Final Persecution of the Catholic Church

(not sure if this is the right forum because I want answers taken from Saints, Church Fathers, and Councils and Popes rather than Sacred Scripture which I am more thoroughly familiar with)

(Just so you can know the context of why I came up with these questions) I was reading the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis which is an allegory for the Christian concept of this world coming to an end and the return of Christ. This book is also a direct allegory for the coming of the Antichrist (who is an ape in the book) and the persecution of true Christians (Narnians who believe in the real Aslan).

I used to think that the notion of the Antichrist was strictly a Protestant concept. So my first question is:

1, what does the Catholic Church officially teach about the Antichrist? Where can I find statements from Saints or Church Councils or Popes (etc.) on this?

And my second question is:

  1. Is it theologically correct to say that at the end of time the Catholic Church (the Body and Bride of Christ) will undergo a final persecution and follow Christ, just as Christ was persecuted and killed? (I am asking this because I think I might have read this somewhere but I’m not sure where). Again, where can I find support for this notion (if it exists) from Saints or Church Councils or Popes (etc.)?

Perhaps this will answer some of your questions. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

The glorious advent of Christ, the hope of Israel

**673 **Since the Ascension Christ’s coming in glory has been imminent,566 even though "it is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority."567. This eschatological coming could be accomplished at any moment, even if both it and the final trial that will precede it are “delayed”.568

674 The glorious Messiah’s coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by “all Israel”, for “a hardening has come upon part of Israel” in their “unbelief” toward Jesus.569 St. Peter says to the Jews of Jerusalem after Pentecost: "Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old."570 St. Paul echoes him: "For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?"571 The “full inclusion” of the Jews in the Messiah’s salvation, in the wake of “the full number of the Gentiles”,572 will enable the People of God to achieve “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”, in which “God may be all in all”.573
**
The Church’s ultimate trial**

675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.574 The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth575 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.576

676 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,577 especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism.578

677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.579 The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven.580 God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.581


566 Cf. Rev 22:20.
567 Acts 1:7; Cf. Mk 13:32.
568 Cf. Mt 24:44; 1 Thess 5:2; 2 Thess 2:3-12.
569 Rom 11:20-26; cf. Mt 23:39.
570 Acts 3:19-21.
571 Rom 11:15.
572 Rom 11:12, 25; cf. Lk 21:24.
573 Eph 4:13; 1 Cor 15:28.
574 Cf. Lk 18:8; Mt 24:12.
575 Cf. Lk 21:12; Jn 15:19-20.
576 Cf. 2 Thess 2:4-12; 1 Thess 5:2-3; 2 Jn 7; 1 Jn 2:18,22.
577 Cf. DS 3839.
578 Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris, condemning the “false mysticism” of this “counterfeit of the redemption of the lowly”; cf. GS 20-21.
579 Cf. Rev 19:1-9.
580 Cf Rev 13:8; 20:7-10; 21:2-4.
581 Cf. Rev 20:12 2 Pet 3:12-13.

I can hook you up with two very good sources on this. I have them both and they are great resources for a very small investment. (The images are links)
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I was reading what the Catechism said in the 2nd post and I noticed this:

677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.579 The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven.580 God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.581

I underlined the part that I am asking about. So, my question is: What exactly is the Catechism talking about where it says “which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven.” Is this talking about our Blessed Mother? I’m sorry but I am just very confused.

I believe that would be a reference to the “Church Triumphant”, Holly.

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