By Bruce Johnston in Rome ALTHOUGH no one can say when it will be nigh, the end of the world will indeed come one day, and the only thing to do in the meantime is to wait for it, with "serene hope", the Pope has advised.
In an audience brimming with end-of-millennium allusions, the Pontiff told crowds in Rome that as everything now occurs at incredible speed, both in the findings of science and with technology and communications, "it is therefore natural to ask oneself what man's destiny is, and what is the final purpose of his life".
Citing the Old Testament and the prophesies of a return to the Promised Land, and a New Jerusalem, he recalled the words of St Paul and God's descent from heaven, and the Resurrection. "Concerning the date of this final event, we are not informed. One must have patience in the wait for the risen Christ," he said.
The tension of the final event "should be lived with serene hope, undertaking to build that kingdom, which in the end will be consigned by Christ into the hands of God the Father."