The Apocalyptic Papal Prophecy!

apocalypse-04Does the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI mean the world is coming to an end? Apparently yes, assuming you believe a 12th century prophecy attributed to the Irish Archbishop St. Malachy. In the latest in a very long series of apocalyptic predictions, it is now believed that Benedict’s successor will be the last pope, and that after him, the Day of Judgement will come. You know, I was wondering what the next one would be now that the Mayan Prophecy has passed us by.

The prophecy is dated to 1139 CE, at which point Archbishop Malachy predicted that their would be 112 popes before the world officially ended. Since Benedict XVI was number 111, that leaves only one before everything hits the fan. According to the legend, the list of popes originated from a vision Malachy said he received from God when he was in Rome while reporting on his diocese to Pope Innocent II.

malachy_prophAfter giving the list to Pope Innocent II, the document remained unknown in the Vatican Archives for some 440 years after until it was rediscovered and published by Benedictine Arnold de Wyon in 1590. The prophecy consisted of a series of brief, cryptic descriptions in Latin of each pope, culminating with the 112th, known as Petrus Romanus, or “Peter the Roman”.

According to the prophecy, Peter the Roman would “feed his flock amid many tribulations, after which the City of the Seven Hills shall be utterly destroyed, and the awful Judge will judge the people.” In short, the last pope will see his people through hard times, Rome will fall, and the apocalypse will soon follow. Talk about doom and gloom, and more than its fair share of apocalyptic cliches!

End_of_Days_by_taenaronNevertheless, this historic document has some people worried because some of its predictions have come true. For example, Malachy prophesied the first pope on his list would be “from a castle on the Tiber”, and Celestine II, elected in 1143, was born in Toscany on the shores of the Tiber River. Malachy further predicted that another pope would be “elevated from a hermit”, which Nicholas IV, pope from 1288 to 1292, had been at the monastery of Pouilles. The 45th pope in the prophecy was described as coming “from the hell of Pregnani”, whereas  Pope Urban VI (1378-1389) came from a village near Naples called Inferno (hell).

But as my grandpa used to say, “even a blind squirrel finds the odd nut”. What’s more, most scholars believe that the document is a fake, that it was written in 1590 and all its predictions and claims were made retroactively. A convincing point here is the fact that after 1590, the predictions and epithets become much more vague.

But of course, we can expect some, Catholics for the most part, to take this seriously. Lord knows (no pun!) people love a good doomsday prophecy, and some people need really do love the idea of the world ending within their lifetime. So if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like getting egg on their face or caught with their pants down, start saying your prayers and repenting your sins. And keep on eye on Rome and any other city built on “seven hills” just in case it really does get leveled. You never know…


NASA: The World Will Not End on Dec. 21st, 2012

Worlds CollidingIt seems NASA spends untold resources trying to debunk conspiracy theories and doomsday predictions. Sad, when you consider all the wonderful uses this time and energy could be dedicated towards, like putting people on Mars! In any case, and in anticipation for this coming Friday (and Saturday, if all goes well!), I thought I’d share this video NASA released to put people’s minds at ease. The world will NOT end on Dec. 21st, 2012, it claims, and presents the scientific findings that say so.

Set on Dec. 22nd, 2012, the video approaches the apocalypse as if it is something that has already come and gone and proceeds to explain how the myth of the 2012 End of the World scenario began in the first place. In examining the actual Mayan Calendar, the reasons for why the calendar ends when it does, and taking a look at all the stellar and terrestrial phenomena which are believed to coincide with the date (but which won’t), NASA shows why we have nothing to worry about.

In fact, if anything, the date in question will be a time of rejoicing. Not only is it the holiday season for people worldwide, it is also the natural turning point in the Mayan Calendar, the date at which the ancient astronomers reckoning of time would “reset” in accordance with their ancient theology. This was a regular pattern as far as the Yucatan-based civilization was concerned, and is a testament to their long and expansive concepts of time and cosmology.

Nothing destructive was ever mentioned or implied in the Mayan belief system, merely a rolling over of the odometer and an entrance into a new age. If anything, it was western apocalyptics and cultists, with their preconceived notions of the End of Days and astrology, that attached this significance to the date. Astrological phenomena, such a meteor striking Earth, an inversion of our gravitational field, a massive solar flare, or another planet colliding with us, were all added as a means of explaining how. But, as the experts as NASA show, none of this stuff is happening or in danger of happening in the next few days.

In short, we can all look forward to another holiday season with plenty of food, family, in-laws and swag. As my grandpa used to say “the sun will still rise in the east and set in the west”, the world will keep on spinning, and people will keep on waiting for the end of the days to come. Fear not the End of Days, fear waking up tomorrow and realizing that you still have to get up, go to your job, and tolerate all the little annoyances we all deal with on a daily basis. And while your at it, be thankful you’re alive and STOP WISHING FOR IT ALL TO END!

And if that is still not enough to convince the doomsayers that life will go on, perhaps a quick look at their track record will be enough to convince the rest of us of how often they are wrong. Consider…

30-36 – 2012 C.E: After the death of Jesus and the spread of early Christianity, believers begin to prepare for the “coming of the Lord”. After several centuries, it is clear that the End of Days isn’t just around the corner, so believers begin to settle in and create Monasteries in the hopes of living how the Savior would have wanted. Two-thousand years later, we’re all still waiting!

