The Pope has reassured Catholics that the end of the world is not night – and has told them to ignore claims that December 21st will be doomsday.

Pope Benedict XVI used his weekly address from the window of his Vatican apartments to call on Christians not to heed doomsday warnings.

He spoke out on the idea that the ancient Mayan calendar predicts that doomsday is next month, on December 21, 2012.

He referred to extracts from the Bible that speak of  ‘the sun and moon going out, the stars falling from the sky’.

The Pope said: “Jesus does not describe the end of the world, and when he uses apocalyptic images, he is not acting the prophet.

“On the contrary, he wants to stop his disciples of every epoch from being curious over dates, forecasts, and wants to give them the key to ... the right road to walk today and tomorrow to enter into the eternal life,”

The Sydney Morning Herald
reports that as many as 90,000 people are expected to attend a massive event in Guatemala City on December 21 just in case the world actually does end.

Tour groups are openly promoting doomsday-themed getaways.