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Old 17th December 2008, 03:16 AM
Pontifex Pontifex is offline
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Default Pope says end of the world not nigh

The closing days of 2008 may be marked by floods, terrorism and global financial collapse - but Pope Benedict XVI has assured believers that the end of the world is not nigh.

Speaking at a ceremony at which he blessed figures of the infant Jesus for Rome Nativity cribs, the Pope said there had been "alarmism" about the end of the world since the days of St Paul, who in his Letter to the Philippians had told early Christians to rejoice because "The Lord is at hand" (Phil. 4:4-5). This had been wrongly taken to mean the imminent approach of the Last Judgement.

... Pope Benedict commented that "already at that time, the Church, illuminated by the Holy Spirit, increasingly understood that the 'closeness' of God is not a question of space and time, but a question of love: love draws near!" He said Christmas was coming "to remind us of this fundamental truth of our faith, and in front of the Nativity scene we can taste Christian joy, contemplating in the newborn Jesus the face of God, who out of love drew close to us."

Pope furthers that St Paul had also made clear in his first letter to the Thessalonians that "no-one can know the moment of the Lord's coming (1 Thes. 5:1-2)", the Pope said. The apostle, remarking that the day would arrive "like a thief in the night", had "cautioned against any alarmism" over the "imminent" return of Christ, telling his readers not to be troubled or "shaken in mind" by the fact that "the day of Christ is at hand".



http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/com...cle5346356.ece
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