I have watched a dozen of YouTube videos on the identity of the Sea Beast mentioned in the book of Revelation. Almost all these channels conclude that the sea beast is a religious institution that already exists. There are also thousands of website online that make the same allegations.

The first evidence they use to point to the RCC as the sea beast is the Daniel prophecy about a future institution that shall think to change the times and the law.

Daniel 7:25

He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall oppress the holy ones of the Most High; and he shall think to change the times and the law

It is common knowledge that the Pope transferred the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday which was also known as the Lord's day in those days hence a fulfillment of shall think to change the times which is the time of worship.

The Catholic Church also persecuted Protestants and they have apologized for this many times hence a fulfillment of "shall oppress the Holy Ones of the Most High". Some of those fleeing the religious persecution in Europe fled to America where they declared each individual had a right to freedom of worship.

The second proof they use to identify the RCC as the Sea Beast is the Biblical verse that says the beast is seated on seven hills and seven mountains and there is only one city in the entire world that fits this description: The Vatican.

Revelation 17:9

This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated

The third evidence they point to is that the sea beast has already been given authority over every tongue, tribe and nation which is a power only held by the RCC as it's the only institution found in all countries of the world

Revelation 13:7

And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation

Lastly but not least, the third evidence is the color of clothes Pontiffs and Cardinals use during masses and sermons.

Revelation 17:4

The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup.

It is crystal clear that priests use clothes made in Scarlet and Purple and there are golden cups all around during regular masses.

How do Catholics defend their faith from this allegations?

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    If you want the real answer: you will find that most catholics do not defend themselves, and the Roman Catholic Church in general is not in the business of defending itself against random allegations by random people on random websites, based on rather random malicious private interpretations of selected bits and pieces from Holy Scripture. That, I am afraid, is the real answer to your exact question. Fortunately for you there are also some catholics, some even active on this website, who are always ready to answer those allegations thoroughly, even knowing just new allegations will be brought
    – ABM K
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 12:25
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    Prophecies tend to be vague enough for there to be many not-entirely-unreasonable ways to interpret it. Dismissing a particular interpretation is therefore not particularly difficult. However, multiple reasonable interpretations also implies that it would be quite difficult to justify that one's own interpretation is the only correct one, or that the prophecy is meaningful.
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 16:22
  • 2
    ??? Goalposts are supposed to be fixed in the ground.
    – user3961
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 17:24
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    @FewAgainstMany-Israel One city in the entire world in the context of Christianity? There is also San Francisco, Washington D.C., Mecca, Moscow and several dozens more en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 18:18
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    @ABMK The primary message of most Protestant reformers is not "random malicious people". These things weren't invented by some modern YouTube nutters. They go back centuries.
    – user3961
    Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 13:48

4 Answers 4


How do Catholics respond to the Roman Catholic Church being referred to as the sea beast?

Prophecy is, more than not, only understood only after the events predicted come to pass.

Thus, Catholics would not put any stock into any individual or group referring to the Catholic Church as an institution as being the sea beast of the Book of Revelation.

To be honest, this is not the first time the Church has been called out as being the sea beast or the whore of Babylon.

There will be more rodeos that the Church will have to endure, and, as always, they will pass away.

As for the minor points:

  • The Pope did not transfer the Sabbath to Sunday. History should be investigated properly and not by mere blogs on the Internet. The Early Church did this, not the pope. The pope merely sanctioned later the existing tradition that had already existed.

St. Ignatius (Ep. ad Magnes. ix) speaks of Christians as "no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord's Day, on which also Our Life rose again". In the Epistle of Barnabas xv we read: "Wherefore, also, we keep the eighth day (i.e. the first of the week) with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead".

St. Justin is the first Christian writer to call the day Sunday (I Apol., lxvii) in the celebrated passage in which he describes the worship offered by the early Christians on that day to God. The fact that they met together and offered public worship on Sunday necessitated a certain rest from work on that day. However, Tertullian (202) is the first writer who expressly mentions the Sunday rest: "We, however (just as tradition has taught us), on the day of the Lord's Resurrection ought to guard not only against kneeling, but every posture and office of solicitude, deferring even our businesses lest we give any place to the devil" (De orat. xxiii; cf. Ad nation. I, xiii; Apolog. xvi).

