Vatican as the Harlot of Babylon: Debunked

By Theodore Shoebat

Is the Vatican the Hatlot of Babylon? Where did this idea originate from? Most will be shocked to find that some of the greatest enemies of Christianity were the ones who developed or supported this idea: Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism; Muhammad, founder of Islam; John Huss, founder of the Hussites; and many of the most depraved heretics in Church history.

So why do many Evangelicals believe them? The shocking truth from history should help us rethink one of the most tainted ideas in Protestant theology. Many Protestant and Evangelicals think that it was first said by the Protestant Reformers, such as Luther or Zwingli. But this is false. This idea actually can be traced all the way back to the Middle Ages, from a gnostic sect in southern France called the Albigensians. These held a doctrine first contrived by one heretic from the third century, named Mani. He lived in Mesopotamia and started a cult called Manichaeism, which held–amongst numerous beliefs–that they were two gods, one of evil and one of good; that Christ never came in the flesh and that the crucifixion was a fantasy.

In other words, they were an antichrist, and so dangerous were they that St. John warned:

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (I John 4:3)

They also believed that the Incarnation of Christ never occurred; the sufferings of Christ and the Eucharist were an illusion, and even life itself was considered by Mani to be an abomination from which all of humanity should seek to be free.

This antihuman doctrine spread to Armenia where its subscribers called themselves Paulicians, and then this sect made its way to the Balkans where it influenced a man in Bulgaria named Bogomil, who would start his own cult in his country. Though Bogomilism went underground, it continued to grow like bacteria growing stronger in static murky water in the summer heat. It spread to Italy and by the twelfth century it made its way to France where its followers would call themselves Cathars, from the Greek word “pure.”

In a council conducted in Toulouse in 1119, presided by pope Calixtus II, the Cathars were anathematized as heretics. By 1165 the Cathars had become so numerous that they began to preach in the open, with the Catholic bishops too fearful to protest. They soon commenced to form their own church separate from Roman Catholicism, establishing as their own bishop one Barthelemy in their city of Albi, where they built the Cathar community–the strongest in southern France. It was because of this community in Abli that these heretics were called Albigensians. (1)

It was these Albigensians who affirmed the belief that the Roman Church was the Harlot of Babylon spoken of in the Book of Revelation. Because of this belief, the Albigensians sought out ways to utterly uproot Christianity from Europe. But for the sake of brevity I cannot describe all of their crimes, so I will mention one of the most significant. The head of this heretical group, Raymond of Toulouse, wanted the Muslims to destroy all of Christendom, and so sent his emissaries to the king of Morocco to give this request. (2)

We have heard many a time that it was the Catholic Church who collaborated with Muhammad, but the reality is that it was the Catholics who combated Islam while the heretics worked with the Muslims.

Who else taught that the Harlot of Babylon is the Catholic Church? There was another sect that came about in Bohemia in the 15th century called the Hussites, or followers of John Huss.

John Huss

John Huss

The Hussites rejected the Catholic Church’s authority, denounced the use of holy water, oils, the chalice, priestly vestments, all fasts, all feast days accept Sunday, open confession, prayers to the saints, reverence of holy images and all other Catholic rituals. (3)

These beliefs sound all well and good to the common Evangelical pastor, but lets look into their actions in order to see their intentions, for by their fruits you shall know them.

When Pope John XXIII issued a Bull declaring Huss a heretic, his followers seized it and placed it on the breast of a local prostitute and paraded her to represent her as the “whore of Babylon”, before casting it into the flames. (4)

A major faction within the Hussite heresy were the Taborites, who were founded when numerous Hussites ascended Mount Tabor to receive Communion. These shunned the Church Fathers, denied purgatory, prayers for the dead, and missals.

The Hussites established their own hegemony in Bohemia, where they would greatly persecute Catholics for not accepting the teachings of John Hus, their founder. Hussite professors in the University of Prague established a tyrannical council which would rule Bohemia; thus the university became the new Vatican. Hussite Lord Chenek of Wartenberg arrested the bishop Hermann of Prague and compelled him to appoint radical Hussites as priests. The archbishop Conrad condemned these actions and nullified the ordinations of these heretical priests. The committee of tyrants of the university more fervently connected themselves with Hussite doctrine and even imprisoned one of its own professors, Peter of Unichov, a sharp critique of Hussite thought. They tortured him and threatened him with death if he did not proclaim John Hus as a teacher of God.

