DAILY CATHOLIC    TUESDAY     November 30, 1999     vol. 10, no. 227

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue,
go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE

JPII on Y2K

Pope's Warns Against "Millenary Temptations"

        VATICAN CITY, NOV 28 (ZENIT).- Today, the first Sunday in Advent, Christians worldwide are on the homestretch to the Great Jubilee of the third millennium, which will begin on Christmas Eve, when John Paul II officially opens the Holy Door in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. Understandably, this was the Holy Father's central theme, when he addressed the several thousand faithful who congregated in St. Peter's Square at noon to pray the "Angelus."

        "God is 'He Who comes': He came to be among us in the person of Jesus Christ; and He continues to come in the Church's sacraments and in every human being who asks us for help; and He will come in glory, at the end of the centuries. Because of this, Advent is characterized by a vigilant and active waiting, nourished by love and hope, that is expressed in praise and supplication and is translated into concrete works of fraternal charity," the Holy Father said.

    Special Advent

        But, this year Christians are living a very special Advent. "It is the Advent of the Great Jubilee - the Pope reminded those present -- in which we celebrate 2,000 years of the coming of the Savior in the humility of our human nature. With our sight fixed on the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God, the Church prepares to cross the threshold of the third millennium. It is about a look of faith, free from all millenary temptation."

        Millenarianism is an old theological error that believes Christ will reign for a thousand years on earth at the end of times, after the resurrection of the just and before the Last Judgment. The millenarists interpret the text of the Apocalypse literally (Apoc.20:1-6), they believe in a number of different factors, such as the persecution of the Church, and the triumph of the forces of evil: the fulfillment of the Kingdom, which was believed imminent, receded in time.

        Combated by Origen and abandoned during the 4th and 5th centuries, millenarianism reappeared in various expressions of Catholicism and during the Reformation. In the 19th century, it also inspired some currents of utopian socialism. At present, it has significant impact on followers of some New Age groups and in certain fundamentalist Christian groups, which go so far as to mix theological arguments with the famous Y2K problem, or Millennium Bug, which will affect computers throughout the world. Essentially, the situation exists because of a shortcut employed for many years in which most programmers used the abbreviated two-digit form to register all dates in an effort to save space, unaware that when the year 2000 arrives, many computers may confuse the year 2000 for 1900, with the undesired consequences of making all their calculations on this erroneous basis.

    JPII's Y2K

        However, as he explained this morning before reciting the Angelus, for Pope John Paul II, Y2K is something quite different. It means "to cross the Holy Door, symbol of the passage to a new and eternal life, which Jesus Christ opened for every man. This emphasizes the penitential dimension, which is already being lived during the time of Advent, and reminds one intensely of the figure of John the Baptist, who teaches precisely that the road to the Lord is prepared by a change in mentality and life."

        As usual, this Marian Pope ended his reflection this Sunday by entrusting to the Virgin the real living of the Jubilee message, which is none other than what Karol Wojtyla has preached from the first day of his pontificate: "to open wide the doors of your heart to Christ."

        But for the computer buffs and the curious, in a recent press conference the Vatican assured the world that, from a technological perspective, it is 100% Y2K compliant. Experts advised that all the internal computer systems, including those used at Vatican Radio, the web site, bank, telephone system, newspaper and publishing house, are all ready for the new millenium. On the other hand, the U.S. Department of State has listed Italy as one of those countries seriously "at risk" of Y2K problems because of getting such a late start trying to resolve their problems. Italian Y2K officials admit they are way behind schedule but estimate they will get by with only minor glitches. One anonymous member of the Italian Y2K panel confessed that they're open to suggestions and even asked the Vatican for their help. When asked how the Vatican might contribute to solving Italy's enormous Y2K problems, he answered matter-of-factly: "We're hoping for a miracle!" ZE99112806


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

November 30, 1999       volume 10, no. 227
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

|    Back to Graphics Front Page     Back to Text Only Front Page     |    Archives     |    What the DAILY CATHOLIC offers     |    DAILY CATHOLIC Ship Logs    |    Ports o' Call LINKS     |    Catholic Webrings    |    Catholic & World News Ticker Headlines     |    Why we NEED YOUR HELP     |    Why the DAILY CATHOLIC is FREE     |    Our Mission     |    Who we are    |    Books offered     |    Permissions     |    Top 100 Catholics of the Century    |    Enter Porthole HomePort Page    |    Port of Entry Home Page |    E-Mail Us