back to article Vatican shrugs off apocalypse, fiddles with accounts dept

The Vatican has shrugged off predictions of the world ending this Friday, deciding instead to overhaul its accounting department. This will ensure a gradual reduction in the cost of running the world's biggest Christian denomination - although if the Mayans are right and humanity is annihilated on 21 December then that cost …


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  1. Ian Yates

    "Mayan prediction"

    Wasn't a prediction, blah blah blah, move along

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      It really is going to end on Friday. Still I'm going to have lots of fun before it does.

    2. Katie Saucey

      Re: "Mayan prediction"

      ...."I find your lack of faith disturbing"

  2. Christoph

    So why isn't the Mayan civilisation still around?

    If the Mayans could really predict the future for hundreds of years ahead then they would have noticed that their civilisation was about to collapse and would have done something about it.

    Oh sorry, that involves logical thinking - which is hardly a speciality of the doomsday nuts.

    Actually the world is going to end on 31st December - the Gregorian calendar for 2012 RUNS OUT ON THAT DATE!!!!!!!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So why isn't the Mayan civilisation still around?

      My advent calendar runs out on the 24th.

      1. Simon Harris

        Re: So why isn't the Mayan civilisation still around?

        My advent calendar runs out on the 24th.

        ... or until all the chocolates are gone, whichever comes first...

        So, that'll be December 1st then!

      2. Euripides Pants

        Re: So why isn't the Mayan civilisation still around?

        I don't even have a calendar. If <calendar end> = <world end>, this means the world doesn't even exist.

    2. John 110

      Re: So why isn't the Mayan civilisation still around?

      The Mayans DID notice that the end of the World was nigh...and scarpered (didn't even thank us for the fish...)

    3. Peter Simpson 1

      Re: So why isn't the Mayan civilisation still around?

      The Catholic church, or its agents, are to blame for that.

      All that genocide was done in God's name...

      (as it almost always is)

      1. wowfood

        Re: So why isn't the Mayan civilisation still around?

        Actually the mayans also predicted Justin Beiber. Hence how they suddenly disappeared from the world... mass suicide is a terrible thing.

      2. peyton?

        Re: So why isn't the Mayan civilisation still around?

        A bit of pedantry: the Mayan decline actually began several hundred years before Columbus was born, and its cause remains the subject of debate.

        Alternately, there are many people of Mayan heritage still living today.

      3. tonysmith

        as it almost always is

        What? Like:

        maybe the 4-10 million killed by our friend Joseph Stalin - you know, the guy who works in Gods name, no, wait - he was an atheist - oh well.

        or maybe the the 40 odd million killed during that time that well known Christian Chairman Mao ruled China, oh wait, did I say Christian? I meant atheist.

        Yup. All done in God name most of the time. I don't think the church has every pulled off large scale industrial genocide like the atheists.

        1. DavCrav

          Re: as it almost always is

          "Yup. All done in God name most of the time. I don't think the church has every pulled off large scale industrial genocide like the atheists."

          You are comparing the Church itself to someone who doesn't believe in God. If you compare believers to non-believers, using this webpage as a handy guide:

          I think you'll find believers come out top on the killing-people list, both numbers and percentages of world population.

          1. tonysmith

            Re: as it almost always is

            Really, how are you defining that? A civil war fought between two groups of Christians (or other religious group) isn't really about religion - it's a political conflict that happens to involve Christians.

            The main religious wars on there are French Wars of Religion & the Crusades which total 7 million. I suspect if we include smaller European wars between different churches it would bump up a bit but still most of the killing according to that list did not involve religion as the driving force.

            WW1, WW2 was about empire building and in both cases we had a mix of religions on both sides.

            WW1 - Muslims+Christians+Hindus+Sikhs (and Japan - not sure the name of their main religion) Vs Christians

            WW2 - same except with Atheist Soviets on the side of the Allies and the Japanese with the Nazis.