These and similar indications show that during the first three centuries practice and tradition had consecrated the Sunday to the public worship of God by the hearing of the Mass and the resting from work. With the opening of the fourth century positive legislation, both ecclesiastical and civil, began to make these duties more definite. The Council of Elvira (300) decreed: "If anyone in the city neglects to come to church for three Sundays, let him be excommunicated for a short time so that he may be corrected" (xxi). In the Apostolic Constitutions, which belong to the end of the fourth century, both the hearing of the Mass and the rest from work are prescribed, and the precept is attributed to the Apostles. The express teaching of Christ and St. Paul prevented the early Christians from falling into the excesses of Jewish Sabbatarianism in the observance of the Sunday, and yet we find St. Cæsarius of Arles in the sixth century teaching that the holy Doctors of the Church had decreed that the whole glory of the Jewish Sabbath had been transferred to the Sunday, and that Christians must keep the Sunday holy in the same way as the Jews had been commanded to keep holy the Sabbath Day. He especially insisted on the people hearing the whole of the Mass and not leaving the church after the Epistle and the Gospel had been read. He taught them that they should come to Vespers and spend the rest of the day in pious reading and prayer. As with the Jewish Sabbath, the observance of the Christian Sunday began with sundown on Saturday and lasted till the same time on Sunday. - Sunday

The designation "city of seven hills" could fit cities other than Rome: Constantinople, and even Jerusalem. People like to single out Rome.

That's right—Jerusalem has seven hills.

Jerusalem's Seven Hills Map

What did Christ mean when He said in Luke 13:33: “… it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem”?

The other minor points are mere interpretation of events to fit into one’s dislike of Catholicism to be of any serious note. I will not waste my time in it.

  • What about all the evidence they suggested, especially this one the woman sits on seven mountains Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 11:58
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    @FewAgainstMany-Israel I have already answered that as a separate question.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 12:00
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    @FewAgainstMany-Israel "If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household!" Why would any Christian think that being called evil is proof that he is wrong?
    – Mary
    Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 3:47
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    @FewAgainstMany-Israel Irrelevant. The question was whether calling someone demonic means he's in the wrong, which hits on the very point of that verse.
    – Mary
    Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 13:14
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    @FewAgainstMany-Israel Also "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." To do something in the same spirit as someone else is to belong to the "them" that includes them.
    – Mary
    Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 18:23

In supplement to Ken Graham’s very well put together criticism, I would like to point out perhaps the most fatal flaw in your argument, namely that the Vatican (or Rome, as we can put it) doesn’t sit on 7 hills.

Now while we may be colloquially tempted to refer to Vatican as Rome, it’s important to be precise. Either Rome in the argument refers to the diocese of Rome (which I will address in a second) or it refers to the Vatican itself. But the Vatican sits on one hill, Vatican Hill, which isn’t even one of the seven hills that Rome sits on (on the other side of the tiber).

The topography of the city of Rome. Vatican Hill sits to the west of the Tiber River.

However, the objector may argue that we should instead look at the diocese under the Vatican. But this too is problematic. The Diocese of Rome covers more than 7 hills, see its main jurisdiction below.

Diocese of Rome

Therefore, it is geographically impossible for the Vatican to be the woman who sits on 7 hills!

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    @PaŭloEbermann that makes no sense. Revelation was written in 96AD by the apostle John. The see of Rome has existed since the beginning (founded by Peter and Paul). How did they “change” the seat of the church? What evidence do you have that the church moved? And even if it has, it still means it can’t apply to them because they don’t sit on seven hills.
    – Luke Hill
    Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 3:14
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    Pedantically, if there are eight, ten, or fifteen hills, then there are automatically also seven hills. You can achieve whatever number of hills you want by redefining what counts as a hill, or by gerrymandering the borders of the thing that sits on them. For some strange reason, prophecies never include actual definitions of their terms.
    – barbecue
    Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 20:54
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    @barbecue if it is not exactly 7 hills, then you’ve redefined the prophecy to be so broad that it could apply to a whole lot more. Now I think 7 hills is much more obviously a reference to the pagan Rome of the day that was torturing and killing Christians, as “7 hills” is important to its founding myths and such. No need to overcomplicate it.
    – Luke Hill
    Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 22:40
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    @LukeHill back then Rome had 7 hills, but the Vatican was not the center of the church until later. (But don't try to convince me, I don't really care about the prophesy either way. This was meant more as a joke.) Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 0:18
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    But if you ignore all the ways it doesn't fit... it's a perfect fit!
    – nasch
    Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 22:11

This is of course my simple opinion. Not an official doctrine or anything like that.

An initial argument. If "the devil" wanted to destroy the church, would he use a random sect from a remote country, or he would infiltrate the one true church?

The one who betrayed Jesus was inside his close circle. It was more "damaging" than a random guy out there. (Damaging but also God converted the "damage" into a tool for our redemption)

So for me, it is totally plausible that the beast would infiltrate and corrupt to some extent the Vatican. But I trust Jesus when he said "And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." I should say that the Vatican is not the same as the Catholic church. But this "test", even very damaging and evil will be a tool for Jesus to prevail.

