On the Current Christian Apocalypse in Egypt and the Middle East

Four Horsemen

…thirteen years before the “Arab Spring,” I could feel in my bowels that the end was near; that the apocalypse of Egyptian Christendom was coming. And curiously enough, I sensed this, too, in many of the more articulate Copts I spoke with: that there was something different in kind, in spirit, about the Islamist threat, now even coming from within the Mubarak government, which nominally protected them.

Over the centuries there had been persecution enough, and occasional pogroms; there had been constant pressure on Christians to convert to Islam, by which a nation still probably majority Christian at the time of the first Crusades gradually became overwhelmingly Muslim. Yet all this had been mostly against a background of “live and let live.” Now, perceptibly, the ground rules were changing. “Islamism” wasn’t “Islam” any more.

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How to Survive the Fall of Western Civilization. (The Catholic Church has experienced such things, in the past.)


Four Horsemen

At Mass last Saturday morning, the priest stated during his homily: “We are experiencing the decline of Western Civilization.”

Sunday’s Gospel reading continued the end-of time theme warning of the return of Christ.

“There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26).

Is our worst nightmare upon us as we watch society undermine and ridicule our Catholic values?

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Pope: End of Days is a real event … but probably won’t be like many people think.

Citing one from the Gospel of today’s Mass (Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, B,Mark 13: 24-32), the pope noted “cosmic images of the apocalyptic kind,” whereby ‘The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken’ (v. 24-25),” images that feed a market for apocalyptic and catastrophist ideas, second sights and dates that are typical of wizards s and pseudo Christian sects like the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

“Jesus uses images and words from the Old Testament,” the pontiff explained. In particular, “he inserts a new centre; that is himself, the mystery of his persona, death and resurrection.”

And if “today’s passage opens with a few cosmic images of the apocalyptic kind,” this element is relativised by what follows: ‘And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory’ (v. 26).”

More from Pope Benedict

More on this subject

End of the World Aftermath: Live-Blogging the “Apocalypse”

1:14 AM – It’s current 6:14 PM in Tonga.  If Family Radio were correct, we’d expect to hear reports of Raptured Tongans.

1:19 AM – This is a bit surreal.  The East Coast station is running a program about heart health, and how to reduce your cholesterol.  Meanwhile, the West Coast station is playing an apparently pre-recorded program “showing” how Scripture proves the end times. So far, the speaker is hammering the fact that Biblical “days” sometimes means “years.”  True enough, but it’s hard to see why it always means years.  I’m incredulous at the number of assumptions built into their model “proving” the end times mathematically.  But what’s stranger than that has to be the heart health program.

1:25 AM – Two comments already!  It’s nice to see how Christopher and Fr. Strobl are spending what may or may not be their last night on Earth.  On a more serious note, it occurs to me that there are some folks who really will die today.  A lot of them, just as there are every day.  I hope that those people prepared themselves as seriously as if the world were truly going to end.

1:32 AM – From Twitter:

Rapture prank: On Saturday, take some of your unwanted clothes and shoes and leave sets of them arranged on sidewalks and lawns around town.

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“Cheer up! It’s not the end of the world.”

As the deadline for the Apocalpyse passed in the Pacific islands, New Zealand and Australia, it became apparent that Camping’s prediction of the end of the world was to end not with a bang but with a whimper.

Only on Twitter did the supposed armageddon sweep the world, with users expressing their mock disappointment at the lack of dead people rising from their graves.

New Zealander Daniel Boerman tweeted: “I’m from New Zealand, it is 6:06PM, the world has NOT ended. No earthquakes here, all waiting for the rapture can relax for now. #Rapture”

In Australia, Jon Gall of Melbourne was unimpressed by the lack of fire and brimstone. He tweeted: “#Rapture time here in Melbourne. A rather quiet sort of rapture if you ask me.

“Well we have had the #Rapture going for 50 minutes now. So far it hasn’t interrupted my fish & chips and glass of stout.”

In Brisbane, KillaJeules, was similarly disappointed by the lack of a Hollywood blockbuster ending: “So it’s 6:37pm here in Brisbane, Australia. No earthquakes. No beaming up of Christians. No zombie apocalypse. No surprises haha.”

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Theologian explains: Various world-wide tribulations (including our own) were foretold long, long ago

The Pale Horse of Revelation

As Catholics, we have firsthand knowledge of these divine workings. In the Fatima revelations, for example, both World War I and World War II are predicted and fulfilled. The vision to the three child seers revealed precisely when the wars would start and when they would stop, and each war was said to be the result of the wickedness of mankind. Each war could be curtailed if the world’s enemy would be put at bay, which was to be accomplished through the consecration of a
specific nation, Russia, a direct request from heaven by Our Lady. The consecration would bring about the conversion of this enemy and the world would be converted to Christ.

In the case of the Fatima revelations, we see a clear example of the workings of both the “white” and the “red” horse. The white horse comes and gives his message of salvation and judgment. Depending on the response to the white horse, the One on the Throne determines the next course of action and reveals it to the Living Beings, and they, in turn, release the next horseman to do his job. The Fatima revelation shows us that war is never accidental or incidental. If heaven has determined that war will serve as a judgment against men, no amount of politics and deal-making will ever stop it from coming if men remain in their sin. These are direct responses from heaven, showing us that God is intimately involved with our lives on earth.

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Writer effectively sums up authentic Catholic beliefs about end times, refutes others.


Christ did not offer an earthly kingdom, nor did He fail, nor was He rejected by all of the Jews; His mother, the apostles, and the disciples were all Jews who accepted Him as the Messiah. The Church is not a sort of “Plan B,” but is, according to the Catechism, the “goal of all things,” reflecting the Catholic recognition of how intimately Christ has joined Himself to the Church (cf. Ephesians 5). The Old Covenant is fulfilled in the New, and there is only “one People of God of the New Covenant, which transcends all the natural or human limits of nations, cultures, races, and sexes: ‘For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body’” (CCC 1267).

Flowing from incorrect, flawed premises, the idea of a pretribulation Rapture is foreign to Catholic theology. Based largely on St. Augustine’s City of God, the millennium has long been understood (if not formally defined) to be the Church age — a time when the King rules, even though the Kingdom has not been fully revealed (cf. CCC 567, 669).

…It’s no surprise that many people want to hear that they won’t have to die. Such promises of escape from suffering, illness, pain, and potential martyrdom are tempting, but they aren’t an option for Catholics. Each of us will endure suffering, and the Church will, one day, have to endure a final, great trial: “The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection” (CCC 677). The pretribulation Rapture, dispensationalism, and the Left Behind books, in the end, are long on promises and short on biblical, historical, and theological evidence.

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Another interesting article on the Apocalypse (PDF file)