            Then we have the Mongol conquests - mostly non-religious. Different parts of the Mongal empire and their armies had different religions. For example the Blue Horde was headed by a Muslim while other elites where Christians and others had their native Mongol beliefs.

            That remaining "large" death tolls are down to Chinese infighting.

            Most of the killing is definitely not done in Gods name - ie to promote or spread religion XYZ.

        2. Jonski

          Re: as it almost always is

          Sorry, tonysmith, you're mistaken. While Stalin and Mao were atheists, they didn't commit their atrocities BECAUSE of their atheism. Hitler was a Catholic. He didn't commit his atrocities because of his Catholicism, although he was aided and abetted by the Catholic church. The common denominator here is that these people were leaders of totalitarian regimes. They committed the atrocities because of this.

          On the other hand, atrocities like the crusades and suicide bombing ARE committed because of religion.

          Consider that none of Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Napoleon, Cortes etc. believed in pixies. Christianity does not believe in pixies. This clearly shows the moral deficiency of non-pixie religions like Christianity.

          I suggest you have a read of something like to get a better understanding of what you are alleging.

          1. tonysmith

            Re: as it almost always is


            Most killing in history are not done due to religion - but most in fighting. See my other post for details. I was just making a point that we can pin killings by person X on their beliefs easily - so we can pin Stalin killings on this Atheist beliefs.

            The crusades was most probably the biggest killer (in particular of civilians) which was based on religion (though the political reasoning of the instigators back in Europe was slightly different) - that killed around 3m at most. Now compare that to the 40-70m killed in ww2 alone. I think it's a bit much blaming religion for all the problems - especially as I don't think Christian beliefs allowed for those killings even if it was Christians doing the killings .

            And as for the loony bombers - well I don't they would even register on the scales** - flu most probably kills more people each year - not to mention that suicide is actually against Islam so that kind of shows how compatible that particular "struggle" is with the teachings of that religion (and if you look into islamic teachings you'll notice how far these people are from those teachings the claim to represent - under Islamic theology they are defined as "the worst of people to be killed on the earth" and the "dogs of the hellfire") .


            **not to say it's not bad, but it's small relatively speaking to other wars etc

            1. Grant Mitchell
              Thumb Down

              Re: as it almost always is

              > - flu most probably kills more people each year -

              yeah, but religious muppets - aka, the faithful, believe god made the flu don't they? And all the wars you say are not religious, are you telling us they were not God's will? Not part of his plan!? You heathen, you. He's omniscient and omnipotent, if he didn't see it coming, and couldn't avoid it, who could? The problem when you believe in fairies and the like, is that you have to construct t a consistent reliable world around these fallacies. Oh no, hang on, my mistake, we're talking about religion. The real world, logic and evidence does not apply. The all powerful god is capable of everything except a perfect world where you could live in peace harmony and contentment with him... that or maybe he's a fairytale? He's like an annoying colleague, really good at his job, but not happy unless you tell him he's a god and you worship him?

          2. Law

            Re: as it almost always is

            "This clearly shows the moral deficiency of non-pixie religions like Christianity."

            So what we all need are some Pixian values... I like it. :) Without them we'd all be morally bankrupt, or worse - politicians!

        3. oldcoder

          Re: as it almost always is

          Your forgot the 15 million killed in NA due to the diseases deliberately released...

          Or the 20+million in South America the same way.

          Both from the god fearing Catholics...

          1. Lamont Cranston

            If the "religion causes wars and is evil" debate is going to carry on,

            I, for one, will welcome the sweet embrace of death, on Friday. At least it will be quiet.

  3. Monkey Bob

    World ends in two days?

    Fuck I forgot, I've just renewed my monthly travel pass...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: World ends in two days?

      In a future post-apocalyptic society, where money no longer has any value, loaded travel passes will be the currency of getting from the outlands to the factory.

      That and I filled the car up with cheap Asda unleaded.

