Don’t Worry, the World Isn’t Actually Ending in 10 Days

So says a Vatican astronomer:

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 believe that “death can never have the last word.”


Peter Slipper Cleared

Of sexual harassment:

News just in – the Federal Court has dismissed the sexual harassment case against former House of Representatives speaker Peter Slipper MP as an abuse of the court process.

Mr Slipper, you will recall, a priest of the Traditional Anglican Communion, resigned after one of his staffers accused him of sexual harassment.

The unpleasant, offensive and highly inappropriate tone of some of his text messages (and other behaviour) notwithstanding, the suspicion of a set-up occurred, after it emerged that the staffer in question remained in close contact with Mr Slipper’s liberal rival for his seat, Mal Brough (who has since been endorsed as the candidate there).
The ABC Reports that the Federal Court judge involved agreed that it was a politically motivated attack:
“Federal Court Justice Steve Rares ruled that the case brought against Mr Slipper by one of his staff members was an “abuse of process”, declaring that its “predominant purpose” was to politically damage the speaker.”

The ABC reports that:

“In his written judgement, Justice Rares said he believed that Mr Ashby and fellow staff member Karen Doane had been working with former Howard government minister Mal Brough “to cause Mr Slipper as much political and public damage as they could inflict on him”. He described the pair’s behaviour as “acts of calculated disloyalty”. “Once they had decided on their course of action, Mr Ashby and Ms Doane did not go straight to see a lawyer to air any concerns about any legal wrongs that either may have suffered,” Justice Rares wrote in his judgement. “Instead, Mr Ashby or Ms Doane contacted Mr Brough and they began working with him and [News Limited journalist] Steve Lewis.

Read on here.


Bible Archaeology

The Custody of the Holy Land on Twitter

 Custody of the Holy Land:

The website of the Custody enables one to follow the life and reality of the Holy Land, in eight languages: English, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Hebrew and Russian.

From now, the Custody of the Holy Land has also been on Twitter, enabling all to participate in real time and in eight languages the events, celebrations and initiative that occur every day in the Holy Land.

Follow us on Twitter and on our website.

And the Twitter account is here.



Bible Archaeology

Ten Commandments Go Digital

University of Cambridge:

Cambridge University Library is to release digital versions of some of the most significant religious manuscripts in the world – following on from last year’s release of Isaac Newton’s manuscripts and notebooks.

Launched in December last year (2011), the Cambridge Digital Library has already attracted tens of millions of hits on its website. Among the 25,000 new images being made freely available at are a 2,000-year old copy of The Ten Commandments (the famous Nash Papyrus) and one of the most remarkable ancient copies of the New Testament (Codex Bezae).

While the latest release focuses on faith traditions – including important texts from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism – many of the manuscripts being made available are also of great political, cultural and historical importance…

Rest here.



God Is Not an Englishman

The Rev. Jonathan Woodhouse, Chaplain-General to the Forces


God is not an Englishman, the Chaplain General of the British Army said last month in an interview printed in the November 2012 issue of Defence Focus, but that does not mean war or military service is unjust.

In a wide ranging interview the Rev. Jonathan Woodhouse, the Chaplain-General to the Forces was asked if God was on “our side”.

Chaplain Woodhouse responded: “I don’t think that God is on anyone’s side. It’s up to us to be on God’s side and seek out the way he wants us to live. In certain circumstances soldiers are allowed to use lethal force as a last resort but there are very clear rules of engagement. We minister to people who may be called on to use lethal force and that brings a creative tension. War is always the last resort.”

Read it all in Anglican Ink.