The Catholic Church teaches that the Antichrist in the final endtimes is a man

I had thought for sure that the Antichrist in the final Endtimes is a man, but for a while I wasn’t sure about it since the description of the final Endtimes Antichrist in the Catechism of the Catholic Church is unclear about whether we are talking about a man or just a heresy. But after searching, I found a General Audience by Pope Benedict XVI today that confirms that the Catholic Church does teach that the Antichrist in the final Endtimes is a man and not just a heresy. The following is a supporting excerpt from the Pope’s General Audience:

The continuation of this text announces that before the Lord’s arrival there will be apostasy, and one well described as the “man of lawlessness”, “the son of perdition” (2: 3) must be revealed, who tradition would come to call the Antichrist.

I’m posting this because I couldn’t find a clear answer to this question by searching other questions and answers about it. And maybe someone else might be trying to find the answer like I was.

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, quoted from vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c2a7.htm How can there be a pseudo-messianism" without a “pseudo-messiah”? And also John 5:43, which I’ve always interpreted as being unequivocally about the man who will be the Antichrist. What you linked just reinforced and confirmed my belief.

Catholic commentators have taught that the Antichrist is a man at the end times for many centuries. With the different senses of Scripture that the Catholic Church has always analyzed Scripture with, the Antichrist can be understood in various ways, but he is literally a man who is to come. Here are some footnotes that I have gathered for 2 Thessalonians for the Aquinas Study Bible, you will notice that these are quotes from the Church Fathers that go all the way back to the 2nd century.

2:3 the rebellion comes first: The Great Tribulation at the end of time. It will be a time when almost all men shall rush from the Truth to that Deceiver. (Ishodad of Merv) man of lawlessness: he is the Antichrist; as it is taught to us in both the ancient and the new prophecies, and especially by the Apostle John 1Jn 4:1-3. (Tertullian)

2:4 exalts himself against every: From this it shows that the Antichrist will even overturn idolatry, which the Devil introduced, and he will put an end to every sect which opposes him. (Theodore of Mopsuestia) temple of God: There are a few different interpretations. One is that he means, the Temple of the Jews which has been destroyed. For if the Antichrist comes to the Jews as Christ, and desires to be worshipped by the Jews, he will make great account of the Temple, that he may more completely beguile them; making it supposed that he is the man of the race of David, who shall build up the Temple which was erected by Solomon. (St. Cyril of Jerusalem) For he will not come to us Christians, but to the Jews- not for the sake of Christ and Christians, for which reason he is called Antichrist. (St. John of Damascus) Thus it appears that he will either be of the circumcision or at least circumcised himself, so that the Jews will have the confidence to believe in him. (Ambrosiaster) As for the second interpretation, it will be in the real divine temple, that is in the Catholic Church. (St. Andrew of Caesarea) Or he referred to the churches, in which he will arrogate to himself pride of place, striving to declare himself God. (Theodoret of Cyrus) St. John Chrysostom and Theophylact also include both the Jewish Temple and the Christian Churches. Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret of Cyrus and Oecumenius include only the Christian Churches and not the Temple of Jerusalem. St. Irenaeus, St. Hippolytus, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Ambrosiaster, St. John of Damascus, Apollinarius of Laodicea and Origen include only the Temple of Solomon. St. Andrew and Haimo give an either/or, as well as St. Augustine and Thietland. St. Augustine, Thietland and Lyra propose that the text may mean that the Antichrist becomes the counterfit temple in comparison to Christ as the Temple.

