Friday, April 15, 2005

Pope Warned of "Dark Shadows"

Pope warned of "dark shadows" before he died

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Shortly before his last trip to the hospital, Pope John Paul II warned of "dark shadows" enveloping humanity.

A message, posthumously released on Friday, was one of the last pieces of writing by the Pope before he died nearly two weeks ago.

"In our day human society appears to be shrouded in dark shadows while it is shaken by tragic events and shattered by catastrophic natural disasters," the Pope wrote in a message for the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of Missions.

The message was dated Feb. 22 -- the same day a powerful earthquake killed more than 600 people in southeast Iran, and less than two months after the Asian tsunami left more than 220,000 people dead or missing.

The Vatican said the writing was meant to inspire the Church well ahead of the event, celebrated every year in October to honor missionary work. It was issued to reporters as "documentation," the Vatican said.

"How many missionary martyrs in our day! May their example draw numerous young men and women to tread the path of heroic fidelity to Christ," he wrote.

On Feb. 12, a 74-year-old American nun was shot to death in the Brazilian Amazon after spending decades fighting illegal loggers and ranchers in the jungle. The gunmen were hired by ranchers looking to develop the land.

John Paul was rushed to the hospital on Feb. 24 and underwent a tracheotomy after breathing crisis. He later depended on nasal tube to receive food, and died on April 2 of septic shock and heart failure.

In the future when the sacred texts are written they will say:

2 Popes 12:18-19

"In the 26th year of the reign of Pope John Paul the Second, sometimes called The Great, King George Bush the Less, reigned over the American Empire, and a dark shadow engulfed the earth for the Lord punished the inhabitants of the earth for they suffered the evil whims of King George the Less."


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