Feeds

Vatican shrugs off apocalypse, fiddles with accounts dept

Pope's astronomer hints at truth hidden in Google

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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 will be reduced to something rather trivial anyway.

A substantial proportion of the world's more credulous are heading to southeast France, or the jungles of Guatemala, to sit out the upcoming end of the world, or spiritual renewal, depending on your point of view. Whether you opt for one or the other depends on whether you believe Star Wars or The Da Vinci Code is the piece of populist culture most likely to hint at the world's final hours.

However, the Vatican, arguably the global institution that has spent the last two millennia predicting the imminent end of the world and has a 2,000-year-old book on the topic, has pooh-poohed this imminent end of days.

Instead, the Holy See's Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone has chosen this week to announce an overhaul of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs, which will deliver an increased "commitment to transparency and accuracy" in the administration of its assets.

The move should expand the prefecture's role, which had diminished into "a sort of central accounting house of the Holy See". Instead, it will now plan and coordinate economic activities, which is essential for the Church to remain self-sufficient, the cardinal said.

The back office reshuffle comes as the Vatican endures its own dose of austerity in line with much of the rest of the Western World. Bertone told the department he expected a "gradual, but effective, reduction of costs".

More ominously, it comes in the wake of the Vatican's own WikiLeaks-type scandal, which was seen as evidence of a power struggle within the highest echelons of the Catholic Church.

Lest anyone should think this rearrangement of the Vatican's earthly affairs has anything to do with the end of the world, it's worth remembering that Catholic central has been dissing the Mayan Apocalypse theory since it first popped out half-formed onto the internet.

Last week the director of the Vatican Observatory declared it was "not even worth discussing" the doomsday supposedly scheduled for this Friday.

Instead, Father Jose Gabriel Funes suggested the end of world may come about in some billions of years, due to the expansion of the universe, The Telegraph reports. He added that Christians believe "death can never have the last word".

Just to highlight the absurdity of the Mayan prediction, and its accompanying media-fanned hype, Funes pointed out that a search on Google pulled up 40 million results for the topic. Personally, we'd question using Google results as proof that something is real.

Today tapping in Mayan Apocalypse pulls up 103 million results. Expansion of the universe, by comparison, serves up just over 31 million. The Catholic Church gives you 145 million results.

We're pretty sure the Catholic Church does indeed exist, so on this basis, the Mayans are arguably more on the button than the physicists, and the Vatican Accounts department should probably put that reorganisation on hold until after Friday at least. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Are you a fat boy? Get to university NOW, you PENNILESS SLACKER
Rotund types paid nearly 20% less than people who didn't eat all the pies
Oz carrier Tiger Air takes terror alerts to new heights
Don't doodle, it might cost you your flight
Emma Watson should SHUT UP, all this abuse is HER OWN FAULT
... said an anon coward who we really wish hadn't posted on our website
Japan develops robot CHEERLEADERS which RIDE on BALLS
'Will put smiles on faces worldwide', predicts corporate PR chief
Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city
Belgian booze pumped from underground
Amazon: Wish in one hand, Twit in the other – see which one fills first
#AmazonWishList A year's supply of Arran scotch, ta
Let it go, Steve: Ballmer bans iPads from his LA Clippers b-ball team
Can you imagine the scene? 'Hey guys, it's your new owner – WTF is that on your desk?'
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.