Will the Vatican become part of the antichrist's governing body?
Our Evangelical friends would expect us to say "no, the Vatican will be protected from the effects of the antichrist". However, the apocalyptic times we are entering will be unprecedented and complicated for Remnant Christians (Rev 12:17). The devil is going after all Christian denominations.
Pope Benedict XVI said, a Pope is "infallible on the rarest of occasions". The faulty pontificate of Pope Francis makes this painfully clear.
In the Vatican, there are many Catholic prelates and staff, including our current pope, who are playing into the plans of World Economic Forum's Great Reset. We expect, as the antichrist enters the world stage, there will be forces at work in the Vatican who will oppose Jesus' message. We should not be surprised. Among the 12 apostles:
- 1 betrayed him
- 1 denied him
- 9 others abandoned him in his hour of need
It is a Church of imperfect people that Jesus founded, and every denomination has its weak members, liberal agitators, and networks of dysfunction, sometimes at the highest levels. Let's measure each other by our strongest and most faithful members.
Fortunately, Catholic doctrine and dogma cannot be changed by the hand waving of bad actors.
The Magisterium is not a wayward pope's non-binding personal opinions
We have separate articles on "bad popes" and papal infallibility. There have been about 7 bad popes in the history of the Church. They have never been allowed by the Holy Spirit to change doctrine. Catholics assert that the magisterium will not err on issues of faith and morals, regardless of wayward popes, cardinals, or bishops who say unofficial statements that are politically or ideologically motivated and inconsistent with the Bible and official established Church teaching.
Although the Magisterium (Pope and cardinals) is charged with interpreting and applying Scripture and Tradition, it is not superior to the Deposit of Faith (The Bible and Sacred Tradition), but rather its servant. It can neither add to nor subtract from the Deposit of Faith; instead, it serves as its guardian, preserving and communicating these truths to every generation of believers for all time under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. (Cf. Catechism 86)
A new doctrine cannot become part of the magisterial teachings of the Church unless it:
- Is explicitly or implicitly found in Scripture
- Doesn't conflict with the Bible
- Has traction with the Early Church Fathers in some form
- Has a long history of pious belief
- Has been revealed by the Holy Spirit to the Church through
- Ratification at an ecumenical council
- Declaration by the pope who "infallibly binds" it in an official statement invoking his authority on matters of faith or morals.
The teaching authority of the Church comes from Christ himself, who extended this authority to Saint Peter and the Apostles; they, in turn, have passed it down through Apostolic Succession to the Popes and bishops of every age. The Holy Spirit guarantees that the Magisterium will always teach the truth infallibly on matters of faith and morals. (Cf. CCC 2032-2033, 2051)
The Magisterium does not include the Pope's comments on airplanes, news conferences and interviews with secular media, or even a signature on a cardinal's letter about same sex couple's blessings.
The Vatican won't be the home of the antichrist
The Catholic Church is not the "Little Horn of Daniel". The antichrist won't rule from the Vatican because it would inhibit his universalist message by turning off other denominations, other religions (i.e., Muslims) and especially atheists and agnostics.
However, the antichrist will likely try to subsume the Vatican (and all Christian denominations) as he builds his anti-church upon the Great Deception (2 Thes. 2:11) probably based on "science", UFO's and "sentient AI". He will probably be based in Geneva, Jerusalem or the UN.
An underground Church during the apocalypse
If there is a good pope at that time, he may have to go into exile and the underground Church consisting of the Remnant would guard the faith until the antichrist is defeated by Jesus and the Era of Peace begins.
...you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Mat 16:18)
The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church, but the devil has won plenty of battles over the centuries and we can expect a deluge of attacks during the apocalypse.
The Bible and the Catechism will be our guides when we're driven underground
In the confusing and dangerous days of persecution ahead, Catholics will need to stay close to the Bible and the Catechism, which represent the true teachings of the Church. There may be much cooperation among Jesus believing Evangelicals and faithful Catholics during the time of the underground Church.
Papal infallibility is "is invoked on the rarest of occasions" and the Holy Spirit will not let any authentic pope alter Church teaching to accommodate the antichrist.
And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Mat (16:18)
Below is an example of an infallible Magisterial endorsement of the 1994 Catechism which is binding on the Church by Saint Pope John Paul II. This is the type of the statement that would have to be made to bind the Church to accept a teaching from the Pope. Notice how John Paul II invokes his authority and "declares" something to be true (or untrue).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved ... by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church's faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church's Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. ...
The approval and publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church represent a service which the Successor of Peter wishes to offer to the Holy Catholic Church, to all the particular Churches in peace and communion with the Apostolic See: ... supporting and confirming the faith of all the Lord Jesus' disciples (cf. Lk 22:32) .... This catechism is given to them that it may be a sure and authentic reference text for teaching catholic doctrine ...
- Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum, on the publication of the catechism of the catholic church, John Paul, bishop, servant of the servants of god