The Hussites published their own manifesto in which it reads “that the faithful should repress all public sins.” It was a jurisprudence akin to Sharia, with anybody not agreeing with John Huss being deserving of punishment. A Taborite army under the command of John “the One Eyed,” captured the castle of Sedlec, killed its owner Ulrich and all of his retainers, and then cruelly told a group of six that if one of them wanted to be spared he had to decapitate the other five (and one of them did in fact comply).

The One Eyed was ruthless and pitiless; he captured priests and monks and burnt them alive, for he saw them as the ones who persecuted John Hus. Divisions broke out within the Hussites and the One Eyed saw to it that dissenters were also put to the flames. When Sigimund’s commanders executed four hundred Hussite prisoners, the Hussites responded by massacring one thousand four hundred Catholics. Twenty four priests were kidnapped and told that their lives would be spared if they accepted the Hussite manifesto, and no less than twenty one refused and were bunt alive. (5) A bloody war was fought between Catholic and Hussite, with the Catholics being the victors in the end.

Even the heathen Mongols wished to destroy Rome and all of Christendom. The emperor of the Mongols, Cuyuc Khan, had even wanted to war “against the Church of God and the Roman Empire, and against all the states of Christendom and the people of the west”. (6)

Moreover, a most damaging fact to the belief that the Catholic Church is the Harlot of Babylon, is that Joseph Smith–the founder of Mormonism–himself adopted this view.

Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith

The Book of Mormon directly attacks the Catholic Church, having the “prophet” Nephi declare that the Catholic Church was founded by Satan and was the mother of harlots:

And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity. And it came to pass that I beheld this great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it. And I also saw gold, and silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine-twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots. …that abominable church, which is the mother of harlots (I Nephi 13: 5-7, 34) (7)

Latter Day Saints president, George A. Smith, promulgated this belief in 1870:

If you talk with the various Protestant denominations about these points they will tell you that the Catholic Church had degenerated, that it had gone into darkness, was anti-Christ, and all this sort of thing, which doubtless was correct; and according to modern revelation this must be true; and being true, we are urged to the conclusions that all the sects and parties of the religious world are wandering into darkness. (8)

The Albigensians and the Hussites agreed that the Catholic Church was the whore of Babylon, and before you begin to have a liking for these groups because of this belief, there is another heretic that you should know about who also saw the Catholic Church as the archenemy: Muhammad himself.



Muhammad even prophesied that the Muslims would first conquer Constantinople and then Rome. At the time of Muhammad, Christianity was Catholicism, since Islam was founded centuries before the Reformation or even before the Eastern Orthodox schism from the Roman Catholic Church. The Quran, essentially, is a direct attack against the Catholic Church. Surah V in the Quran actually misconstrues the Catholic doctrine of Mary and accuses Catholics of worshipping Mary, a claim which Evangelicals accept and Catholics deny:

And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?'” He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.

This is why in 846 the Muslims made invaded Rome. It was in this glorious city where Saint Peter and Saint Paul preached, and it was now here where the Muslims sacked their sepulchers. They saw such profound monuments as idols, and when they entered the tomb of Peter they stripped away a silver altar, and overran Saint Peter’s church in the name of Allah and for their hatred of the Gospel. (9) They were not going to leave; they did not come for a vacation to Rome on cruise ships and decided to leave after a comfortable tour to the Vatican for Palermo–they were sticking around and a leader was needed to crush them. Pope Leo IV arose as the defender of the city.

Pope Leo IV

Pope Leo IV

When he first became pontificate he consecrated entire days to prayer and religious processions to render hope unto the people and to kindle the fire of Christian zeal after it had been blown away by the Islamic barbarians. He had the city’s walls repaired; fifteen towers were built or renewed, and an iron chain was drawn across the Tiber river to hinder any enemy naval ships from sailing into Italy. Before the Muslims returned to Rome Leo made a powerful prayer, that the God who had protected Saint Peter and St. Paul on the confounding waves of the sea would fortify the hands of his warriors who were about to fight the enemies of Christ. The Muslims made their maddening prayer to Allah and advanced for a naval attack. Strong winds came upon the seas and merciless waves crashed right into their ships; Muslims were dashed to pieces on rocks and those who survived shipwreck received no quarter from the pursuing Italian Christians. The remaining survivors were forced to labor for the repairs of the churches they vandalized, and thirteen silver bows found amongst the Arabs were used to ornament the altar of Christ. (10)

The Muslims till this day wish to destroy Rome, hence why in 2009 Yusuf Qaradaw–the most respected scholar in the Sunni Muslim world–stated:

So Constantinople has been conquered and now the second part of the prophecy remains, which is the conquest of Rome.

