It reads like a begorrah reporter wearing bright green wellies and carrying a piglet under his arm, looking forward to certain journalistic ideas of reform in the Church, but there are quite a few independent reports of this incident. (By the way, I like the Irish even if I tease them.) Just do a Google search on the Cardinal in question. Anyway, here it is: “Jesus not coming back by the looks of it” admits Vatican. I can’t imagine the most asinine churchman saying something like this on the record, but perhaps nothing surprises us any more. So, Christ was drunk when he said things, so we just dismiss them. The one quoted as having said these things is Cardinal Giorgio Salvadore, who appears to be Archbishop of Palermo in Sicily.
Well then – what’s the Church for? It all just makes you want to weep! Those guys are just like our politicians. They cost huge sums of money and just serve their lousy careers. What is really shocking is not whether those men believe what they (are supposed to) teach, but that the attitude really seems to be “We grant that it’s all a load of tosh, but keep the money coming in all the same“!
The General Judgement and the Parousia are terrifying mysteries, as is our own death. The world hasn’t ended just yet, but it will happen. Mankind seems anxious enough to make that happen through wars, pollution and the plundering of the earth’s resources. Perhaps the world might end without the coming of Christ. That’s about what we deserve! I’m not afraid of dying… The rub is dying in God’s grace.
There seems to be a happy medium between hysterical American fundamentalists committing suicide in anticipation of the Rapture and the smug complacency of ecclesiastical bureaucrats. The Scriptures and the Creeds are written largely in allegorical language, and the exact meaning is hidden. Jesus was condemned to death for telling the High Priest Caiaphas and the others present at his trial that they would see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven. He was not drunk when he said that! What do those words mean? The Temple clergy saw no such thing in their lifetimes.
There are many eschatological speeches by Christ, especially when castigating the Scribes and Pharisees. What do they mean? Here is an introduction to the branch of theology called eschatology. It describes the Catholic tradition as well as ideas coming from other Christian communities in the past and present. It is a vast subject, and I won’t even attempt to tackle it here.
That being said, we seem to live in a time when men of the Church show complete irresponsibility and recklessness in what they say to the press – and even to individuals over the telephone. Quis habet aures audiat!