6-6-6 – Catholic parents should not buy into superstition, priest says
PARKVILLE, Australia (Catholic Online) – Catholic mothers should not be concerned about giving birth to a child on June 6, 2006, as the superstition surrounding the date and its connection to the coming of the Antichrist lack biblical foundation, said an official of the Australian bishops conference.
MOVIE RELEASED ON 6-6-6 – Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick stars in a scene from the R-rated movie 'The Omen.' An official of the Australian bishops conference took on the superstition surrounding the movie's release date of June 6, 2006, noting that 'I take evil far too seriously to think ‘The Omen’ is telling me anything realistic or important.” (CNS/20th Century Fox)
Jesuit Father Richard Leonard, director of the Film Office of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, in a statement entitled “Catholic Film Office takes on ‘The Omen’ superstition,” reacted to the release of the remake of the 1976 movie on the date “6-6-06,” and its relation to the New Testament Book of Revelation’s reference to the symbol of evil being 6-6-6. The statement appeared on the CathNews Web site (www.cathnews.com).
“It is being claimed that some Australian mothers do not want to deliver their babies, especially their sons, on the 6/6/06,” the priest said. “Given the superstitions of some birthing parents in Australia, it seems we have to take this film more seriously than it deserves.”
According to the Book of Revelation (13:18), the reader is invited to “calculate the number of the beast, for it is a number that stands for a person. His number is 666.” The Catholic Church discovered, after careful analysis in the 16th century, that the Christian calendar, currently in use, was four years off, he said. He added that, as the church left the error in place, the actual June 6, 2006, took place in four years ago.
“Parents can take heart from the fact that the 6th June is not 6/6/06 at all,” he said. “We assume that Satan knows that the sixth day of the sixth month in ‘06 was in fact the 6th June 2002.”
The Jesuit priest suggested that Catholics should “pay no heed to the so-called ‘devil’s number,’” as current biblical scholarship concludes that references to “’the beast’ are not to personified evil in Satan, but to the Roman Empire as the brutal occupying force in the Near East.”
He added that the more time progressed away from that era “the more ‘the beast’ was taken to be another, malevolent force in the world, the devil incarnate.”
He recommended that parents, especially those “blessed enough to have a son” on that day, consider “to baptize him Damian after the early 3rd-century Christian martyr or after St. Peter Damian of Ravenna or Blessed Damien of Molokai.”
“Superstition be dammed,” he said.
“I take evil far too seriously to think ‘The Omen’ is telling me anything realistic or important,” he said.
He added that Catholics should consider to reflect “on the 32,000 people who, on average, die every day of starvation,” and how those in the developed world “could feed them if we chose to, but we are generally too busy eating ourselves to death.”
“That,” he said, “is personified evil.”
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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