Historic Quotes on the Papacy being the Antichrist


The Early Church Fathers  (10)
Roman Catholics  (several)
Confessions  (7)
Historic Reformed Quotes  (19)
Others  (2)



The Early Church Fathers


‘Early Church Fathers on the Timing of the Rise of Antichrist’

Many of the early church fathers understood the restraining power that must be taken out of the way before Antichrist be revealed (2 Thess. 2:6-8), as the Roman civil power (which fell in A.D. 476), and that the Antichrist would rise from its ruins and take up the Roman power.  Shortly thereafter the Roman Papacy usurped to itself both universal jurisdiction over the Church of Christ and the vestiges of the Roman civil empire.

Linked are 10 very important primary source quotes from:  

Justin Martyr  †165
Irenaeus of Lyons  †202
Tertullian  †225
Hippolytus  †235
Cyprian of Carthage  †258
Lactantius Firminianous  †325
Cyril of Jerusalem  †386
John Chrysostom  †407
Jerome  †420
Augustine of Hippo  †430

Garrett, Walter – Pt. 1, Ch. 1, ‘Of the Time of Antichrist’s Coming according to the Doctrine of the Primitive Church.  The same confirmed from the Angel’s Interpretation of the Vision [of the Great Whore], Rev. 17′  in A Discourse Concerning Antichrist, Grounded upon the Angel’s Interpretation of the Vision, Rev. 17:3 and from thence proceeding to a particular Explication of the 12th and 13th chapters. Showing that the Church of Rome is that woman mentioned, Rev. 17:3, and the bishops of Rome [are] that Eighth King spoken of, v. 11, who is usually known by the name of Antichrist  (London, 1680)

Garrett was an Anglican clergyman.

“It is well known to those that have been conversant in the writings of the Fathers, and confessed by [Robert] Bellarmine himself [a Roman apologist] (De Rom. Pont., bk. 3, ch. 5) that the Primitive Church was taught to look for Antichrist upon the dissolution of the Roman Empire.” – p. 17



Roman Catholics Affirming that the Papacy is the Antichrist

Pope Gregory the Great  540-604

Letter to the Emperor Mauritius, Book 4, Letter 30

Moreover, I say confidently that anyone calling himself universal priest, or desires to be so called, shows himself, by this self-exaltation, to be the forerunner to the Antichrist because by this display of pride he sets himself superior to others…


Charles Hodge  1872  Hodge was a protestant, reformed theologian of old Princeton Seminary

Systematic Theology, Vol. 3, p. 831-2

Substantially the same view [as in the early church, “that Antichrist was a man of Satanic spirit endowed with Satanic power who should appear before the second coming of Christ”] prevailed during the Middle Ages.  Some however of the theologians of the Latin Church saw that the development of the Man of Sin was to take place in the Church itself and be connected with a general apostasy from the faith. They were therefore sufficiently bold to teach that the Church of Rome was to fall away, and that the Papacy or some individual pontiff was to become the Antichrist spoken of in Scripture. The abbot Joachim of Floris (died 1202), a Franciscan, put himself in opposition to the worldly spirit of the Church of his time, and his followers, called “Spirituales,” came to denounce the Church of Rome as the mystical Babylon of the Apocalypse.  This was done with great boldness by John Peter of Oliva (died 1297), whose works were formally condemned as “blasphemous and heretical.”  Among the passages thus condemned are the following: “The woman here stands for the people and empire of Rome, both as she existed formerly in a state of Paganism, and as she has since existed, holding the faith of Christ, though by many crimes committing harlotry with this world.  And, therefore, she is called a great harlot; for, departing from the faithful worship, the true love and delights of her Bridegroom, even Christ her God, she cleaves to this world, its riches and delights; yea, for their sake she cleaves to the devil, also to kings, nobles, and prelates, and to all other lovers of this world.”  “She saith in her heart, that is, in her pride, I sit a queen: — I am at rest; I rule over my kingdom with great dominion and glory. And I am no widow: — I am not destitute of glorious bishops and kings.”

Not only the poets Dante and Petrarch denounced the corruptions of the Church of Rome, but down to the time of the Reformation that Church was held up by a succession of theologians or ecclesiastics, as the Babylon of the Apocalypse which was to be overthrown and rendered desolate.


