FATIMA SECRET: Why Does The Novus Ordo Lectionary IGNORE 2 THESSALONIANS 2:3-2:15?

UNKNOWN MASTER, 
German Woman of the Apocalypse 
 1390s

Many say that hidden 3rd Fatima Secret is about a bad council and a bad Mass.

I bet not.

The men in the Vatican as well as 100% of the faithful fear only one thing -  and that is the Restoration of the Holy Roman Empire.

That's why the Third Secret remains hidden.

You want proof?

Explain why the men in the Vatican hide 2 THESSALONIANS 2:3-2:15 from the Liturgy? - The Part About The Revolt Against The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE & The Rise Of The ANTICHRIST? 

November 3 2019  

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time Lectionary: 153

Reading 2       2 THES 1:11-2:2

Brothers and sisters:
We always pray for you,
that our God may make you worthy of his calling
and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose
and every effort of faith,
that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you,
and you in him,
in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ.

We ask you, brothers and sisters,
with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
and our assembling with him,
not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly, or to be alarmed
either by a "spirit," or by an oral statement,
or by a letter allegedly from us
to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand.

November 10 2019   

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time Lectionary: 156

Reading 2    2  THES 2:16-3:5

Brothers and sisters:
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement
and good hope through his grace,
encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed
and word.

Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us,
so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified,
as it did among you,
and that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people,
for not all have faith.
But the Lord is faithful;
he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.
We are confident of you in the Lord that what we instruct you,
you are doing and will continue to do.
May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God
and to the endurance of Christ.

This is what they left out:

2  THES 2:3-2:15

[3] Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition,
[4] Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God.
[5] Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
[6] And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time.
[7] For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way.
[8] And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, him,
[9] Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, [10] And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: [11] That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity.
[12] But we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, beloved of God, for that God hath chosen you firstfruits unto salvation, in sanctification of the spirit, and faith of the truth:
[13] Whereunto also he hath called you by our gospel, unto the purchasing of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
[14] Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.
[15] Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God and our Father, who hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation, and good hope in grace,

As Dr. Peter Kwasniewski explains here that this reading 2 Thes 2:3-2:15 is left out of the Novus Ordo Lectionary.

Here let the Church Fathers explain the meaning of  2  THES 2:3-2:15


GHIRLANDAIO, Domenico
The Nativity
c. 1492

EPISTLE SATURDAY IN EMBER WEEK OF ADVENT: 

 And we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto him: That you be not easily moved from your sense, nor be terrified, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle, as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. 2nd Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Thessalonians 1-8


According to the majority of Church Fathers (except one), the visible Authority of the Roman Emperor is what hinders the manifestation of the Antichrist, nothing else hinders the manifestation of the Antichrist or impedes his precursors. When the Imperial seat remains vacant, the Antichrist will be allowed manifest himself. This Church doctrine on the manifestation of the Antichrist and what hinders the same, is found in the Second Epistle of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians the Epistle reading for Ember Saturday:

First: 

The final revolt against the authority of the Roman Emperor. There have been many revolts against the Roman Emperor thruogh out history, but there will be the final revolt:

Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. II Thess.ii.3


Second: 

The removal of the governing authority of the Roman Emperor from the world stage by worldwide revolt. HRE is the one who withholdeth the manifestation of the antichrist:

And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed II Thess.ii.6-8


Third: 

The usurpation of the Authority of the Roman Emperor by the antichrist:

Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself as if he were God. II Thess. ii.4

The purpose of this site is to bring attention to this very fact that Saint Paul speaks only of the authority of the Holy Roman Emperor in his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians.

The Roman Catholic Church has always held to this interpretation of St Paul: that the authority of the Roman Emperor is he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way, only then will the Antichrist be made manifest.

This site is the first of its kind to proclaim the desire to restore the authority of the Holy Roman Emperor to impede the manifestation of the Antichrist. This site is the vanguard of those who desire to restore the authority of the Holy Roman Emperor.

GHIRLANDAIO, Domenico
Madonna and Child
1470-75

EPISTLE SATURDAY IN EMBER WEEK OF ADVENT

And we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto him: That you be not easily moved from your sense, nor be terrified, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle, as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. 2nd Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Thessalonians 1-8

Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (Pope Pius II) on what hinders the manifestation of the Antichrist:

The Roman Empire also has another privilege, as some asert: they do not think that Antichrist will come while it remains in existence. Thus they interpret these words of St Paul, doctor of the Gentiles, that he who now holdeth, do hold until he be taken out of the way. And then the wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord shall kill with the spirit of His mouth [II Thessalonians 2:7-8]. It is evident that the divine Augustine followed this opinion. Origin and Authority of the Roman Empire.