That being said Let us explore a bit the question or allegations.

The second proof... seven hills and seven mountains and there is only one city in the entire world that fits this description, The Vatican."

My initial comment was regarding this idea. If "the devil" wanted to usurp a "chair" he would target the "real chair". Imagine a historical battle where a usurper wanted to claim the crown of a country, would he target a random chair at a bar, or the one at the official residence? Even he is not the "chairman".

But Let's explore Rev. 17:9-10

"The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings..." In my opinion, trying to interpret Revelation as a textbook is a little pretentious. It says the hills "ARE ALSO" seven kings. I am not a theologian, but it is plausible that the hills are not a mass of land, but positions of power.

The Catholic Church also persecuted protestants... fled to America where they declared each individual had a right to freedom of worship.

I attribute this to human stupidity, not to any Christian doctrine. Your same argument could be used against protestants, for example regarding accusations of witchcraft.

There are different "interpretations of history". I am from a non-anglo country. Some historians of English-speaking countries, based on rivalry with the Spanish Crown, wrote history diminishing a lot of the Spanish institutions. This is part of "La leyenda negra". One example could be the Spanish Inquisition.

A historian wrote "Christopher F. Black, of the University of Glasgow, points out that the inquisitors were "more skeptical" of accusations of witchcraft than the judges of many Protestant and other Catholic states: "The Inquisitions, once fully established, consolidated the necessary "legal procedures in order to seek the salvation of souls and repentance rather than the corresponding punishments.

Is this a justification? No. Again I attribute this to human stupidity.

The third evidence... "And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation".

Using this as an argument, I could think of the UN, money, or even Google or the internet.

The Catholic church is FAR to have authority over everyone. On the contrary, in a lot of cases, it is persecuted. I could use one of your own texts as proof "There are also thousands of websites online that make the same allegations". Not only websites, but governments, education, culture, etc.

It is crystal clear that priests use clothes made in Scarlet and Purple and there are golden cups all around during regular masses.

This idea hurts me. Let me explain why.

Rev. 17:4

"She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries."

If "the devil" wants to do something sacrilegious would be this. The Why implies the reality that the "regular mass" that the cup holds, is the true blood of Jesus.

For me, it is clear, that Jesus asks his disciples to do this Luke 22:19 "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me". One of the maximum offenses would be mocking the most sacred of things.

For me, the beast mocking this, is proof of the reality of the mass in the first place.

It hurts me... The idea that people stepped on the blood of Jesus on the Calvary. There are many sacrilegious acts regarding the Eucharist.

I know protestants do not consider that the real blood or body. Just be respectful, not for the catholic, but for the remote, just the remote possibility: Mathew 27:54 "Truly this was the Son of God" And one day you don't say: "Truly this was his blood and body".

the Pope transferred the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday

I could argue was not the Pope. I would argue that "Dominus" day, Domingo in Spanish, was the day the Lord defeated deth. Dominusday is the day we should celebrate.

The old alliance was with the blood of the lambs in the door's lintel. The New Alliance is with the blood of THE LAMB, Jesus. As Paul say: in 1 Corinthians 15:14 "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith"

Our faith is not based on Jesus' Death but on his resurrection. This is DominusDay.

In short. Even if the scriptures refer to the Vatican, We know that is a test. The church will be put to a test, the same way Israeli people were, and the same way Jesus died on the cross, the Church will be put on the cross.

These are just some opinions of a random dude. God bless you.

  • It's not a single YouTube channel but several and the Bible says the testimony of two or more people is true Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 11:26
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    If the argument is "the testimony of two or more people is true" Then one billion Catholics, being the most numerous denomination should be. If you are asking a question, try to understand the answer. :)
    – Rafael
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 16:12
  • This argument is not a "YouTube" era phenomenon. It is almost an argument from some denominations to say they have the truth, and not the catholic church.
    – Rafael
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 16:14
  • go to YouTube and search the sea beast and open some of the links and you will see how many results come about but I do believe we shouldnt try to interpret prophecy until its come to pass like Ken Graham until it's happened Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 16:20
  • Again, This is not new. I have known these arguments for decades on "official" propaganda of some denominations. But also from some catholic circles (which need additional explanation, I'll try to expand on this). P.S. And the attitude of not "interpreting" is good.
    – Rafael
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 16:27

Very simple, the Catholic Church is the barque of Peter. It's hard to be both the boat and the sea beast. Nobody has any problem saying Rome was pagan, Protestants have some fundamental objection to it ever having become Christian.

As for Revelation, a much more fruitful interpretation is made by Dr. Scott Hahn in the Lambs Supper where he steps through the book of Revelation as an allegory (of sorts) for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

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