Who is the Antichrist in Catholic Church teaching?

As the Church reflects on the second coming of Jesus Christ during the final weeks of Ordinary Time and into the first few weeks of Advent, the topic of the “Antichrist” will inevitably come to the surface.

It is a teaching of the Catholic Church that is highly mysterious, and biblical references do not shed much light on the situation.

Yet, the Church has an official teaching on the Antichrist, explained in detail in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

A final deception

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

CCC 675

As with all aspects of Jesus’ second coming, every age has thought they were living in the “last days.”

St. Thomas Aquinas points out in his Summa Theologiae that the early Christians thought they were living in the “end times” and that the Antichrist was near, if not already there in the form of the Roman Emperors.

[I]t is impossible to fix what amount of such calamities will immediately precede the judgment day or the coming of Antichrist, since even at the time of the Early Church persecutions were so bitter, and the corruptions of error were so numerous, that some looked forward to the coming of Antichrist as being near or imminent.

This is why the Church even mentions that the Antichrist’s deception has been active since the first coming of Christ.

The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism.

As with the final days of this world, we won’t know for certain whether or not the Antichrist is present in the world. In many ways he has already come and has been with us for centuries.

Throughout this final trial of faith, the key is to stay closely united to Jesus Christ, not wavering in our belief, but trusting that he will lead us to our final home. We may never know who the Antichrist will be, but we do know Jesus Christ and can follow him.

9 thoughts on “Who is the Antichrist in Catholic Church teaching?

    1. Sandra Price

      It never ceases to amaze me how obsessed liberals are with Trump!! Why don’t you grow up, and give it a rest!

      Reply
      1. TOM

        Sandra, maybe you need to give it a rest too! 1) He did not say he was liberal, he could be an independent like me! I am just as sick of Trump! 2) Christian Evangelical Right wingers put out a movie that I watched where they feel Trump is the anointed one and that he has been specially tasked by God to lead the USA to shepherd the world into a new era. The film is called “The Trump Prophecy” by the Liberty University. In the film, a fireman who is thought to be suffering from PTSD is really suffering from a dream God is giving him where God tells the fireman that Trump is going to win and a new era will begin. It was made as a Trump propaganda film.

      1. Mike

        I don’t think Joe has ever implied he was some sort of god like Don has. Joe may be slow and much too old to be President but he isn’t the liar and showman that Don is. Don is a terrific entertainer and he leverages his lack of knowledge. by tossing out wise cracks and insinuations. Always implying never having solid facts.
        You should know that Joe has done some good things because nothing he has done has benefitted me. Everything has been for thew average wage earner. Unlike Don who did everything for people with money.

  1. Nohemi

    Clearly if we were going identify a political figure . . . it would be Obama, a Muslim who in his first public appearance stated clearly . . .”the United States is no longer a Christian nation,” and has worked tiredly for eight years to accomplish it. . . . and continues today by calling the shots as advisor to Biden and the Democratic party.

    Reply
    1. Mike

      The USA is not a Christian nation, nor is it a Muslim or Mormon or Jewish or any other cult nation. Those of you woh would like a theocracy should move to Turkey or India where theocratic dictators run everything in the name of their cult. The USA is a secular country. And it needs to stay that way. You can believe in any myths or superstitions you like but you can’t impose those beliefs on others.

      Reply
  2. TOM

    Ok, A couple of things. Early Christians did not use the term anti-christ, they spoke of end times. Second, which persecutions are you talking about, Romans persecuting Jesus believers, or, Holy Roman Catholic Church persecuting many for witchcraft, saucery, devination, or not agreeing with the pope such as in the case of Martin Luther where the pope tried to have him killed? Jesus as far as I am aware, never talked of an anti-christ. This is a Catholic invention, just another way the church fills your head with stuff that is not biblical sound doctrine.

    Reply

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