UNKNOWN MASTER, Austrian
The Nativity
c. 1400

EPISTLE SATURDAY IN EMBER WEEK OF ADVENT:

And we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto him: That you be not easily moved from your sense, nor be terrified, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle, as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. 2nd Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Thessalonians 1-8

"People falsely assumed that the Antichrist would emerge on the world scene once the Roman Empire was extinguished." Protestant heretics: Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry and J. Tim Thompson.

Protestant hatred for the Divinely Ordained Holy Roman Empire is manifested in their rejection of the Church Fathers on the subject of the continuance of the Authority of the Roman Emperor until the end of time. 

All Church Fathers are in agreement that the Authority of the Roman Emperor hinders the manifestation of the antichrist, this Catholic doctrine is found in St Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians. 

The following is St John Chrysostom's commentary on this epistle of St Paul and the verse on what withholdeth the manifestation of the Antichrist:

And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, him, Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders II Thess ii 6-9

St John Chrysostom Homily IV on Second Thessalonians II Thess.ii.6-9:

And now ye know that which restrains, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season. For the mystery of lawlessness does already work: only there is one that restrains now, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of His mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of His coming: even he whose coming is according to the working of Satan.

One may naturally enquire, what is that which withholds, and after that would know, why Paul expresses it so obscurely. What then is it that withholds, that is, hinders him from being revealed? Some indeed say, the grace of the Spirit, but others the Roman empire, to whom I most of all accede. Wherefore? Because if he meant to say the Spirit, he would not have spoken obscurely, but plainly, that even now the grace of the Spirit, that is the gifts, withhold him. And otherwise he ought now to have come, if he was about to come when the gifts ceased; for they have long since ceased.

But because he said this of the Roman empire, he naturally glanced at it, and speaks covertly and darkly. For he did not wish to bring upon himself superfluous enmities, and useless dangers. For if he had said that after a little while the Roman empire would be dissolved, they would immediately have even overwhelmed him, as a pestilent person, and all the faithful, as living and warring to this end. And he did not say that it will be quickly, although he is always saying it— but what? that he may be revealed in his own season, he says, For the mystery of lawlessness does already work.

He speaks here of Nero, as if he were the type of Antichrist. For he too wished to be thought a god. And he has well said, the mystery; that is, it works not openly, as the other, nor without shame. For if there was found a man before that time, he means, who was not much behind Antichrist in wickedness, what wonder, if there shall now be one?

But he did not also wish to point him out plainly: and this not from cowardice, but instructing us not to bring upon ourselves unnecessary enmities, when there is nothing to call for it. So indeed he also says here. Only there is one that restrains now, until he be taken out of the way, that is, when the Roman empire is taken out of the way, then he shall come. And naturally. For as long as the fear of this empire lasts, no one will willingly exalt himself, but when that is dissolved, he will attack the anarchy, and endeavor to seize upon the government both of man and of God.

For as the kingdoms before this were destroyed, for example, that of the Medes by the Babylonians, that of the Babylonians by the Persians, that of the Persians by the Macedonians, that of the Macedonians by the Romans: so will this also be by the Antichrist, and he by Christ, and it will no longer withhold. And these things Daniel delivered to us with great clearness.

And then, he says, shall be revealed the lawless one. And what after this? The consolation is at hand. Whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of His mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of His coming, even he whose coming is according to the working of Satan.

For as fire merely coming on even before its arrival makes torpid and consumes the little animals that are afar off; so also Christ, by His commandment only, and Coming. It is enough for Him to be present, and all these things are destroyed. He will put a stop to the deceit, by only appearing. Then who is this, whose coming is after the working of Satan, With all display all power, but nothing true, but for deceit. And lying wonder, he says, that is, false, or leading to falsehood."
Unfortunately the majority of Roman Catholics would agree with this protestant view that the authority of the Holy Roman Emperor does not hinder the manifestation of the antichrist, but instead would say that the Holy Roman Empire is a vehicle for the reign of antichrist.

The purpose of this blog is to bring attention this political and religious heresy that is prevalent among modern day Roman Catholics. Little do most realize that the Church Fathers are all in agreement that the authority of the Holy Roman Emperor is necessary to hinder the manifestation of the antichrist. Most modern day Roman Catholics would mock such a doctrine. The dismissal of this end-time doctrine is a rejection of Church doctrine and is described by Sister Lucy as the diabolical disorientation.