This hatred for Rome as an institution of the devil, was agreeable to the Protestant Reformers. The Muslims–under the Ottomans–still aspired to take Rome and destroy the Catholic Church in the days of Luther, and it was he and his followers who were willing to help.

Luther and his followers saw the Catholic Church as an institution of Satan that needed to be destroyed.


“Why,” said Luther, “if men hang the thief upon the gallows; or if they put the rogue to death,–why should not we, with all our strength, attack these Popes, and Cardinals, these dregs of the Romish Sodom? Why not wash our hands in their blood?” (11)

For this reason, Luther favored the Muslims and saw them as the tool of God to punish Europe for its sins, and hence the same reformer condemned crusading against Islam. John Foxe, a famous Protestant leader, claimed that he could not be certain as to whether the sultan of the Turks or the pope “hath been the more bloody and pernicious adversary to Christ.” (11.5)

The Protestant bishop of Salisbury John Jewel wrote this in 1571:

The Turk, they say, is now hovering upon Italy. He will at least bridle the ferocity of antichrist [the pope]. (12)

John Jewel

John Jewel

Zwingli, another major Protestant reformer, held the Turks as “Protestant allies.” (12.5)

Ulrich Zwingli

England and other Protestant powers even provided the Turks with war material, specifically tin which was essential for the Turkish cannons.

In 1529, once Luther realized that his own life was on the line, since the Turks were approaching Vienna, he wrote that war needed to be done, but not by the Pope, (13) as though he was now to be dictating who should and who should not lead battles.

It is stated repeatedly that Babylon is the mother of all idolatry. But my research shows that the mother-land of idolatry is not today’s Iraq, but Arabia, and that therefore Islam, with its Arabian origin, is the antichrist system.


In order to understand the antichrist system, one must comprehend the Tower of Babel, its religious system and its origins.

The Tower of Babel is known to have been built by Nimrod, (14) a son of Cush, the founder of Ethiopia.

Many have hastily identified Nimrod with a Sudanese or Ethiopian African, but my research shows that once Scripture and historical records are closely examined, Nimrod is found to be geographically a Southern Arabian. The most explicit biblical evidence for Arabia’s identity with Cush is Habakkuk 3:7:

I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.

Cushan, or Ethiopia, is clearly identified here as Midian, or a part of Arabia. (15)

Genesis 10:10 recounts that Nimrod founded a city in Mesopotamia called Akkad, which means that when Nimrod reigned in Mesopotamia there were Akkadians in existence in that region. In my whole research page I have shown how Akkadians, archeologically, have been found to be originally South Arabs, being related to the Sabaeans, a powerful South Arabian people.

Also in Sudan there were Sabaeans who affirmed that their place of origin was a region called Meroe (originally called Saba), and according to the ancient writer Juba, the entire Nile Valley from the city of Aswan in Egypt to Meroe was inhabited not by Ethiopians but by Arabians. This then helps shed light on the Arabian identity with Nimrod.

In my research I show that because of the south Arabian identity of both the Akkadians and Nimrod, it is conclusive that the pagan religion of ancient Arabia was followed in Shinar, where Nimrod’s kingdom was founded. Therefore the religion on which the Tower of Babel was based, had to have been Arabian. Who were then the deities of this religion?

We know that in both the Akkadian pantheon and language there is reference to a deity named “Alla”. I was the first point out that in the Atrahasis epic, which was written in Akkadian, there is mention of the god Alla, and that this god had to be equal to the Islamic Allah.

When the Akkadians traveled from south Arabia to Mesopotamia, they brought along with them their gods Athtar (Venus) and Shamash (the sun), both deities native to south Arabia. ‘Athtar is really a south Arabian equivalent to Allah, and the image of Allah–the Blackstone in Mecca–originally was dedicated to Allat or Athtar (Venus). Allat, in pagan religion, was both male and female, and thus equal to Allah.

