Question: In your response you overlooked what I think is CRI’s most legitimate objection to your thesis that the whore in Revelation 17 is the world church headquartered at the Vatican. That the whore is a city set on seven hills would eliminate the Vatican because it sits on one hill, not seven. And that hill, Vatican Hill, isn’t even one of the seven upon which Rome is built. In fact, all seven are on the other side of the Tiber from the Vatican. Are you ignoring these facts to promote, as CRI says, your own agenda?
Response: Let’s look at the facts. The Catholic Encyclopedia states, “It is within the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper is now confined.” That confinement came about fairly recently. Almost 800 years ago, Pope Innocent III abolished the Roman Senate and placed the administration of Rome directly under his oppressive control and that of his successor popes. Even before that time, the popes had for many centuries ruled as despotic kings over the entire city of Rome and its surrounding area, as well as over large territories across Italy, known as the papal states. It wasn’t until 1870 that Rome and the other Vatican-controlled territories were finally captured by the army of the newly united Italy. The Jews were liberated at last from Rome’s shameful ghetto and Pope Pius IX took refuge in Vatican City, which has been the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church ever since.
Nevertheless, that Church’s property and influence are not confined to Vatican City even today but extend throughout all of Rome. The Vatican owns about one-third of Rome and its influence is everywhere, through its monuments, churches and other institutions scattered throughout the entire city of seven hills. That Church proudly identifies itself as the Roman Catholic Church. A recent article in the National Catholic Reporter was titled, “Rome, where the pontiff is supreme”! It declared, “No city comes close to being so suffused with religious culture as Rome is with Catholicism. What has emerged over the centuries is unmistakably a culture of the papacy.” The article went on to refer to the monuments to Roman Catholicism found everywhere in Rome and stated that “All roads lead, sooner or later, down the via della Concilizione to the Vatican....Rome is...the world’s spiritual crossroads.”
Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Encyclopedia adds, “...hence, one understands the central place of Rome in the life of the Church today and the significance of the title, Roman Catholic Church....Since the founding of the Church there...Rome has been the center of all Christendom.” So Roman Catholicism itself claims that the city of Rome, because of its relationship to that Church, is the world’s spiritual crossroads...center of all Christendom! No other city on earth claims such spiritual leadership.
At the same time, the Roman Catholic Church (and the city it occupies and with which it is identified), in violation of its claimed relationship to Christ, has been in bed with earth’s rulers in unholy alliances throughout history, qualifying it uniquely as the “whore.” No other city on earth could qualify. By its own admission, the Roman Catholic Church continues to this day, as it has throughout history, to dominate the city of seven hills. For a full treatment of the identity of the whore, see A Woman Rides the Beast or the audio tape set, “The Kingdom of Blood.”