ANGELICO, Fra
Nativity (Cell V)
1440-41

EPISTLE SATURDAY IN EMBER WEEK OF ADVENT
2nd Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Thessalonians 1-8

And we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto him: That you be not easily moved from your sense, nor be terrified, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle, as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.

St Augustine of Hippo on the manifestation of the Antichrist De civitate Dei, Bk. 20, c. 19

What the Apostle Paul Wrote to the Thessalonians About the Manifestation of Antichrist Which Shall Precede the Day of the Lord.

I see that I must omit many of the statements of the gospels and epistles about this last judgment, that this volume may not become unduly long; but I can on no account omit what the Apostle Paul says, in writing to the Thessalonians, We beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

No one can doubt that he wrote this of Antichrist and of the day of judgment, which he here calls the day of the Lord, nor that he declared that this day should not come unless he first came who is called the apostate — apostate, to wit, from the Lord God. And if this may justly be said of all the ungodly, how much more of him?

But it is uncertain in what temple he shall sit, whether in that ruin of the temple which was built by Solomon, or in the Church; for the apostle would not call the temple of any idol or demon the temple of God. And on this account some think that in this passage Antichrist means not the prince himself alone, but his whole body, that is, the mass of men who adhere to him, along with him their prince; and they also think that we should render the Greek more exactly were we to read, not in the temple of God, but for or as the temple of God, as if he himself were the temple of God, the Church. Then as for the words, And now ye know what withholds, i.e., you know what hindrance or cause of delay there is, that he might be revealed in his own time; they show that he was unwilling to make an explicit statement, because he said that they knew.

And thus we who have not their knowledge wish and are not able even with pains to understand what the apostle referred to, especially as his meaning is made still more obscure by what he adds. For what does he mean by For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who now holds, let him hold until he be taken out of the way: and then shall the wicked be revealed? I frankly confess I do not know what he means. I will nevertheless mention such conjectures as I have heard or read.

Some think that the Apostle Paul referred to the Roman empire, and that he was unwilling to use language more explicit, lest he should incur the calumnious charge of wishing ill to the empire which it was hoped would be eternal; so that in saying, For the mystery of iniquity does already work, he alluded to Nero, whose deeds already seemed to be as the deeds of Antichrist. And hence some suppose that he shall rise again and be Antichrist. Others, again, suppose that he is not even dead, but that he was concealed that he might be supposed to have been killed, and that he now lives in concealment in the vigor of that same age which he had reached when he was believed to have perished, and will live until he is revealed in his own time and restored to his kingdom.

But I wonder that men can be so audacious in their conjectures. However, it is not absurd to believe that these words of the apostle, Only he who now holds, let him hold until he be taken out of the way, refer to the Roman empire, as if it were said, Only he who now reigns, let him reign until he be taken out of the way. And then shall the wicked be revealed: no one doubts that this means Antichrist. But others think that the words, You know what withholds, and The mystery of iniquity works, refer only to the wicked and the hypocrites who are in the Church, until they reach a number so great as to furnish Antichrist with a great people, and that this is the mystery of iniquity, because it seems hidden; also that the apostle is exhorting the faithful tenaciously to hold the faith they hold when he says, Only he who now holds, let him hold until he be taken out of the way, that is, until the mystery of iniquity which now is hidden departs from the Church.

For they suppose that it is to this same mystery John alludes when in his epistle he says, Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us. 1 John 2:18-19 As therefore there went out from the Church many heretics, whom John calls many antichrists, at that time prior to the end, and which John calls the last time, so in the end they shall go out who do not belong to Christ, but to that last Antichrist, and then he shall be revealed.

Thus various, then, are the conjectural explanations of the obscure words of the apostle. That which there is no doubt he said is this, that Christ will not come to judge quick and dead unless Antichrist, His adversary, first come to seduce those who are dead in soul; although their seduction is a result of God's secret judgment already passed. For, as it is said his presence shall be after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all seduction of unrighteousness in them that perish. For then shall Satan be loosed, and by means of that Antichrist shall work with all power in a lying though a wonderful manner.

