Current Events

Pope Benedict XVI

Bild Online reported last week about the new pope’s first Pentecost mass in Rome. According to the newspaper, the pope stated in his sermon that the “Ten Commandments” do not constitute a diminishment or abrogation of freedom, but that they are the very foundation of freedom.

This is very true. We might ask, however, how the pope can explain the fact that the Catholic Church HAS abrogated two of the Ten Commandments (the second commandment against idols and the fourth commandment, enjoining the keeping of the Seventh-Day-Sabbath)?

Archbishop William Levada the New “Enforcer”

As the Associated Press reported on May 14, 2005, Archbishop William Levada, the “68-year-old leader of the San Francisco Archdiocese was named by longtime friend Pope Benedict XVI as his own replacement leading the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” The article pointed out that Levada “has a track record of upholding Roman Catholic policies while deftly handling controversy. But his appointment as the chief enforcer of church doctrine was sharply criticized by clerical sex abuse victims, who say he’s done a poor job of dealing with the crisis. Levada countered that his experience with the issue is an advantage for the church.”

News on the European Constitution

On Friday, May 13, 2005, the British Daily Mail wrote:

“German MPs [Members of Parliament] overwhelmingly backed the controversial EU Constitution yesterday after Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder told them: ‘Don’t bother with the details.’ The German people were denied a referendum… despite mounting pressure in recent months for such a vote to take place… Supporters of the treaty hope that yesterday’s Yes vote in the German lower house and a subsequent vote in the upper house on May 27 will overcome waverers in France, where a tightly-contested referendum takes place on May 29.”

As reported on May 12, 2005, “The campaign for a Yes vote in the French referendum on the European Union constitution suffered a setback yesterday when it emerged that the widow of the country’s last socialist president, François Mitterrand, had withdrawn her support.” According to the article, Mrs. Mitterrand explained her change of mind as follows: “‘It is a system which treats man like an economic object and forgets that he can think, and which generates the worst human misery – unemployment and pollution.”’

The EUobserver reported on May 12, 2005 about Germany’s ratification:

“The EU biggest member state and founding member of the bloc has easily passed the European Constitution through its lower parliament… Germany’s Bundestag voted 569 in favour with 23 against and two abstentions… Most of those voting No came from the ranks of the Christian Democrat opposition parties. They are against the Constitution because they believe it will take too much power away from their own national parliament in favour of the EU.”

The article also pointed out: “If approved by all member states the Constitution will introduce an EU foreign minister… It also gives far greater powers to the European Parliament [and] has a mutual defence clause.”

Bild Online stated on May 12, 2005, that the EU Constitution contains “weaknesses” — because it does not refer to God. The newspaper wrote: “It does not have a reference to God, since mainly Great Britain and France opposed it.” Still, it published the following commentary:

“Even though almost nobody noticed it, this was a great day for Germany. With its Yes for the Constitution, the German Parliament has rendered one of its most important decisions since the existence of the Federal Republic of Germany — and one of its most correct ones… It is a gift for all the peoples of Europe… We are allowed to dream today of a peaceful, friendly continent, which might one of these days create something new: The United States of Europe.”

Der Spiegel Online reported on May 12, 2005, that eight countries ratified the EU Constitution, including, among others, Austria, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Hungary. Those which will still have to ratify, via referendum, include, among others, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Portugal.

On May 12, 2005, the EUobserver reported that “The Catholic Church has officially endorsed the EU Constitution but concerns among some groups remain about its possible implications for future decisions on issues such as abortion, euthanasia or women priests… [Pro-life activists complain:] ‘What we’re seeing on the part of religious leaders is not a courageous enough stance, and a sort of terror to say anything which could sound like anti-Europe.'”

The article also pointed out an apparent inconsistency between the Catholic Church’s current endorsement of the EU Constitution and the pope’s earlier position: “The current Pope, Benedict XVI [said] in April… ‘the fact that the Church is convinced of not having the right to confer priestly ordination of women, is now considered by some as irreconcilable with the European Constitution.'”

A wave of a desire for unity is sweeping through much of the European continent. This is clearly directed by a higher power, so that prophecy can be fulfilled. We can expect a strong political and even military United States of Europe, under Catholic influence, to emerge in a few years from now. But it won’t all be good news for Europe and the world. As so often, the people’s desire for peace will be terribly disappointed.

For more information, read our free booklets, “Europe in Prophecy” and “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.”

Monster Earthquake in Southern California

According to Der Spiegel Online, of May 13, 2005, “geologists warn,” with a 70 percent certainty, that a “terrible earthquake” will strike in Southern California within the next 50 years. According to the article, the earthquake will strike in regions around Los Angeles and San Diego. The magazine stated that that region has not been struck by a major earthquake for 148 years, which is great cause for alarm, as historical and archeological records show that monster quakes occurred in the area every 200 years since the 1600s.

Strong Hurricanes in 2005?

On May 16, 2005, Reuters reported about predictions of U.S. forecasters “that up to 15 tropical storms and hurricanes would form in the Atlantic and Caribbean this year… If the forecasters are right, the 2005 hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, would continue a string of mostly above-average stormy seasons that began a decade ago… The same climate conditions that fed last year’s busy season… are in place this year… Although the 2004 season did not produce a record number of storms, it marked the first time since 1886 that a single state — Florida — was hit by four hurricanes in one season. Nine of the 15 storms reached hurricane strength.”

World War II For Nothing?

Well-known political commentator Pat Buchanan stirred up some furor last week, when he stated, according to of May 12, 2005, that World War II “was actually not worth the effort.” The article stated: “On the radio and Internet, Buchanan framed his positions as amplification of remarks made over the weekend by President George W. Bush that the pact ending the war brought on a Stalinist domination that was ‘one of the greatest wrongs of history.’… [Buchanan] suggested that because Germans voted Hitler in, they did not need to be liberated, and that Britain and France drew Germany into the wider conflict. He did not mention Jews or the Holocaust… Abraham Foxman, president of the anti-Defamation League, called Buchanan’s comments ‘immoral’ and ‘bordering on Holocaust denial.’… Veterans were also insulted. ‘That is more or less saying they fought for the wrong reasons and the sacrifice was futile,’ said Veterans of Foreign Wars spokesman Jerry Newberry.”

Germany’s Strong Economy

Der Stern published a remarkable article on May 12, 2005, pointing out that the German economy is much stronger than commonly thought. The article explained: “Even optimists were surprised: The German economy… is stronger today than it has been for many years.” The article pointed out that the growth of the German economy is stronger than the growth of the US economy. It also referred to the fact, however, that risks remain, especially in light of at least 5.2 million people without work.

Reproducing Robots

On May 12, 2005, The Independent ran a frightening article about robots, which could have been the subject of a science fiction movie. The article stated:

“It has been the dream – and nightmare – of science fiction writers for decades. Now a team of engineers has conjured up a robot that can reproduce itself. The robot can self-replicate in much the same way that some living organisms are able to reproduce by cloning themselves. Although the machine in question serves no useful purpose other than to make copies of itself, scientists believe it has set a precedent for a future in which robots will proliferate on their own. In the long term, the scientists envisage a day when armies of self-replicating robots will be able [to] mend themselves when broken, expand their population, explore space and even establish self-sustaining colonies on other planets.”

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