    2. What of IT?
      Thumb Up

      Re: World ends in two days?

      hehe my car tax is due end of the month, i'll hold off until after the end of the world. Don't think we'll be needing car tax after that anyways..... just a good supply of gaaazoline, and a Black Interceptor..... if my Clio doesn't make it that is!

      1. Pete the not so great

        Re: World ends in two days?

        I got a black Clio, does that count?

        1. What of IT?

          Re: World ends in two days?

          has to be matt black, with a supercharger sticking out the bonnet, and maybe the odd crossbow bolt sticking out the back.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: World ends in two days?

            I never got the supercharger = post apocalyptic transport thing.

            My post-apocalyptic ride would be an old school diesel, like a ZX or 406 with the XUD engine, such that it can run on vegetable oil, and get 50mpg out of it.

            Or that Jag concept that had a turbine to charge the electric motor, the turbine would run on *anything* flammable - petrol, diesel, veg oil, turps, coal dust....

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Try 2186

    The world, as you know it, actually ends towards the end of 2186 when the Reapers attack Earth.

    But Shepard has a plan to defeat them.....

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: Try 2186

      "But Shepard has a plan to defeat them....."

      Didn't do him a lot of good though did it? At least he shot the bloke who shot him, very holy I'm sure.

  5. Rich 11 Silver badge

    I would have thought the Vatican would be quoting Matthew 24:36 and not doing anything as heretical as suggesting we'll all have to wait for the heat death of the universe.

    1. Rob Willett

      The Vatican is actually very enlightened and their Observatory is actually well respected in astronomy circles. They do real research and don't put their head in the sands re Bible etc. Indeed George Memaitre was one of the first people to propose the universe is actually expanding before Hubble proved it was. He also hypothesised the Big Bang and crossed swords with Einstein. A very, very clever man indeed who managed to combine his Catholic faith and Astronomy with apparent ease.

      Not everybody in the Catholic Church believes the Sun goes around the Earth, though apologising for burning you at the stake for believing this can take some considerable time.

      1. Kubla Cant

        @Rob Willett

        I don't think the Catholic Church actually burned people at the stake for believing the Earth goes round the Sun. The Inquisition was quite nasty to Galileo, but by some accounts he was deliberately provocative. His ultimate punishment was house arrest, better, on the whole than being burned at the stake.

        NB: I am not a Catholic, nor do I support geocentricism.

  6. Thorsten

    The world will end in 25 years


    To be precise, it will end 03:14:07 UTC on Tuesday, 19 January 2038.

    By which time I will be half a year away from retirement.


    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      You mean 292279025167 years

      time_t is a signed 64 bit integer on a modern CPU, but we might switch to 128 bits before then.

      1. Thorsten

        Re: You mean 292279025167 years

        No, given my age, I'm pretty sure that I'm still running a 32-bit system.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just to say that if the mayan civilisation could see into the future there is nothing to say that what they saw wasn't at that point fixed as per Schrödinger, trousers of time, etc.

    Just sayin'

  8. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    "if the Mayans are right"?

    If the Dutchans are right.

    If the Arabians are right.


    The Maya people. The Mayan language. The Mayan, I don't know, art of pottery or something.

  9. daldred


    Was that the sound of the point about hype and Google results going so far over the Reg's head that they fell over backwards looking for it?

  10. Qugoo

    End of the World

    I am still slightly disappointed that in 1999, there wasn't a nuclear explosion on the moon that sent it out of Earth's orbit.

  11. Jim Coleman

    Vatican diss?

    The Vatican haven't just dissed this Mayan prophecy, they also dissed Gallileo / Copernicus etc, notions that the Earth is round and isn't at the centre of the universe / solar system. So their record of accurate dissing isn't stellar, is it?

  12. h3

    The Earth will be destroyed when the Sun turns into a red giant unless we can move it.

  13. h3

    The prophecy of the Pope's has been correct up to now.

    If the current Pope died now and then the next was called Peter II then the downfall of Rome should start (And Revelation).

