Question: You believe that the “Woman” riding the beast in Revelation 17 is the Catholic Church. But what about all the other religions and sects in this world? Surely they are not going to all convert to Catholicism? Further, Revelation:18:24 tells us (speaking of the Great Harlot), that, “in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” Are you saying Catholicism is responsible for “all that were slain upon the earth”?
Response: As to the “woman” being the Catholic Church alone, it is certainly true that the endtime religious system will have representatives from every “faith.” The late John Paul II worked overtime bringing representatives of all the major religions together at his first “World Day of Peace.” It was October 27, 1986, in Assisi, Italy, when Pope John Paul II called together the world religions and leaders “to pray and work towards world peace.” His successor has kept up the pace. On October 27, 2011, Pope Benedict observed the 25th Anniversary by having a “Day of Reflection and Prayer,” where he assembled the world religions and leaders in the same “holy place” of Assisi known to “Saint Francis and Saint Clare.”
The frequently uttered phrase of Catholic apologists is “home to Rome.” One group is named “the Coming Home network.” As we have pointed out, these organizations all talk about bringing people to Rome—but never to Christ.
This is important. For example, a Muslim would not willingly join an organization if the biblical Jesus were presented. A religious system may, however, contain elements that are attractive to many. Within Catholicism are the many alleged apparitions of Mary, including those at “Fatima.” John Paul II attributed his survival from the May 13, 1981, assassination attempt to the intervention of the Virgin of Fatima. The favorite daughter of Muhammad was named Fatima.
Interestingly enough, a palm-shaped amulet popular in Muslim North Africa is called “the hand of Fatima.” Depicting the open right hand, the amulet is used as a sign of protection, providing protection against the “evil eye” (Bernasek, Lisa. Artistry of the Everyday: Beauty and Craftsmanship in Berber Art. Peabody Museum Press, 2008, p. 12). It was so named to commemorate Muhammad’s daughter Fatima Zahra. In the Ottoman Empire, some of those calling themselves Christians called it “the hand of Mary,” for the mother of Jesus.
The pope, being an enthusiastic promoter of Mary, has used this commonality to snare the interest of those within Islam, and there has been a response.
You imply that the Roman Catholic Church could not be the woman on the beast because of Revelation:18:23-24 saying: “in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” If these verses were a literal accounting of all the blood spilled upon the earth, you would have a point. It is not, however, all those slain upon the earth, but of those slain upon the earth, specifically including “prophets” and “saints.” The “blood” of victims from all these peoples are found “in her.”
The Roman Catholic system has a presence in every nation upon the earth, and pioneer missionaries working in remote tribes must prepare for the inevitable arrival of Catholic missionaries seeking to assert Rome’s “authority.” Although the Roman system claims to be the authority of Christ upon the earth, it is promoting a “gospel” that keeps people from the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The anathemas of the Council of Trent (reaffirmed by Vatican II) are still in effect. They still warn: “anyone [who] says that the sinner is justified by faith alone...let him be anathema” (Canon 9).