No, the Antichrist can never be Pope

Catholics today are so poorly catechized that they easily fall into grave errors, without realizing it. This is where any heresy or schism begins, poorly-taught or misinformed faithful. And the subject of eschatology is particularly ignored by many orthodox teachers. Then, too, sound Catholic eschatology is under attack by persons who falsely claim to have received visions or messages from Heaven. So I find there is a need to explain, based on Catholic dogmas about the Church and the Pope as well as on sound eschatology, why the Antichrist can never be Roman Pontiff.

First, he can never be a true or valid Roman Pontiff, as each Pope has the charism of truth and of never-failing faith. The Antichrist, who falsely claims to be god, cannot have the theological virtue of faith. His sins of self-idolatry, blasphemy, complete rejection of all true religion are absolutely contrary to the state of grace and the theological virtue of faith. Since each valid Pope, no matter how sinful he may be, as the gift from the prevenient grace of God (which does not depend on free will or cooperation) of a never-failing faith, the Antichrist can never be a valid Pope.

Second, the valid Pope, as the visible head of the Church, is one with the invisible head of the Church, Jesus Christ. This unity is dogma, as explained in my previous posts. And so it is not possible for a Roman Pontiff to be an apostate, heretic, idolater, nor certainly to be the Antichrist. For the body of Christ cannot have the Antichrist as even its visible head on earth. There are, of course, other doctrines about the Roman Pontiff that also imply that the Antichrist cannot be true Pope. But these are sufficient for now.

Can the Antichrist be a false or invalid Pope, that is, an antipope? No. Sacred Scripture teaches us that the Antichrist pretends to be god, and that he opposes Jesus the true Christ.

[2 Thess]
{2:3} Let no one deceive you in any way. For this cannot be, unless the apostasy will have arrived first, and the man of sin will have been revealed, the son of perdition,
{2:4} who is an adversary to, and who is lifted up above, all that is called God or that is worshipped, so much so that he sits in the temple of God, presenting himself as if he were God.

The Antichrist “sits in the temple of God, presenting himself as if he were God.” (2 Thess 2:4). So he does not claim to be Pope. Also, the people of that future time will HATE Christians (Mt 10:22), so the Antichrist is not going to be able to convince the world to worship him as god, if he claims to be the head of the much hated Catholic Church. They would also laugh, if he claimed to be god and then also Pope.

The great apostasy is when many formal members of the Church depart from the true Church and from communion with the Roman Pontiff and the body of Bishops to follow the Antichrist. There will be and have been lesser apostasies in the Church, in which people leave the Church to follow heretics, schismatics, or the teachings of the world.

The Antichrist is an adversary to all that is “called God or that is worshipped”, so he cannot be a Pope or antipope. He sits in the temple of God (in Jerusalem), claiming to be God himself and to be the true Messiah of the world instead of Jesus. He does not want to be Pope, and he does not claim to be Pope. He claims to be God: “presenting himself as if he were God.”

[1 John]
{2:22} Who is a liar, other than he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This one is the Antichrist, who denies the Father and the Son.

{4:3} and every spirit who contradicts Jesus is not of God. And this one is the Antichrist, the one that you have heard is coming, and even now he is in the world.

[2 John]
{1:7} For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has arrived in the flesh. Such a one as this is a deceiver and an antichrist.

The Antichrist denies the Father and the Son, so he cannot be Roman Pontiff, nor in any sense pass for a Pope. The Antichrist rejects Jesus, so he cannot be Pope or antipope. Every antipope pretends to be a faithful follower of Jesus. And every Pope is a faithful follower of Jesus. Every Pope and antipope confesses that Jesus arrived in the flesh, but the Antichrist does not. So he cannot be Pope or antipope.

Thus, the Antichrist does not want to be considered to be the Roman Pontiff, the head of the Catholic Church which worships Jesus Christ. The Antichrist hates the true Church so much that he would not pretend to be its head. Rather, he pretends to be god and to be the Messiah of the world instead of Jesus. He would not be believed to be the Pope by anyone, nor would he seek to be considered to be Pope. So the Antichrist cannot be an antipope.

Can the false prophet associated with the Antichrist be Roman Pontiff or an antipope? No. The false prophet will be a woman. This is clearly indicated in the book of Revelation (last book of the New Testament). The false prophetess is the Jezebel and harlot of Revelation.

How does the Antichrist convince most of the world to worship him? He does so by giving them what they want, by giving them women priests and bishops, by approving of lust, murder, slavery, greed, and whatever is desired by those who hate truth and good. The sinful secular society has long wanted women to be at the head of religion, so the Antichrist chooses a woman to lead his false Church: the false prophetess.

However, she does not claim to be the Roman Pontiff over the Catholic Church. She is not a Pope or antipope — in the sense of one who claims to lead the Catholic Church. She is the leader of the false religion of the Antichrist. His false religion can be termed a false Church, and its leader can be termed a type of Pope. But the true Church, with its succession of Roman Pontiffs and its body of Bishops, which worships Jesus Christ remains, and will be clearly separate from the false Church that worships the Antichrist.

This false Church with its woman leader, this false religion that worships the Antichrist, will not pretend to be the Catholic Church. Instead, that false Church condemns Christianity, condemns the idea of the Trinity (1 John 2:22), condemns Jesus as not the true Messiah (or as not being God made man), and utterly rejects every Catholic teaching.

The Last Pope

Jesus does not return until after the end of the Antichrist’s reign. So what happens to the Roman Pontiff during the reign of the Antichrist? There is no Roman Pontiff during the entire 2300 day reign of the Antichrist (Dan 8:14). The Pope is killed just before the Antichrist obtains military and political power over the whole world:

[Daniel]
{9:25} Therefore, know and take heed: from the going forth of the word to build up Jerusalem again, until the Christ leader, there will be seven weeks of years, and sixty-two weeks of years; and the wide path will be built again, and the walls, in a time of anguish.
{9:26} And after sixty-two weeks of years, the Christ leader will be slain. And the people who have denied him will not be his. And the people, when their leader arrives, will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will be devastation, and, after the end of the war, the desolation will be set up.
{9:27} But he will confirm a covenant with many for one week of years; and for half of the week of years, victim and sacrifice will nearly cease; but there will be in the temple the abomination of desolation. And the desolation will continue even to the consummation and the end.”

The “Christ leader” refers to both the Christian king of the South and the Roman Pontiff. The Antichrist as the king of the North defeats the king of the South (two kings in the kingdom of the ten kings) and the latter is put to death. Then the followers of the Antichrist kill the Roman Pontiff, and destroy Vatican City and the churches of Rome. All the faithful Christians left in Rome are then killed or driven out of the City, and the City of Rome becomes the seat of authority in the kingdom of the Antichrist.

This last Roman Pontiff, who is martyred when the Antichrist rises to power, is called “Antipas” by the book of Revelation:

{2:12} And to the Angel of the Church of Pergamus write: Thus says he who holds the sharp two-edged spear:
{2:13} I know where you dwell, where the seat of Satan is, and that you hold to my name and have not denied my faith, even in those days when Antipas was my faithful witness, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells.
{2:14} But I have a few things against you. For you have, in that place, those who hold to the doctrine of Balaam, who instructed Balak to cast a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat and to commit fornication.
{2:15} And you also have those who hold to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.
{2:16} So do penance to the same extent. If you do less, I will come to you quickly and I will fight against these ones with the sword of my mouth.

So the Church of Pergamus is based in Rome. The Antichrist makes Rome to be the seat of authority in his false religion. And so it is called “the seat of Satan” and “where Satan dwells”, during that future time. Then Scripture says “even in those days when”, meaning prior to the establishment of Rome as the seat of the Antichrist and therefore the seat of Satan. And Antipas is this last Pope before the return of Christ, but also the last Pope before the Antichrist rules the world. The kingdom of the Antichrist does not permit a Pope to be elected after Pope Antipas dies.

By the way, “Antipas” is probably not his papal name. He is called “Antipas” because this Latin term means “facing the father”, as in a Pope who is constantly praying to the Father in Heaven. The term “anti” does not always imply opposition; it can mean opposite in the sense of two things facing one another.

Since Antipas, the last Pope before the return of Jesus, is called “my faithful witness” by Jesus speaking to John in the vision described in Revelation, this last Pope is not the Antichrist, nor the false prophetess, nor an evil Pope that ushers in the time of the Antichrist. He is a faithful disciple of Christ, and an exemplary Roman Pontiff who dies a martyr. Then he must also be a Saint, as he is called faithful by Jesus, and dies for the Lord as well. So this last Pope is a Saint and martyr, who of course opposes the Antichrist.

Note

Carlo Vigano claims that “the establishment of the kingdom of the Antichrist, which will be preceded by the preaching of the False Prophet”. This is false. The preaching of the false prophet occupies the second half of the Antichrist’s reign. This is a common opinion in Catholic eschatology, and easily supported by interpretation of the book of Revelation and the book of Daniel. So the false prophet does not precede the Antichrist. Also, what does precede the Antichrist is the kingdom of the ten kings. When the world is divided into ten kingdoms only, each led by one ruler, then the time of the Antichrist will be about a hundred years away. For the book of Daniel has a few generations passing during that time (chapter 11).

Ronald L. Conte Jr.

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3 Responses to No, the Antichrist can never be Pope

  1. Thomas Mazanec says:

    What do you think of the theory that the Seven Churches of Revelation are ages of the Church in chronological order?

    • Ron Conte says:

      No, I don’t think so. Revelation states this is the future. {1:1} The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, in order to make known to his servants the things that must soon occur, and which he signified by sending his Angel to his servant John;

  2. Sunimal Fernando says:

    Jesus told ” no one knows the date of his second coming , only God knows. Did Jesus told us to calculate the date using Daniel 9 ? Or he told the signs of the end times.
    Now we should repent and ask Almighty God to send Jesus soon because we are suffering due to present governments, Covid19,…… We don’t know, whether antichrist & 2 witnesses Enoch and Elijah are living in the world now or not. Only God knows. What are the signs now? What’s Isaiah 24 told us ? Did Jesus told the tribulation has 2 parts? And there is a 300 year gap? Sometimes , Anti Christ supporting people will mislead us . Jesus told about this.

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