The Mark of the Beast? I vote for something more mystical and subtle, but still all too down to earth and nitty-gritty. I vote for assent to the Vatican II Pentecost. The mark of the Beast is he mark of that ultimate degradation on the would-be Catholic mind and will and soul.
Prophecy gets tweaked sometimes by Providence. Look at how Jesus would be Son of David even if the Blessed Virgin did not spring from the loins of David and only Joseph was of the house of David. Remember how on their walk down from Mount Tabor Christ remarked to the three apostles that John the Baptist, who was not Elijah, was Elijah enough for prophetic purposes.
Let's say that a cardinal archbishop with a sterling reputation for orthodoxy who may be the next leader of the Vatican City state perpetrates an unspeakable sacrilege against the Person of Our Blessed and Divine and All Holy Lord Jesus Christ and continues to justify it according to a Twilight Zone/Wonderland understanding of God and righteousness and common decency.
Let's say that our own natural reason assures us with infallible certitude ("within its sphere reason is infallible") that the common run of half way decent infidel or Mason or pimp or psychokiller or raving madman nonetheless feels strongly that the Person of the Carpenter is sacred and off limits from that kind of "theological/artistic" assault.
Let's say further that much to our horror we discover within ourselves not the natural, decent horror and indignation of these unregenerate outsiders but some kneejerk (or souljerk) compulsion to "doublethink" such an abomination of the New Pentecost and play them down and even to the slightest degree invoke pious parochial Romanist bromides that tend to favor them. ("Ours is not to judge prelates and their possible unfortunate deeds. Ours to humbly seek the good in all they do and pray for them when good we cannot find.")
Whatever the "mark of the Beast" really is in the literal sense as a physical tracking device that the likes of George Bush might want to employ if Condi or Dick told him it was a swell idea, it could not even begin to a worse evil than the evil of ratifying ultimate assaults on God and Goodness by Roman Catholic Churchmen in the name of some smarmy, fake little pretense of "Swiss Guard" style loyalty to clerics and the hierarchical operation.
I claim that the injunction "Ours not to judge etc...", thus misapplied, is the Mark of the Beast.
Sometimes First Philosophy is the way to the truth of Last Theology.