First, it is my understanding, after many years of study of Catholic eschatology, that the false prophet of the book of Revelation is the same as the Jezebel and Harlot of the same divinely-inspired book. The Antichrist is therefore assisted by a false prophetess, who takes the role as the head of his religion. She has a Pope-like role over the false Church devised by the Antichrist and the false prophetess.
But in that time period, the true Roman Catholic Church still exists. Most of Her Bishops remain faithful, along with many priests, deacons, deaconesses, religious, and lay persons. The followers of the Antichrist kill the true Pope of that time, just before the Antichrist takes power (Dan 9:26). And the wicked governments of the world, ruled by the Antichrist, do not permit a new Pope to be elected. So there is no true Pope during the entire reign of the Antichrist of less than 6.5 years.
Neither the Antichrist, nor the false prophetess, wishes to be Pope over the true Catholic Church. They do not wish to take over the Church and change Her teaching. They are evil. The Antichrist claims to be God and the Messiah; he wishes to be worshiped as God, not be one in a long line of Popes. The Antichrist and the false prophetess wish to destroy utterly the Church. Therefore, no one who claims or is Roman Pontiff over the Catholic Church could possibly be the Antichrist or the false prophetess. It doesn’t work that way.
In that future time, the calendar system is 12 months of 30 days per year, which is 360 days per year. The reign of the Antichrist lasts 6 weeks less than 6 years and 6 months (give or take a couple of days) or about 2300 days (Dan 8:14).
Pope Francis is not like the Antichrist at all. He does not obtain control over the whole world by political and military means, like the Antichrist. He has already reigned longer than the 2300 days of the Antichrist’ reign. He has no false prophetess. He does not seem to perform miracles. He does not require everyone to be marked on their hand or forehead with the mark of the beast. In short, he is nothing like the Antichrist.
Pope Francis is not like the false prophet at all. First, the false prophet will be a woman (Jezebel, Harlot). For the world wishes that women would lead them in religion. And this longing will worsen as the centuries pass. So the Antichrist chooses a woman to be his false prophetess. Second, Pope Francis does not serve anyone who could by any stretch of the imagination be considered possibly the Antichrist. Third, he does not fit the description of the false prophetess in the book of Revelation.
Finally, the time of the Antichrist and the false prophetess is in the distant future. For many different events must occur first. The Antichrist is of the second part of the tribulation, whereas the first part of the tribulation has not yet begun. The world must be divided into ten kingdoms only, as Scripture, the Saints, and the Blessed Virgin Mary at La Salette all say. That has not happened yet. So the Antichrist is in the distant future; there is no Antichrist in the world today.
Finally, the indefectibility of the Church is dogma. The claim that the Antichrist or the false prophetess become Pope, or that the body of Bishops follows them, or that the true Church becomes the false Church of the Antichrist are all heretical and schismatic claims.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.
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