An agenda that is alien to us!

Roman Catholicism is without doubt one of the largest branches of Christianity. In recent times, with the election of the new Pope, they estimated their global following to be around 1.2 billion people. It is not clear how they measure it or when their membership databases were updated, but global television networks seemed to be comfortable with that figure.

Pope Benedict XVI recently resigned which took the church leadership into unchartered territory. This has not happened in 600 years that the Vatican had a former pope who is still alive. They did not even have an appropriate title for the now former pope; but not long afterwards it was announced that Benedict XVI will now be referred to as ’Roman Pontifex Emeritus.’ As an aside, a picture of how lightning hit the St Peter’s Basilica hours after Benedict made his shock announcement was seen by millions all over the world.

The Vatican City is the smallest internationally recognized state in the world. The Pope fulfils the role of ex officio head of state as well as a spiritual leadership role. As we have seen it is not unusual for thousands to flock to St Peter’s Square to catch a glimpse of a newly elected Pope and to be physically present when he blesses the faithful. It would also be considered a privilege and honour if you’re in the crowd and it so happened that he touches you or perhaps kiss your baby on the head. It is therefore not unfair to say that the Pope and the Vatican exercise considerable influence over their members.

The new pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio known as Francis has been seen as a breath of fresh air. Humble, energetic and prepared to break with tradition he made a dramatic entrance and impression within weeks. Whereas Benedict was frail and distant, here he was washing feet of ordinary people (prisoners) including women. He also wasted no time to appeal for more ‘intense’ interfaith dialogue. All these activities one would expect as being part and parcel of the work of the church.

However, there are activities or priorities that seem to be rather unusual.

In Nov 2009 for instance, the Vatican held a conference on extra terrestrial life which stretched over 6 days! The Government of the Vatican State also supports the Vatican Observatory staff and pays for research costs to do with the facility known as the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT) in Mt Graham in southeast Arizona. In an interview, headlined ‘The extraterrestrial is my brother,’ a variety of topics were covered with Rev Jose Gabriel Funes (Director of the Vatican Observatory) including the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and science, and the theological implications of the existence of alien life.

Exactly what are they staring into space for and why is it so important that these vast amounts of money have to be set aside for it?

Furthermore, ‘The (now former) leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, has called for the establishment of World Government and a New World Order.’ In a speech made at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace on Monday December 3 2012, the Pope called for the “construction of a world community, with a corresponding authority,” to serve the “common good of the human family’.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What are your thoughts on the possibility of having permanent Stage 2 or 3 load shedding?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'll take that over constant schedule changes
13% - 1452 votes
Why are we normalising Eskom’s mess?
72% - 8023 votes
I've already found alternative ways of powering my home/business
15% - 1660 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.47
-2.2%
Rand - Pound
21.05
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
18.91
-0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
12.09
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.1%
Platinum
974.02
0.0%
Palladium
1,623.95
0.0%
Gold
1,865.16
0.0%
Silver
22.35
0.0%
Brent Crude
79.94
-2.8%
Top 40
74,082
+0.6%
All Share
80,241
+0.6%
Resource 10
75,186
+0.7%
Industrial 25
103,461
+0.8%
Financial 15
16,550
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE