Revelation Catechism #676 secular messianism?


Pulling this out of a Catechism I posted in another thread.

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

I am having a hard time deciphering it. Especially :
every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment.


Authoritarian leaders such as Benito Mussolini often act as if they’re omnipotent and promise, implicitly or explicitly, to solve everyone’s problems. Mussolini, for instance, looked like a good guy to a lot of Italians and, frankly, a lot of other people around the world, including a lot of Catholics, until he showed that he wasn’t all that. People wanted to believe him. I think a pseudo-Messianic sort of figure is probably what they’re talking about.


Dear Roseeurekacross,

“Secular messianism”, in this context, refers to any movement which claims that it will establish an all-powerful or all-embracing earthly kingdom, while rejecting the Social Kingship of Christ and the nature of the Last Things.

In the Old Testament, we find a figure of this “secular messiah” or “anti-Christ” in Antiochus Epiphanes (1 and 2 Maccabees; the prophecy of Daniel) who claimed near-divine status, ruthlessly punished the Jews for adhering to the Law, encouraged apostasy, and set up an idol of Zeus in the Temple at Jerusalem.

In modern times, almost every “-ism” that the secular world has birthed is imbued with this spirit, be it socialism (“The All Powerful State is the Messiah”), communism (“The Party is the Messiah”), libertarianism (“Man’s Ego is the Messiah”), progressivism (“Man’s Libido is the Messiah”), non-Christian nationalism (“Race / Identity / State is the Messiah”) or globalism (“One United World, but No God Required”). Which of these will be dominant in the Last Days is an open question that I will refrain from hazarding an answer to. :slight_smile:



"Secular messianism" = Looking to Government (or some other “secular alternative”) to be your “deliverer”.

God bless.


(More complete answers below from other posters. Very good answers.)


If one follows the footnotes (578) of the entry of #676 of the Catechism they will read these related paragraphs; which detail the type(s) of “secular messianic” governments that the Church warns of.

  1. Modern atheism often takes on a systematic expression which, in addition to other causes, stretches the desires for human independence to such a point that it poses difficulties against any kind of dependence on God. Those who profess atheism of this sort maintain that it gives man freedom to be an end unto himself, the sole artisan and creator of his own history. They claim that this freedom cannot be reconciled with the affirmation of a Lord Who is author and purpose of all things, or at least that this freedom makes such an affirmation altogether superfluous. Favoring this doctrine can be the sense of power which modern technical progress generates in man.

Not to be overlooked among the forms of modern atheism is that which anticipates the liberation of man especially through his economic and social emancipation. This form argues that by its nature religion thwarts this liberation by arousing man’s hope for a deceptive future life, thereby diverting him from the constructing of the earthly city. Consequently when the proponents of this doctrine gain governmental power they vigorously fight against religion, and promote atheism by using, especially in the education of youth, those means of pressure which public power has at its disposal.

  1. In her loyal devotion to God and men, the Church has already repudiated(16) and cannot cease repudiating, sorrowfully but as firmly as possible, those poisonous doctrines and actions which contradict reason and the common experience of humanity, and dethrone man from his native excellence.

Still, she strives to detect in the atheistic mind the hidden causes for the denial of God; conscious of how weighty are the questions which atheism raises, and motivated by love for all men, she believes these questions ought to be examined seriously and more profoundly.


  1. Hence We wish to expose once more in a brief synthesis the principles of atheistic Communism as they are manifested chiefly in bolshevism. We wish also to indicate its method of action and to contrast with its false principles the clear doctrine of the Church, in order to inculcate anew and with greater insistence the means by which the Christian civilization, the true civitas humana, can be saved from the satanic scourge, and not merely saved, but better developed for the well-being of human society.
  1. The Communism of today, more emphatically than similar movements in the past, conceals in itself a false messianic idea. A pseudo-ideal of justice, of equality and fraternity in labor impregnates all its doctrine and activity with a deceptive mysticism, which communicates a zealous and contagious enthusiasm to the multitudes entrapped by delusive promises. This is especially true in an age like ours, when unusual misery has resulted from the unequal distribution of the goods of this world. This pseudo-ideal is even boastfully advanced as if it were responsible for a certain economic progress. As a matter of fact, when such progress is at all real, its true causes are quite different, as for instance the intensification of industrialism in countries which were formerly almost without it, the exploitation of immense natural resources, and the use of the most brutal methods to insure the achievement of gigantic projects with a minimum of expense.
  1. The doctrine of modern Communism, which is often concealed under the most seductive trappings, is in substance based on the principles of dialectical and historical materialism previously advocated by Marx, of which the theoricians of bolshevism claim to possess the only genuine interpretation. According to this doctrine there is in the world only one reality, matter, the blind forces of which evolve into plant, animal and man. Even human society is nothing but a phenomenon and form of matter, evolving in the same way. By a law of inexorable necessity and through a perpetual conflict of forces, matter moves towards the final synthesis of a classless society. In such a doctrine, as is evident, there is no room for the idea of God; there is no difference between matter and spirit, between soul and body; there is neither survival of the soul after death nor any hope in a future life. Insisting on the dialectical aspect of their materialism, the Communists claim that the conflict which carries the world towards its final synthesis can be accelerated by man. Hence they endeavor to sharpen the antagonisms which arise between the various classes of society. Thus the class struggle with its consequent violent hate and destruction takes on the aspects of a crusade for the progress of humanity. On the other hand, all other forces whatever, as long as they resist such systematic violence, must be annihilated as hostile to the human race.



Dear Michael,

What an excellent quote from the works of Saint Pope John Paul. Thank you! :thumbsup:


Thank you for the note, RomanoAmerio. The excerpts from the Catechism footnotes where drawn from the Second Vatican Council {Gaudium et spes- the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World} and the Encyclical Divini Redemptoris of Pope Pius XI. Yet, St. Pope John Paul II had much to say on the topic. :slight_smile:


Yes, thanks for posting that M-Dent. Excellent.

More items for my “files for future reference”.

From today’s 1st reading (excerpt from Jeremiah 17) . . .

Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh,
whose heart turns away from the LORD.


Hi, Cathoholic!

…wouldn’t the same be true of governments or agents of power seeing themselves as humanity’s deliverers, as in the quest for world domination and the “new world order?”

Maran atha!



…wouldn’t the same be true of governments or agents of power seeing themselves as humanity’s deliverers, as in the quest for world domination and the “new world order?”

I would think it would be jcrichton. Good insight.


Thanks so much everyone.

And here I was thinking Communism had been eradicated…
Having always been stuck on understanding why Our Lady of Fatima had warned against the errors of Communism.

Bet I will get flamed for this, no wonder there is the angst against feminism.

Hmm existentialism?

Much reflection has me also thinking I was not using the word ‘that’ in the right context as in small emphasis that , compared with big emphasis that. Makes sense now.

‘every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment.’


Hi, Rose!

…remember also, when dealing with such issues, that it is man’s temerity to make God according to *his *image (“me, me, me”). :banghead::banghead::banghead:

Maran atha!



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