Vatican brushes aside end-of-the-world talk
VATICAN CITY—The Vatican’s top astronomer has some assurances to offer: The world won’t be ending in 10 days, despite predictions to the contrary.
The Rev. Jose Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory, wrote in Wednesday’s Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano that “it’s not even worth discussing” doomsday scenarios based on the Mayan calendar that are flooding the Internet ahead of the purported Dec. 21 apocalypse.
Yes, Funes wrote, the universe is expanding and if some models are correct, will at one point “break away”—but not for billions of years. But he said Christians profoundly believed that “death can never have the last word.”
The Mayan Long Count calendar begins in 3,114 B.C., marking time in roughly 394-year periods known as Baktuns. The Mayans wrote that the significant 13th Baktun would end on Dec. 21. The Maya didn’t say much about what would happen next.
Into that void have rushed occult writers, bloggers and New Age visionaries foreseeing all manner of monumental change, from doomsday to a new age of enlightenment. AP
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