The "restrainer" -- that isn't Douay-Rheims! -- seems to be Jesus, as gladius says.
And we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto him:
That you be not easily moved from your sense, nor be terrified, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle, as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand.
Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition,
Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God.
And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time.
Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way."
It can't be the Great Monarch because Paul says that both the "mystery of iniquity" and "he who now holdeth" were at work at the time he, Paul, was speaking. But the Great Monarch was not holding back iniquity during the lifetime of St. Paul!
Paul also expects his audience to know what he is talking about. They would have had no clue about such a concept as the Great Monarch, and would have assumed he meant God or Christ.
"And now you know
what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time."
Having been converted to the true religion, NOW -- meaning way back then -- the disciples of Christ knew what was stopping the rise of the man of sin: Christ in the Eucharist.
This is not to say that the Great Monarch prophecies are not true. The Great Monarch and the Angelic Pastor could easily restore "he who now holdeth" to the altars where He belongs. But neither of them are in themselves "he who now holdeth."
Paul speaks of the Man of Sin as one man here, not a series of five anti-Popes ( or more, now that I am on the scent of Pius XII and the "rhythm method" ). The reason I have come to believe he is in the future is because of this section of the Apocalypse 18:1-3:
And after these things, I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power: and the earth was enlightened with his glory.
And he cried out with a strong voice, saying: Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen; and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every unclean spirit, and the hold of every unclean and hateful bird:
Because all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication; and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her; and the merchants of the earth have been made rich by the power of her delicacies."
I believe this "angel come down from heaven" IS the Angelic Pastor of prophecy, the one who works with the Great Monarch. "Angels" in the Apocalypse, according to Father Kramer, who proves his point well, are bishops. So an "angel come down from heaven" is a Pope, right? A bishop above all other bishops. I do not think I am stretching the approved Catholic interpretation by saying this. And this Pope, if I am correct, is particularly powerful and can only be the one who restores the Church after the nightmarish reign of BABYLON. Nowhere else in the Bible is a figure like this spoken of.
I will write more about my theories of "angels from heaven" and the Angelic Pastor elsewhere. The point is, these events have not yet happened. Babylon the Great has not yet fallen. Therefore, none of the VII Popes can be the actual man of sin because Babylon must fall and all the events of the Apocalypse have to play out FIRST. Only Christ can stop the Man of Sin, but it seems the VII Popes and Babylon will be stopped by the Minor Chastisement. If Babylon the Great was in the past, please tell me what it was... I can't think of anything.
Also, Belloc, I think I was right the first time and that Babylon the Great is America, not the Judeo-Masonic Republics collectively, because it is described as "that great city." It would be odd to describe a nebulous political and financial system like Judeo-Masonry as a "city." This "city" is really a nation and is contrasted by the prophet with other nations.
Though it is not the only Judeo-Masonic nation on Earth at the moment, the "great city" of America has nevertheless become the SYMBOL of this world-wide political and financial system. Its whole ideology, what makes the people tick, even, alas, many if not most of the Catholics, is the separation of Church and State and the "freedom" this has brought, precisely the "fornication" spoken of here.
This nation is worse off than Russia, worse off than anything on Earth. Russia did not FORNICATE, meaning it did not mix Catholicism with false religions. It may have been Byzantine Catholic for a hundred years or so but then it fell immediately into the Orthodox schism. But we mix Catholicism and anti-Christ Judaism, serving the goals of the devil while turning a blind eye and saying we are serving Christ
! If this isn't fornication. my friend, I don't know what is. In no other nation is the control of the Jews so accepted and even relished, where even the political "conservatives" lick their feet.
Spain, France, Austria and Italy, Ireland, Poland, the formerly-great Catholic nations like this, have also committed fornication to a lesser degree, but that is what the passage of the Apocalypse says. "All nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." But it is this "her" -- think of the Statue of Liberty -- who is the GREATEST fornicator.
Common sense tells us America is Babylon. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, talks like a duck -- it's a duck.
Are Spain, France, Austria or Italy really the "great city" known for wealth? And are they KNOWN, as we are, for religious liberty i.e. SPIRITUAL FORNICATION? With those countries there is rather a sense that they have been led where they never really wanted to go by evil leaders. But we revel in our bitter freedom from the rules and the law of God.
This nation then apparently DISAPPEARS OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH. Like a new Atlantis. The following passage is not just talking about a financial collapse but of total obliteration.
And a mighty angel took up a stone, as it were a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying: With such violence as this shall Babylon, that great city, be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
Whether I'm right or wrong about America being Babylon, at any rate, this is why I don't believe any of the VII or Rampolla Popes are THE Man of Sin anymore -- just a foreshadowing. There is much more that has yet to unfold.