For several more Roman Catholics throughout history who have called the Papacy the Antichrist, see Section 41 of Francis Turretin’s, ‘Whether it can be proven the Pope of Rome is the Antichrist’, 6 paragraphs



Confessions on the Papacy as the Antichrist

See Rev. David Blunt’s, The Papacy is the Antichrist, Parts 1 & 2,  being page 10 of The English Churchman, May 21st, 2010

Second Helvetic Confession  1536
Articles of Smalcald  1537
The 39 Articles  1562
The Irish Articles  1615
The Westminster Confession of Faith  1647
The Savoy Declaration of Faith  1658
The London Confession of Faith  1689



Historic Reformed Quotes

Tyndale  †1536                                                                            Calderwood  1628
Luther  †1546                                                                                     Dickson  1650

Latimer  †1555                                                                                   Manton  †1677
Hooper  †1555                                                                                     Poole  †1679
Bradford  †1555                                                                               A’Brakel  †1711
Ridley  †1555                                                                                      Henry  †1714
Cranmer  †1556                                                                         John Wesley  1755
Calvin  †1564                                                                                   Spurgeon  1866
Knox  †1572                                                                                    Fairbairn  †1875

Cartwright  †1603                                                                                   Wylie  1888



A Collection

Watts, Malcom – ‘Antichrist: the Reformed Doctrine’, no date

Quotes by Luther, Calvin, Knox, Tyndale, Latimer, Ridley, Hooper, Bradford, Cranmer, Cartwright, Poole, Henry, Manton, Spurgeon


Nicholas Ridley  †1555

Nicholas Ridley on the Antichrist, 19 paragraphs


John Calvin  †1564

The Necessity of Reforming the Church, in Tracts and Letters, Vol. 1, pp. 219-220.  This quote is in addition to those in the collection of quotes above

But to conclude this point in a few words: I deny that See to be Apostolical, wherein nought is seen but a shocking apostacy — I deny him to be the vicar of Christ, who, in furiously persecuting the gospel, demonstrates by his conduct that he is Antichrist I deny him to be the successor of Peter, who is doing his utmost to demolish every edifice that Peter built — and I deny him to be the head of the Church, who by his tyranny lacerates and dismembers the Church, after dissevering her from Christ, her true and only Head.


David Calderwood  1628

The Pastor and the Prelate (1628, 1844 reprint), p. 64

The other sort is the new nicknamed puritan in our times, wherein the papist calleth it puritanism to oppose the Roman hierarchy; the Arminian accounteth it puritanism to defend God’s free grace against man’s free will; the formalist thinketh it puritanism to stand out against conformity; the civilian, not to serve the time, and the profane thinketh it essential to the puritan to walk precisely, and not to be profane, — and so essential is it, indeed, that if all were profane there would be no puritan, for the profane and the puritan are opposed.

He then is the new puritan that standeth for Christ against antichrist; that defendeth God’s free grace against man’s free will, that would have every thing done in the house of God according to the will of God, (which is his greatest heresy,) that seeketh after the power of religion in his heart (and this is his intolerable singularity,) and that stands at the staff’s end against the sins of his time (and this is his pride); and thus, after this way that the world calleth heresy, serveth he the God of his fathers, who have all been puritans of this stamp since the beginning.


David Dickson  1650

Truth’s Victory Over Error, this was the first commentary on the Westminster Confession

Question 9: Is the Pope that Antichrist, that Man of sin, and Son of perdition, that exalts himself in the church of God against Christ, and all that is called God?

Yes.  2 Thess. 2:3-4,8-9; Rev. 13:6; Matt 23:8-10.  Though this be denied by the church of Rome, yet the true description of Antichrist agrees to him.

(1) Because, he is not one single man, but an order and race of men, succeeding to one another, in that same state, and office, which you will see by comparing, 1 John 4:3; 2 Thess. 2:7-8, together.

(2) His coming is after the manner of Satan, 2 Thess 2:9.

(3) As to his name, he calls himself a Christian, but in very truth an adversary to Christ: and by consequence, one that denies Jesus to be the Christ, Rev. 17:14; Rev. 19:19; 2 Thess. 2:8; 1 John 2:23.