With all of this said, we can now bring the connection between Allah and the Tower of Babel. In my research I show that several assyriologists–such as Budge, G. Rawlinson, and Stephan Langdon–have written on a certain tower discovered in Iraq called the House of the Seven Lights of the Earth, which has been identified with the Tower of Babel since after Nebuchadnezzar repaired it he wrote:

…[T]his edifice, the House of the Seven Lights of the Earth, the most ancient monument of Borsippa:–a former king built it (they reckon 42 ages), but he did not complete its head. Since a remote time people had abandoned it without order expressing their words. Since that time the earthquake and the thunder had dispersed its sun-dried clay; the bricks of the casing had been split; and the earth of the interior had been scattered in heaps. (16)

The “Seven Lights” refer to the tower’s seven stages, each of which was dedicated to a particular planet or deity. For this summary article, we will only focus on the fifth stage which pertains to the subject at hand, because it was dedicated to Venus or Ishtar or ‘Athtar. (17) According to Strabo Borsippa was dedicated to Artemis, (18) which would have been this very goddess, who was worshipped as Allat since a Greek engraving from 6 B.C. reads “Allat who is Artemis”. (19) This has a direct connection with Allah since he was the same as Allat, thus bridging the gap between the Islamic Allah and the Tower of Babel.

Thus when Isaiah speaks about the destruction of Babylon, he describes it geographically as Arabia, citing areas such as Seir, Teman, Dedanim, and Kedar:

And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, [with] a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground. O my threshing, and the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you. The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come.The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim. The inhabitants of the land of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty, they prevented with their bread him that fled. For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war. For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Within a year, according to the years of an hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fail: And the residue of the number of archers, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall be diminished: for the LORD God of Israel hath spoken [it]. (Isaiah 21:9-17)

Theodore Shoebat is the author of the book, For God or For Tyranny

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(1) *Carroll, A History of Christendom, vol. iii, ch. v, pp. 164-165; Moczar, Seven Lies about Catholic History, ch. iv, p. 89-91*

(2) *Peter of les Vaux-de-Cernay, History of the Albigensian Crusade, 12, 394, trans. W.A. Sibly and M.D. Sibly*

(3) *See Carroll, A History of Christendom, vol. iii, ch. xii*

(4) *Garvie, The Christian Preacher, p. 120*

(5) *See Carroll, A History of Christendom, vol. iii, ch. xii, pp. 508-511*

(6) *Carpini, The Story of the Mongols Whom We Call The Tatars, ch. 8, p. 86, trans. Erik Hildinger*

(7) *That this verse is directed against the Catholic Church, see Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History, ch. iv, p. 60*

(8) *Remarks by President George A. Smith, Reported by David W. Evans, Journal of Discourses, 13*

(9) *See Gibbon, Decline and Fall, vol. v, ch. lii, p. 973*

(10) Gibbon, Decline and Fall, vol. v, ch. lii, pp. 973-975*

(11) *See the Rev. John Fletcher, notes to the fourth letter of Maistre on the Spanish Inquisition*

(11.5) *See Jonathan Harris, The Ottoman Threat, in Thomas F. Madden, The Crusades, ch. viii, p. 193*

(12) *Bishop Jewel to H. Bullinger, in Hastings Robinson, The Zurich Letters*

(12.5) Scott H. Hendrix, Recultivating the Vineyard, p. 165, 2004

(13) *See Jonathan Harris, The Ottoman Threat, in Thomas F. Madden, The Crusades, ch. viii, p. 193*

(14) *That Nimrod was the king in Shinar during the building of the Tower of Babel, see Faber, Pag. Idol., vol. i, b. i, ch. i, p. 75. “The ringleader in this rebellion was Nimrod: for the city,” writes Faber, “which engaged in building, was called Babel or Babylon; and the beginning of Nimrod’s kingdom is said to have been Babel and three subordinate towns: their city also was built in the land of Shinar; and Nimrod’s Babel is likewise said to have been situated in the land of Shinar. There can be no doubt, therefore, that Nimrod’s Babel was the identical Babel”.*

(15) *See R. Jamieson’s commentary on Habakkuk 3:7*

(16) *Quoted in Philip Smith, Ancie. Hist., ch. x, pp. 200-201. Brackets and ellipses mine.*

(17) *See G. Rawlinson, The Religions of the Ancient World, ch. ii, p. 71.*

(18) *Strabo, Geography, 16.1.7*

(19) *See Javier Teixidor, The Pantheon of Palmyra, ch. iii, pp. 61-63.*


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