    "The Prophecy of the Popes, attributed to Saint Malachy, is a list of 112 short phrases in Latin. They purport to describe each of the Roman Catholic popes (along with a few anti-popes), beginning with Pope Celestine II (elected in 1143) and concluding with the successor of current pope Benedict XVI, a pope described in the prophecy as "Peter the Roman", whose pontificate will end in the destruction of the city of Rome. "

    It would be very interesting if they were both correct (and the time was now).

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Better hurry then - he's only got a couple of days.

      Will probably turn up hand in hand with the Great Prophet Zarquon...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flat Earth Experts

    So let me get this right, we have decided to ask the opinion of some religious fanatics, who in the past killed those who proclaimed the earth was round :-0

    They were obviously very well 'informed' then, so why would we treat their views with anything more than ridicule now?

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Flat Earth Experts

      They were better informed "then", than you appear to be now.


    2. Kubla Cant

      Re: Flat Earth Experts

      I can't help thinking it strange that all the postings that want to draw attention to the general inaccuracy of the Vatican's world view are homing in on dodgy astronomy and geography.

      Would you be surprised to hear that the guys at the Vatican believe a load of stuff that makes geocentricism and a (mythical) belief in a flat earth look tame? How about a being who created the Universe, but who can spare the time to get annoyed about contraception?

  15. T. F. M. Reader

    What is important on the 'Net, using the proper Google search count

    Eh, dear El Reg, multiword Google queries should be put in quotation marks, always. Searching for mayan Apocalypse without quotation marks will search for will likely give you a count for all manner of Apocaliptic b---s--t, not just the Mayan ones.

    Here are some (mildly amusing?) Google hit counts to ponder, with quotation marks:

    "Catholic Church" - 11.4M

    "Church of England" - 3.2M

    "Islam" - 125M

    "Judaism" - 14.8M (this may be impressive, actually - a hit per each nominal practitioner, more or less?)

    "Mayan Apocalypse" - 2.14M

    Let's try the science side of things:

    "Expansion of the Universe" - 437K

    "Elementary Particles" - 535K

    "Big Bang" - 42.3M (unless it is mostly pr0n - my "safe search" is "off" - it restores the sanity of the beholder, to some extent)

    [Looks like the most appropriate icon to me, for either "Mayan Apocalypse" or "Big Bang"]

  16. Arachnoid
    Thumb Up

    Any further updates on the matter will be announced on Saturday under the Headline of "I told you so!"

  17. Mr Young

    "Vatican shrugs off apocalypse, fiddles with accounts dept"

    Far too much click bait - I'd cancel my subscription to this site if I could find the link?

    1. Notas Badoff

      Perhaps you are right. I can't think of any reasonable cause for this article to be posted, except that someone missed the floor.

  18. David Pollard

    Counting hits on Google

    The wisdom of clouds?

  19. Anonymous John

    I think I'll play safe and leave shopping for Christmas presents until Saturday. Or until Christmas Eve as usual..

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Catholics != Christians

    Let me set you straight on something. Catholicism is a sex cult that worships idols and symbols and rapes little boys. There is nothing Christ like about the Catholic church. They're like MS - embrace and extend. This what the Roman government did. Of course all organized religions a BS, but the Catholic Church is a sex cult, not a religion. /rant

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Catholics != Christians

      Damn I feel ugly now..... I was brought up a Catholic, no sex, no rape, none of the things you mention, is it cause I is aesthetically challenged.

      Just done a quick search and it appears that Non Catholics shag more little boys than Catholics, probably based on the statistics that there are more non Catholics than there are Catholics.

      Love those that just quote what they read in the NoW (and its successor)

  21. FarmerBob

    What happened was that the guy that made the Mayan Calendar went with the rest of his people when the aliens offered to take them to their planet. So he just wasn't around to finish the calendar. That's all. He might be back on Friday though.

  22. David_H
    Thumb Up


    I'll have my thumb up for a lift on Friday then

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