The compromise that the Catholic Church has made historically with the values and traditions of the Roman Empire, which is the Beast and (as a spiritual force) the ultimate rival to God. This compromise justified (to some extent) the Protestant characterization of the Catholic Church as Antichrist. The Catholic Church historically has made a mockery of Jesus’ call to servant leadership. It has acted like a kingdom of this world, and has been an instrument of evil in doing so. For all that recent Popes are extremely holy, they are struggling with a huge weight of custom and tradition (not necessarily infallible stuff) that makes their job very difficult.
You said that this was a place to vent, but I can’t just vent without giving the other side, because that would give rise to serious misunderstanding. Along with everything I just described, the Catholic Church is also the fullest and most central embodiment of the Body of Christ on earth. It is both an unholy compromise with the spirit of [pagan] Rome *and *the only force on earth that can effectively resist that spirit. Protestants tried to throw off Antichrist, and they delivered themselves (except for the Anabaptists) hand and foot into the power of the state–a far purer and more deadly heir to the demonic spirit of the Empire.
I’ve sometimes characterized the history of the past millenium or so this way, using a Tolkien metaphor I’m sure he would have loathed: Gandalf put on the Ring, but Saruman has cut it from his finger.
And Gandalf remains our only hope.
At the end of the day the most important battle between good and evil is (and has been for the past two millenia) the one that rages *within *the Catholic Church. The sides in that conflict are hard to delineate, most of all because in the end (as Augustine saw) the line between good and evil runs not just within the Church but within the heart of each Christian.
At the moment when we name another person or another group as Antichrist, we are in grave danger of becoming Antichrist ourselves. That’s the trap into which Protestants have fallen headlong. The only answer is humility and charity. Those are the only weapons Antichrist cannot twist to his own foul purposes.