2:6-7 restraining: Severian says it’s the Holy Spirit that restrains, while Ishodad of Merv, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret of Cyrus say its God’s decree. St. John Chrysostom, Haimo, Ambrosiaster, Thietland, Tertullian claim its the reign of the Roman Empire. I am of the opinion that this is concerning the binding of the Devil that we read about in Revelation 20. The Fathers don’t appear to make that connection, but it seems quite obvious from the eyes of an ammillenialist. I assume that there are some reasons why the Fathers did not make that connection; 1) is because some Fathers had not considered the book of Revelation to be canonical, and therefore would not have connected those passages together. 2) St. Augustine is the one who brought greatest development early on to Rev. 20 and the binding of the Devil, and therefore had not advanced far enough with it to connect these two passages.** mystery of iniquity:** Some commentators claimed that to Nero is given the name mystery of iniquity, and that he had become a worker of godlessness. On the contrary, the apostle is indicating the heresies that had sprung up, by leading people away from God. (Theodoret of Cyrus) Or, the mystery of iniquity began with Nero, who in his zeal for idolatry killed the apostles at the instigation of his father the Devil, and went on to Diocletian, and most recently Julian. (Ambrosiaster) And that, all the wicked who have gone before are signs of the Antichrist. (St. Thomas Aquinas)

**2:9 activity of Satan: **Here Paul shows that the Antichrist is one thing, and Satan, who works in him, is another. (Ishodad of Merv) And this implies that Satan will use him as an instrument, working in his own person through the Antichrist. (St. Cyril of Jerusalem) The Antichrist will do everything with the Devil. (Interlinear Gloss)

The last paragraph is the remedy for all ills:

At the end of his First Letter to the Corinthians, St Paul reiterates and also puts on the lips of the Corinthians a prayer that originated in the first Christian communities in the Palestinian area: Maranà, thà! which means literally, “Our Lord, come!” (16: 22). It was the prayer of early Christianity and also of the last book of the New Testament, Revelation, which ends with it: “Come, Lord Jesus!”. Can we pray like this too? It seems to me that for us today, in our lives, in our world, it is difficult to pray sincerely for the world to perish so that the new Jerusalem, the Last Judgment and the Judge, Christ, may come. I think that even if, sincerely, we do not dare to pray like this for a number of reasons yet, in a correct and proper way, we too can say, together with the early Christians: “Come, Lord Jesus!”. We do not of course desire the end of the world. Nevertheless, we do want this unjust world to end. We also want the world to be fundamentally changed, we want the beginning of the civilization of love, the arrival of a world of justice and peace, without violence, without hunger. We want all this, yet how can it happen without Christ’s presence? Without Christ’s presence there will never be a truly just and renewed world. And even if we do so in a different way, we too can and must also say, completely and profoundly, with great urgency and amid the circumstances of our time: "Come, Lord Jesus! Come in your way, in the ways that you know. Come wherever there is injustice and violence. Come to the refugee camps, in Darfur, in North Kivu, in so many parts of the world. Come wherever drugs prevail. Come among those wealthy people who have forgotten you, who live for themselves alone. Come wherever you are unknown. Come in your way and renew today’s world. And come into our hearts, come and renew our lives, come into our hearts so that we ourselves may become the light of God, your presence. In this way let us pray with St Paul: Maranà, thà! “Come, Lord Jesus!” and let us pray that Christ may truly be present in our world today and renew it.

The part of the CCC on this that I think is ambiguous is the phrase “by which man glorifies himself”. I think this could be misinterpreted to mean the Antichrist it refers to could be applied to mankind in general. So, I’m glad I found the General Audience by our Pope that clarifies and confirms that the final Endtimes Antichrist is a literal man and not just a heresy of egoism applied to mankind in general.

I’m interested in learning more of what the early Church fathers have to say about the final Endtimes Antichrist and all that goes on around him and his deception. I also want to read the writings of Saint Faustina and Sr Maria Lucia and what was revealed to them by Our Lady.

Any book in the Aquinas Study Bible that I have already done that explains the End Times I have many quotes from the Church Fathers that comment on it. I have done Revelation, which is loaded with end times and comments from the Fathers. sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/revelation/introduction

Also the book of Daniel has some interesting things as well sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/daniel/introduction

What did Severian say exactly?

How did he interpret Severian, Ishodad of Merv, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret of Cyrus interpret 2 Thes. 2:7 (For the mystery of iniquity already worketh: only that he who now holdeth do hold, until he be taken out of the way)?

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