(4) he sits in the Temple of GOD, as GOD, 2 Thess. 2:4.

(5) He rules in the great city, and exercises dominion over the kings of the earth.

(6) He deceives them that dwell on the earth with lying wonders and miracles, 2 Thess. 2:9; Rev. 13:14-15.

(7) He causes all sorts of persons to receive his mark on their right hand or on their forehead, Rev: 13:16-17.

(8) To him agrees, what Paul says, ‘and now ye know what with-holds’ (namely the Roman Emperor) ‘that he might be revealed in his time’, 2 Thess. 2:6-7.


Wilhelmus A’Brakel  d. 1711

The Christian’s Reasonable Service, vol. 2, p. 44

Question:  Who is the antichrist?

Answer:  With all Protestants we reply: The pope of Rome.  The papists deny this strongly.


John Wesley  1755

Notes on the New Testament, on 2 Thess. 2:3

The man of sin, the son of perdition– …in many respects, the Pope has an indisputable claim to those titles.  He is, in an emphatical sense, the man of sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure.  And he is, too, properly styled, the son of perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers, destroyed innumerable souls, and will himself perish everlastingly.  He it is that opposes himself to the emperor, once his rightful sovereign; and that exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, commanding angels, and putting kings under his feet, both of whom are called gods in scripture; claiming the highest power, the highest honor; suffering himself, not once only, to be styled God or vice-god.  Indeed no less is implied in his ordinary title, “Most Holy Lord,” or, “Most Holy Father.”  So that he sits enthroned in the temple of God – Mentioned Rev. 11:1.  Declaring himself that he is God, claiming the prerogatives which belong to God alone.


Thomas Chalmers  1848

Sabbath Scripture Readings, vol. 1, p. 310, 1848, Edinburgh

Save us, O Lord, from falling away, lest we share in the perdition that waits on the great apostasy.  We hold the usurpation of Rome to be evidently pointed at, and therefore let us maintain our distance, and keep up our resolute protest against its great abominations.


Patrick Fairbairn  †1875

The Interpretation of Prophecy, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1996, p. 369

[Having listed some of the chief errors and abuses of popery] All this meets so remarkably the conditions of St. Paul’s prophecy, and in its history and growth also from the apostolic age so strikingly accords with the warnings given of its gradual and stealthy approach, that, wherever else the antichrist may exist, they must be strangely biased, who do not discern its likeness in the Romish apostacy.


J.A. Wylie  1888

The Papacy is the Antichrist: a Demonstration, Wylie was a professor of Church History in the old Free Church of Scotland

The following demonstration is rested on no narrow basis.  Its two postulates, like two posterns, admit us into the edifice, but they are not its foundations.  The whole economy of redemption, and the whole course of history are the broad substructions on which the argument is based and built up; and the author humbly submits that it cannot be overturned, or the conclusion arrived at set aside, without dislocating and shaking the structure of both revelation and providence.  The same line of proof which establishes that Christ is the promised Messiah, conversely applied, establishes that the Roman system is the predicted Apostasy.  In the life of Christ we behold the converse of what the Antichrist must be; and in the prophecy of the Antichrist we are shown the converse of what Christ must be, and was.  And when we place the Papacy between the two, and compare it with each, we find, on the one hand, that it is the perfect converse of Christ as seen in His life; and, on the other, that it is the perfect image of the Antichrist, as shown in the prophecy of him.  We conclude, therefore, that if Jesus of Nazareth be the Christ, the Roman Papacy is the Antichrist.



Roman Catholic Cardinal Henry Manning  †1892

As quoted in Ian Paisley’s, Antichrist, Belfast: Martyrs Memorial Productions, no date, p.69

The Catholic Church is either the masterpiece of Satan or the Kingdom of the Son of God.


Roman Catholic Cardinal John Henry Newman  †1890

As quoted in Ian Paisley’s, Antichrist, Belfast: Martyrs Memorial Productions, no date, p. 71.

A sacerdotal order is historically the essence of the Church of Rome; if not divinely appointed, it is doctrinally the essence of antichrist.



See Also

What Does 666 Mean?

Including a list of 28 historic writers that take 666 to mean ‘Lateinos’: ‘The Latin One’, that is, the Papacy




Related Pages

The Antichrist

Roman Catholicism