WORLD NEWS HEADLINES
This week has seen momentous focus on the Church in Rome.
Press coverage has revealed a church originally content to “wash its dirty laundry at home” now grappling for a consistent and acceptable public position. Even with the spotlight on priests guilty of activities reviled by both American Catholics and American non-Catholics, the official church position had been cautious and restrained. To a degree, that ended with the American Cardinals summoned to Italy for a conference before the Pope.
Even though there were politically correct statements from the Pope concerning the criminal nature of acts by some of its priests, there remains an intransigent undercurrent supporting church authority.
These events have created more attention worldwide for the Catholic church than even Papal visits. Expect to see this international religion actually rebounding as a moral leader in the near future. Prophecy clearly shows dominance in the end-times by a great religion claiming “Christianity” as its origin and authority.
There is an alarming sense of inattention now extant in the United States concerning Russia. Because of our press reports depicting a Soviet system defeated by Western ethics and values–much less its dollars–Americans, in particular, view the remaining nucleus of Russia as harmless.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Especially when we consider the near future. Right now, Russia is very active in furthering its own interest. It draws on a historic and deep perseverance of national character. News reports gleaned from almost incidental entries reveal a steady flow of international influence. Nowhere is this truer than among many of those nations which emerged out of the Soviet Union and its former allies.
Mr. Putin of Russia has shown that he is willing to go all the way when it serves Russia’s interests. His recent invasion of Georgia has been described, by some, as outright occupation in violation of human rights, but it has received little coverage in the European or American press. Germany’s decision to forgive Russia in excess of seven billion (!) Euro dollars has enraged some Germans, but this must be seen within the bigger picture of prophecy, indicating an original, howbeit fragile, alliance between Germany and Russia.
The powerful current of prophetic events has once again revealed a glimpse of the impending hazards of this world’s looming final troubles.
Political events in Continental Europe received fresh focus as a right wing contender for the leadership of France emerged this week. Extreme-right leader and candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen (73) of the National Front gained second place and bolted into contention with incumbent Jacques Chirac. The run-off election for the French presidency will be held on May 5th. Regardless of the outcome (that Chirac will be reelected as French President is considered as almost certain), the Jewish community in France is already afraid of ensuing anti-Semitic attacks. Le Pen, who considers the Holocaust as a footnote in history, is being compared to Austria’s “leader-in-waiting,” Joerg Haider.
Haider is a declared enemy of Jacques Chirac. He immediately congratulated his friend Le Pen on his victory. “This is a victory of democracy,” Haider said. He also announced that it is his goal to become Austria’s chancellor. Next elections are scheduled for the fall of 2003, and Haider said that he would run for chancellorship if the Austrian people want him to.
One year earlier, in September of 2002, Germany will face its election for a new Chancellor. Last Sunday, Edmund Stoiber’s chances might have increased dramatically, when Gerhard Schroeder’s party suffered a stunning defeat in elections in Saxony-Anhalt in East Germany, ending up far behind the Christian Democrats (CDU). (Edmund Stoiber’s party, the CSU, is the Bavarian sister party of the non-Bavarian CDU).
Distressful, persistent problems underlie current political shifts in Western Europe: Lax immigration policy which feeds a steady stream of cheap labor; regional and national interests versus European integration; and, most fundamentally, a concern about monetary stability and distrust of the stability of the Euro dollar all keep politics on the explosive front burner!
Yet, in spite of these problems, Europe as a force is taking shape. Europe is negotiating, forming alliances and moving within global perspectives in nothing short of astonishing ways. All of these events continue in breath-taking leaps that can only find their parallel in the sudden demise of the Iron Curtain and the staggering fall of the Berlin wall that separated a then divided Germany. In just little more than a decade, the face of Europe has forever changed.