In many Protestant traditions, eschatology has a major bearing on many other aspects of the faith, including soteriology and Christology. Especially in Pentacostal and Charismatic churches, as well as groups like the Jehovah's Whitnesses and the Chuch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, end times teachings have a major influence on operations and ministries of the church.

Does the Catholic Church have a difinitive doctrine of the end of days and second coming of Christ?


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Yes, the Catholic Church does have a definitive eschatology. A good overview of it can be found in

The best Catholic commentary on the Book of the Apocalypse:

Among the catechisms:

The Roman Catechism gives the conditions for the end of the world (cf. Matthew 24 and ch. 1 of The End of the Present World):

The Sacred Scriptures inform us that the general judgment will be preceded by these three principal signs: the preaching of the Gospel throughout the world, a falling away from the faith, and the coming of Antichrist. "This gospel of the kingdom," says our Lord [Matt. 24:14], "shall be preached in the whole world, for a testimony to all nations, and then shall the consummation come." The Apostle also admonishes us that we be not seduced by anyone, "as if the day of the Lord were at hand; for unless there come a revolt* first, and the man of sin be revealed,"[2 Thes. 2 ff.] the judgement will not come.

[*This revolt is understood to be a spiritual revolt; cf. my answer to "What is the Roman Catholic interpretation of 2 Thes. 2:3?".]

What distinguishes Catholic eschatology is its insistence on Matt. 24:36:

But of that day and hour nobody knoweth, neither the Angels of heaven, but the Father alone.

Also, Catholic eschatology opposes Millenarianism (Chiliadism), which a Decree of the Holy Office on 21 July 1944 condemned:

2296 In recent times on several occasions this Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office has been asked what must be thought of the system of mitigated Millenarianism, which teaches, for example, that Christ the Lord before the final judgment, whether or not preceded by the resurrection of the many just, will come visibly to rule over this world. The answer is: The system of mitigated Millenarianism cannot be taught safely.

I've only treated what precedes the General Judgment and haven't even touched upon the Four Last Things, but the above resources are excellent places to start for understanding Catholic eschatology.

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