It is commonly questioned whether these works are called signs and lying wonders because he is to deceive men's senses by false appearances, or because the things he does, though they be true prodigies, shall be a lie to those who shall believe that such things could be done only by God, being ignorant of the devil's power, and especially of such unexampled power as he shall then for the first time put forth. For when he fell from heaven as fire, and at a stroke swept away from the holy Job his numerous household and his vast flocks, and then as a whirlwind rushed upon and smote the house and killed his children, these were not deceitful appearances, and yet they were the works of Satan to whom God had given this power. Why they are called signs and lying wonders, we shall then be more likely to know when the time itself arrives.

But whatever be the reason of the name, they shall be such signs and wonders as shall seduce those who shall deserve to be seduced, because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved. Neither did the apostle scruple to go on to say, For this cause God shall send upon them the working of error that they should believe a lie. For God shall send, because God shall permit the devil to do these things, the permission being by His own just judgment, though the doing of them is in pursuance of the devil's unrighteous and malignant purpose, that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. Therefore, being judged, they shall be seduced, and, being seduced, they shall be judged. But, being judged, they shall be seduced by those secretly just and justly secret judgments of God, with which He has never ceased to judge since the first sin of the rational creatures; and, being seduced, they shall be judged in that last and manifest judgment administered by Jesus Christ, who was Himself most unjustly judged and shall most justly judge.

GHIRLANDAIO, Domenico
Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints
c. 1479

EPISTLE SATURDAY IN EMBER WEEK OF ADVENT

And we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto him: That you be not easily moved from your sense, nor be terrified, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle, as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. 2nd Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Thessalonians 1-8

Rev. George Leo Haydock Roman Catholic Bible Commentary on II Thess ii.3-4

Ver. 3-4. First, &c.[2] What is meant by this falling away, (in the Greek this apostacy) is uncertain, and differently expounded. St. Jerome and others understand it of a falling off of other kingdoms, which before were subject to the Roman empire; as if St. Paul said to them: you need not fear that the day of judgment is at hand, for it will not come till other kingdoms, by a general revolt, shall have fallen off, so that the Roman empire be destroyed.

The same interpreters expound the sixth and seventh verses in like manner, as if when it is said, now you know[3] what withholdeth, &c. That is, you see the Roman empire subsisteth yet, which must be first destroyed. And when it is added, only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way; the sense, say these authors, is, let Nero and his successors hold that empire till it be destroyed, for not till then will the day of judgment come.

Cornelius a Lapide makes this exposition so certain, that he calls it a tradition of the fathers, which to him seems apostolical. But we must not take the opinion of some fathers, in the exposition of obscure prophecies, where they advance conjectures (which others at the same time reject, or doubt of) to be apostolical traditions, and articles of faith, as the learned bishop of Meaux, Bossuet, takes notice on this very subject, in his preface and treatise on the Apocalypse, against Jurieux.

St. Jerome indeed, and others, thought that the Roman empire was to subsist till the antichrist's coming, which by the event most interpreters conclude to be a mistake, and that it cannot be said the Roman empire continues to this time. See Lyranus on this place, St. Thomas Aquinas, Salmeron, Estius, and many others; though Cornelius a Lapide, with some few, pretend the Roman empire still subsists in the emperors of Germany. We also find that divers of the ancient fathers thought that the day of judgment was just at hand in their time. See Tertullian, St. Cyprian, St. Gregory the Great, &c. And as to this place, it cannot be said the fathers unanimously agree in their exposition. St. Chrysostom[4], Theodoret, St. Augustine in one of his expositions, by this falling off, and apostacy, understand antichrist himself, apostatizing from the Catholic faith. And they who expound it of Nero, did not reflect that this letter of St. Paul was written under Claudius, before Nero's reign.

According to a third and common exposition, by this revolt or apostacy, others understand a great falling off of great numbers from the Catholic Church and faith, in those nations where it was professed before; not but that, as St. Augustine expressly takes notice, the Church will remain always visible, and Catholic in its belief, till the end of the world. This interpretation we find in St. Cyril[5] of Jerusalem. (Catech. 15.) See also St. Anselm on this place, St. Thomas Aquinas, Salmeron, Estius, &c. In fine, that there is no apostolical tradition, as to any of the interpretations of these words, we may be fully convinced from the words of St. Augustine[6], lib. xx. de Civ. Dei. chap. 19. t. 7. p. 597. Nov. edit., where he says: For my part, I own myself altogether ignorant what the apostle means by these words; but I shall mention the suspicions of others, which I have read, or heard. Then he sets down the exposition concerning the Roman empire. He there calls that a suspicion and conjecture, which others say is an apostolical tradition. In like manner the ancient fathers are divided, as to the exposition of the words of the sixth and seventh verse, when it is said you know what hindereth; some understand that antichrist must come first. Others, that the beforementioned apostacy, or falling off from the Church, must happen before. And when St. Paul says, (ver. 7.) that he who now holdeth, do hold; some expound it, let him take care at the time of such trials, to hold, and preserve the true faith to the end.