410 C.E.: Rome is sacked, leading many Christians to fear that the Barbarian hordes are the harbingers of the Apocalypse. However, St. Augustine of Hippo allays much of these fears with his book City of God, where he states that though the corporeal capital of Christianity may have been sacked, the city of God abides. People promptly calm down…

900 C.E.: The fall of the Western Roman Empire leads to renewed fears that the world is ending. However, despite the decline in education, wealth, central leadership, life expectancy, and an upsurge in violence, life goes on…

1000 C.E.: Europe becomes consumed by apocalyptic predictions with the coming of the Millennium. On Dec. 31st, 999, nothing happens! The sun rises on the following day and people go back about their business…

1206-1294 C.E.: The Mongol Hordes, a vast and terrible army, reach Europe from Asia and begin a campaign of conquest and slaughter. People everywhere believe they are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse foretold in the Book of Revelation. However, Mongol expansion soon ceases, the Empire is subdivided amongst Ghengis Khan’s sons and vassals, and life continues. Just another Horde from the East that failed to deliver on the Apocalypse I guess!

1348-1350 C.E.: The Black Death strikes Europe. People everywhere believe this is God’s judgement and the Rapture is sure to follow. Flagellants punish themselves for the good of humanity, witches are burned, Jews are murdered, cats hung, and any and all traces of “wicked behavior” and people are scapegoated and purged. However, within two years, the plague passes, one-third of Europe has died, but life goes on and a period of rapid recovery soon follows.

1914 C.E.: The outbreak of the Great War leads many to believe that Armaggedon, the last great battle that will signal the end of time, is upon them! After four years of brutal, protracted warfare, all sides agree to a ceasefire and previously held romantic notions of warfare are shattered. Henceforth, Remembrance Day, Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, and a series of other national and international holidays mark the occasion and remind us how foolish and horrible war really is. However, the world does not end…

1918 C.E.: “Red October” shakes the world, with many predicting that the victory by the “Godless Communists” is a sign of the Apocalypse. However, despite the terrible crimes that follow in the Marxist-Leninists wake, especially where Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong and Pol Pot are concerned, the world keeps on spinning, even after the conflict becomes nuclear in scope (see next).

1945  – 1991 C.E.: The advent of nuclear weapons and the beginning of the Cold War lead to a resurgence in Apocalyptic predictions, with many claiming that “The End is Near” on a regular basis. However, numerous close shaves pass without incident, the Cold War ends by 1991, and all predictions as to how “Nuclear Holocaust” will take place fail to be realized. In the end, many people realize that the human race isn’t suicidal or quite as stupid as previously thought. Others continue to ponder how WWIII will happen, but produce no realistic scenarios.

1948 C.E. – : The Arab-Israeli Conflict begins and escalates with such events as the Suez Crisis (1956), the Six Day War (1967), and Yom Kipper (1973). Religious scholars and believers begin to claim that these events were foretold in Scripture, and foretell of the coming battle of Armageddon – which will take place at Tel Meggido in modern day Israel. However, land for peace and a detente have prevented any full-scale wars since 1973, and the Oslo Accords of 1992 seem to suggest that a permanent peace between Israel and the Palestinians is just a matter of time.

1980’s C.E.: The growing awareness of the AIDS virus prompts many religious nuts and homophobes to claim that “Gods Judgement is Here” and is taking the form of a virus that strikes down sinners. However, public education and about thirty years with no Rapture lead most to conclude that this is a terrible disease which merits no religious condemnation. Public decrying of victims remains, but few people take them seriously.

1994/5 C.E.: Renewed outbreaks of the Ebola virus leads to new fears of a global pandemic. Movies like The Stand, Outbreak and just about any scenario involving biological warfare do great at the box office, but the apocalyptic nightmare never comes true. And when people realize that casualties are largely reserved to African nations, they generally stop caring!

1990 – 2000 C.E.: Y2K histeria sets in as people get wind of a possible bug that could shut down the world’s computers. People begin hoarding and stocking their shelves in preparation for the pandemonium and chaos that is expected. When the clock strikes midnight of Dec. 31st 1999, nothing happens! The world keeps spinning, the computers keep working, and the nuts go looking for another reason to panic. There are still plenty to choose from…

And let’s not forget 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Bath Salts Zombies and every other major disaster that has befallen the world in recent years. Seems every day weirdos and nutjobs are finding reasons to think we’re all going to die. One would think they wanted it to happen or something…

In the meantime, enjoy the video and all its sane and sensible points!


Second Asteroid Makes Even Closer Pass to Earth

CometThank you to Raven Lunatick for bringing this to my attention! It seems that while everyone was watching Toutatis the other day, another asteroid slipped past Earth with few noticing. Luckily, researchers had been observing this newly-discovered asteroid, named 2012 XE54, since Dec. 9th and knew that like the much larger Toutatis, this one would pass Earth by without incident.

But whereas Toutatis avoided Earth by a whopping 7 million kilometers, roughly 18 times the orbit of the Moon, XD54 passed within 230,000 km of Earth. That’s within the Moon’s orbit in case you don’t know, which is a far closer shave for those keeping track!

Granted, this asteroid was substantially smaller than Toutatis, measuring in at 36 meters at its widest point compared to Toutatis’ hefty 4.5 km length. However, that does not mean that such a small object does not have considerable destructive power. For the sake of perspective, consider the case of the asteroid that landed in Siberia in 1908. Here, the stellar object in question was similar size to XD54, and flattened some 2000 square km of forest when it exploded above Siberia’s Podkamennaya Tunguska River.

In addition, XD54 shares another characteristic to the much larger Toutatis, in that its orbit is similar to our own. Scientists now predict that it takes the stellar object 2.72 years to complete a single lap of around the sun. This means that, like Toutatis, we can expect to see it again in the not-too-distant future. However, that’s not likely to be for many years and there’s no indication of if and when it will collide with our planet. So as far as the Doomsayers are concerned, humanity just might make it out of 2012 alive!