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)…” 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?