When the expositions are so different, as in this place, whosoever pretends to give a literal translation ought never to add words to the text, which determine the sense to such a particular exposition, and especially in the same print, as Mr. N. hath done on the seventh verse, where he translates, only let him that now holdeth the faith, keep it until he be taken out of the way. --- And the man of sin[7] revealed, the son of perdition, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. He is called again, (ver. 8.) that wicked one....whom the Lord Jesus Christ shall kill with the spirit of his mouth. By all these words is described to us the great antichrist, about the end of the world, according to the unexceptionable authority and consent of the ancient fathers.

It is as ridiculous as malicious to pretend, with divers later reformers, that the pope, and all the popes since the destruction of the Roman empire, are the great antichrist, the man of sin, &c. Grotius, Dr. Hammond, and divers learned Protestants, have confuted and ridiculed this groundless fable, of which more on the Apocalypse. It may suffice to observe here that antichrist, the man of sin, the son of perdition, the wicked one, according to all the ancients, is to be one particular man, not so many different men. That he is to come a little while before the day of judgment. That he will make himself be adored, and pretend to be God. What pope did so? That he will pretend to be Christ, &c. (Witham) --- St. Augustine (de Civ. Dei. book xx. chap. 19.) says, that an attack would be made at one and the same time against the Roman empire and the Church. The Roman empire subsists as yet, in Germany, though much weakened and reduced. The Roman Catholic Church, notwithstanding all its losses, and the apostacy of many of its children, has always remained the same. (Calmet) — The two special signs of the last day will be a general revolt, and the manifestation of antichrist, both of which are so dependent on each other, that St. Augustine makes but one of both.

What presumptive folly in Calvin and other modern reformers, to oppose the universal sentiments of the fathers both of the Latin and Greek Church! What inconsistency, to give such forced interpretations, not only widely different from the expositions of sound antiquity, but also widely different from each other! The Church of God, with her head, strong in the promises of Jesus Christ, will persevere to the end, frustra circumlatrantibus hæreticis. (St. Augustine, de util. cred. chap. xvii.) --- In the temple. Either that of Jerusalem, which some think he will rebuild; or in some Christian Church, which he will pervert to his own worship; as Mahomet has done with the churches of the east. (Challoner)

[2] Ver. 3-4. Nisi venerit discessio primum, e apostasia. St. Jerome (Ep. ad Algasiam. q. 11. t. 4. p. 209) Apostasia, inquit [] ut omnes Gentes, quæ Rom. Imperio subjacent, recedant ab eis.

[3] Ver. 3-4. St. Chrysostom (log. d. p. 235) says that by these words, you know what hindereth, is probably understood the Roman empire, &c. and Tertullian (lib. de Resur. Carnis. chap. xxiv. p. 340) on those words, till taken out of the way, donec de medio fiat, Quis nisi Romanorum status?

[4] Ver. 3-4. St. Chrysostom (log. g. p. 232) ti estin e apostasia autoi kalei ton Antichriston. See Theodoret on this place.

[5] Ver. 3-4. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Cat. xv) says, this apostacy is from the true faith and good works: aute estin e apostasia. St. Anselm and others mention both expositions, i.e. from the Roman empire, or from the faith.

[6] Ver. 3-4. St. Augustine: Ego prorsus quid dixerit, me fateor ignorare....suspiciones tamen hominum, quas vel audire, vel legere potui, non tacebo, &c. Quidam putant hoc de Imperio dictum esse Romano, &c.

[7] Ver. 3-4. O anthropos tes amartias, o uios tes apoleias, o antikeimenos, &c. ille homo peccati, ille filius perditionis: the Greek articles sufficiently denote a particular man.

GHIRLANDAIO, Domenico 
Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints 
c. 1483

EPISTLE SATURDAY IN EMBER WEEK OF ADVENT

And we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto him: That you be not easily moved from your sense, nor be terrified, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle, as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. 2nd Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Thessalonians 1-8

Tertullian in Apologetico Chp 32 saith, that Christians do pray for the continuance of the Roman Empire because they know, that when that Empire is overthrown, there shall a great calamity fall upon the world.

