The President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference, the Most Rev Joseph Osei-Bonsu, has refuted media reports that the Vatican had stated that the second coming of Jesus Christ may not happen.
“The publication is the fabrication of a mischievous and malicious person. The views stated in it do not come from any Cardinal in the Vatican,” he declared in a statement.
He said none of the 216 Cardinals bore the name Giorgio Salvadore and explained that there was, indeed, a Cardinal Salvatore de Giorgi, an Archbishop Emeritus of Palermo.
He said Cardinal de Giorgi, an 83-year-old retired Archbishop, was not the spokesperson of the Vatican.
“The official spokesperson of the Vatican is called Fr Federico Lombardi,” he stated.
The Most Rev Osei-Bonsu explained that if a Cardinal of the Catholic Church had made those untrue and blasphemous statements about Jesus, he would be called to order by the Pope.
That, he said, was because the views espoused in the publication went against Catholic and, indeed, Biblical teaching.
“The second coming of Christ or the Son of Man at some time in the future is part of our Christian tradition. It is found in the following passages in the New Testament: Matthew 24:3, 27, 37, 39; 1 Corinthians 15:23; Hebrews 10:24; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 8, 9; James 5:7, 8; 2 Peter 1:16; 3:4, 12; 1 John 2:28.
“It is also found in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed that we recite in church: ‘He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead’,” he stated.
The Most Rev Osei-Bonsu, who is also the Bishop of the Konongo-Mampong Diocese, said no one knew the time of Christ’s return, as was written in Mark 13:32, “But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
He explained that ‘that day’ clearly referred to the Parousia, the return of Christ at the end of time, and stated that if neither the Son (Jesus) nor the angels knew the time of the second coming, how would any Cardinal, or any person for that matter, know?
On claims in the publication that Jesus was drunk at the time He made the prediction, the Most Rev Osei-Bonsu said there was no evidence in the Bible, or anywhere else, that Christ was “drunk” when he made that statement.
“The publication is just malicious and blasphemous and I would urge all Catholics and, indeed, all Christians, to ignore it and treat it with the contempt that it deserves,” he said.