes, which states that the last Pope will be named Petrus Romanus (Peter II), "who will reign during the ultimate persecution of the Holy Roman Church".
Characters of the Left Behind series: List