Tertullian Apologetico Chp 31-34 Christians pray for the Roman Emperor

Chapter 31
But we merely, you say, flatter the emperor, and feign these prayers of ours to escape persecution. Thank you for your mistake, for you give us the opportunity of proving our allegations. Do you, then, who think that we care nothing for the welfare of Cæsar, look into God's revelations, examine our sacred books, which we do not keep in hiding, and which many accidents put into the hands of those who are not of us. Learn from them that a large benevolence is enjoined upon us, even so far as to supplicate God for our enemies, and to beseech blessings on our persecutors. Matthew 5:44 Who, then, are greater enemies and persecutors of Christians, than the very parties with treason against whom we are charged? Nay, even in terms, and most clearly, the Scripture says, Pray for kings, and rulers, and powers, that all may be peace with you. 1 Timothy 2:2 For when there is disturbance in the empire, if the commotion is felt by its other members, surely we too, though we are not thought to be given to disorder, are to be found in some place or other which the calamity affects.

Chapter 32
There is also another and a greater necessity for our offering prayer in behalf of the emperors, nay, for the complete stability of the empire, and for Roman interests in general. For we know that a mighty shock impending over the whole earth— in fact, the very end of all things threatening dreadful woes— is only retarded by the continued existence of the Roman empire. We have no desire, then, to be overtaken by these dire events; and in praying that their coming may be delayed, we are lending our aid to Rome's duration. More than this, though we decline to swear by the genii of the Cæsars, we swear by their safety, which is worth far more than all your genii. Are you ignorant that these genii are called Dæmones, and thence the diminutive name Dæmonia is applied to them? We respect in the emperors the ordinance of God, who has set them over the nations. We know that there is that in them which God has willed; and to what God has willed we desire all safety, and we count an oath by it a great oath. But as for demons, that is, your genii, we have been in the habit of exorcising them, not of swearing by them, and thereby conferring on them divine honour.

Chapter 33
But why dwell longer on the reverence and sacred respect of Christians to the emperor, whom we cannot but look up to as called by our Lord to his office? So that on valid grounds I might say Cæsar is more ours than yours, for our God has appointed him. Therefore, as having this propriety in him, I do more than you for his welfare, not merely because I ask it of Him who can give it, or because I ask it as one who deserves to get it, but also because, in keeping the majesty of Cæsar within due limits, and putting it under the Most High, and making it less than divine, I commend him the more to the favour of Deity, to whom I make him alone inferior. But I place him in subjection to one I regard as more glorious than himself. Never will I call the emperor God, and that either because it is not in me to be guilty of falsehood; or that I dare not turn him into ridicule; or that not even himself will desire to have that high name applied to him. If he is but a man, it is his interest as man to give God His higher place. Let him think it enough to bear the name of emperor. That, too, is a great name of God's giving. To call him God, is to rob him of his title. If he is not a man, emperor he cannot be. Even when, amid the honours of a triumph, he sits on that lofty chariot, he is reminded that he is only human. A voice at his back keeps whispering in his ear, Look behind you; remember you are but a man. And it only adds to his exultation, that he shines with a glory so surpassing as to require an admonitory reference to his condition. It adds to his greatness that he needs such a reminiscence, lest he should think himself divine.

Chapter 34
Augustus, the founder of the empire, would not even have the title Lord; for that, too, is a name of Deity. For my part, I am willing to give the emperor this designation, but in the common acceptation of the word, and when I am not forced to call him Lord as in God's place. But my relation to him is one of freedom; for I have but one true Lord, the God omnipotent and eternal, who is Lord of the emperor as well. How can he, who is truly father of his country, be its lord? The name of piety is more grateful than the name of power; so the heads of families are called fathers rather than lords. Far less should the emperor have the name of God. We can only profess our belief that he is that by the most unworthy, nay, a fatal flattery; it is just as if, having an emperor, you call another by the name, in which case will you not give great and unappeasable offense to him who actually reigns?— an offense he, too, needs to fear on whom you have bestowed the title. Give all reverence to God, if you wish Him to be propitious to the emperor. Give up all worship of, and belief in, any other being as divine. Cease also to give the sacred name to him who has need of God himself. If such adulation is not ashamed of its lie, in addressing a man as divine, let it have some dread at least of the evil omen which it bears. It is the invocation of a curse, to give Cæsar the name of god before his apotheosis.



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