I am trying to understand this concept of the ‘katechon’ that St. Paul speaks of in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7. I cannot find a satisfactory Catholic explanation of the concept.

Wikipedia says the following:

“The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions consider that the Antichrist will come at the End of the World. The katechon, what restrains his coming, was someone or something that was known to the Thessalonians and active in their time: “You know what is restraining” (2:6). As the Catholic New American Bible states, “Traditionally, 2 Thes 2:6 has been applied to the Roman empire and 2 Thes 2:7 to the Roman emperor … as bulwarks holding back chaos (cf Romans 13:1-7)…”[1] However, some understand the katechon as the Grand Monarch or a new Orthodox Emperor, some as the rebirth of the Holy Roman Empire (see, e.g., Ultimate Things: An Orthodox Christian Perspective on the End Times, Dennis Eugene Engleman, Conciliar Press, 1995).”

It then goes on to discuss Carl Schmitt and Paolo Virno who’s theories on the concept confused me even more.

If as the NAB notes say ‘it has been applied to the Roman empire’…well the Roman Empire is no longer extant, so that cannot be so, as if the Roman Empire were truly the katechon restraining the coming of the Anti-Christ and by extension the Second Coming, that impediment ceased to exist long ago and it would have occured by now, so the NAB notes do not ring true.

Anyway, I am looking for any information or better explanations of this. From a Catholic perspective, what/who/where is the katechon?

God bless,


The Church through the power of Jesus.

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years were ended. After that he must be loosed for a little while. (Revelation 20:1-3)

Jesus has the keys (Rev 1:18). He has given them to Peter (Matthew 16:19). The sacraments are the chains which binds Satan, makes him ineffective.



But then, in effect, the Church itself is delaying the Second Coming of the Lord and the culmination of Salvation History. Seems sort of counter-productive, no? It also means that the Church must be overcome by Satan to initiate the beginning of the Second Coming and yet that is promised to never happen by the Lord Himself.


Good luck finding out what the *katechon *is. A Commentary on the New Testament, prepared by The Catholic Biblical Association in 1942, on 2 Thes 2:6, page 568, says:
6. What restrains him: Paul refers to some obstacle hindering the advent of Antichrist. We do not know what the obstacle is. St. Augustine in his day confessed complete ignorance of its nature.
See St Augustine’s City of God, Book XX, Chapter 19.


Wait wait wait, for a thousand years? It’s been well over a thousand years since the start of the world, whether you are believe the world is 6,000 years old or 4 billion.


The commentary of The Orthodox Study Bible says this verse refers to a man of sin with a counterfeit message and a counterfeit kingdom. He exalts himself above God, performs deceptive miracles and wonders through satanic powers, and will fool the unrighteous into following him, and will be removed by Christ himself at the Second Coming.


I don’t understand why you bring up the start of the world. My post had nothing to do with the start of the world.



It’s a mystery, and what makes it more mysterious is that Paul and the Thessalonians seemed to have an understanding of it, whereas we do not. However, I’ve heard many different things (the Eucharist, the Holy Spirit, Saint Michael, the Roman Empire, the Church, the Pope, or law in general). However, suffice it to say, it is something that will be taken out of the way, and then the man of sin shall be revealed. That’s all we seem to know. Things to ask God one day, right?


But we were also told there would be a time when christians would be forced to practice in secret for fear of being arrested and persecuted, christians would be tortured and imprisoned solely for their beliefs, and would be put to death if they refuse to give up their beliefs…I believe this time is right around the corner in the US, its already happening in some nations right now, so in essence, Satan will appear to overpower the church, but in the end, Christ will win, but we still will have to go thru some very tough times before that happens, I predict alot of people will give up their faith during this period too.

Just imagine what would happen if suddenly the US criminalizes the Christian faith, or any type of public worship…Imagine if 10s of 1000s of people were dragged out their homes and workplaces and thrown in jail, for simply be a christian, and were tortured until they gave up their faith…how long would most people last being tortured, how many people would be more concerned with their earthly lives and not want to be killed, or loose their comfortable lives, jobs, homes, families, etc?

I have heard this will happen, after a major earthquake somewhere in the US, after this earthquake, ‘something’ will be discovered, something ancient that appears to prove that something other than God created us and our world, many people say this may be some kind of extraterrestrial object that will show that they were the ones who actually created us, and when this is discovered, obviously the topic of many debates, courtroom fights, etc. the US Govt will encourage people to reconsider their faith, since this new discovery, and eventually, it will be made criminal to worship a God that did not create us, they will tell us that the churches were all wrong, and we should not be giving thins kind of credit to a entity that did not do any of this. Many people also say this will be part of the ‘Grand deception’ and will cause many people to deny their faith.

I could see this taking place in the US, it does sound very possible.


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