A Catholic Rebuttal to
"What does the word Vatican mean?

The following rebuttal is from Theodore Seeber, a Catholic, in response to a challenge of mine to prove any error in my essay on the Vatican. Portions of my original essay are represented here in gray boxes, followed by Theodore's comments which are bracketed by asterisks, to which I have then added my response if any.

Where does the word "Vatican" come from and what does it mean?

The word derives from the Latin vates, which means "tellers of the future." This name was the name given to a hillside on the west bank of the Tiber River in Rome because daily lineups of fortunetellers used to hawk their "wares" there to passersby on the street. In the fourteenth century, when the papacy was returned to Rome from Avignon (France), the present-day Vatican became the residence of the popes, and the word came to refer to the enclave in the middle of Rome that had become the seat of the Roman Catholic Church.

Source: Incredible Book of Vatican Facts and Papal Curiosities, by Nino Lo Bello, Liguori Publications, Copyright 1998, ISBN 0-7648-0171-6, page 135.

***And to here, your scholarship is excellent. From here on, it's rather questionable***

Here is a verse from the Latin Vulgate Bible and King James as an example of the use of vatic (emphasis is mine):

12 et intellexi quod Deus non misisset eum sed quasi vaticinans locutus esset ad me et Tobia et Sanaballat conduxissent eum

Neh 6:12 And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.

***The book of Nehemiah was originally written in Hebrew, NOT in Latin, and thus is NOT prophecy about the Vatican***

I make no such claim about Nehemiah 6:12. I merely cite it to give an example of the root word "vatic" being used in scripture.

Now, note the following coins minted in Vatican City. The inscription on the reverse side of the coin reads in Italian "CITT DEL VATICANO", which as we can now see, means City of Prophecy.

***Of course it is the City of Prophecy, for during these reigns the Catholic Church fullfilled the Prophecy of John 17:1-26.***

Well the symbol used on those coins, a woman holding a golden cup, is not mentioned in that text, but it certainly is in Revelation 17.

 To get a closer look at a coin, click on it.

***Now here's where you begin to leave reality behind***

Rev 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

***Pagan Rome, not Christian Rome. This was NOT about the Vatican. The woman pictured on the Coin is Christian Faith, the Bride of Christ, in Revelations 12***

The woman in Revelation 12, a symbol of the true church, holds no cup. The woman in Revelation 17, a symbol of the apostate church, does hold a golden cup. FIDES on the coin holds the golden cup of the Catholic Mass. It is clear which prophetic woman in Revelation is depicted on the Vatican coins.

Interestingly, the word anus in Latin also means "old woman", so Vaticanus is a combination two words that also result in The Old Woman of Prophecy, this woman being symbolic of the Catholic Church.

***You neglected to mention it can also mean "pregnant woman"***

Interesting if true, but not relevant.

The depiction of the Catholic faith (FIDES) as a woman holding a cup appears to be quite common, and yet is apparently unique to the Catholic Church.

***Of course, the Cup of the Blood of Christ, see John Chapter 6***

The cup depicted on the coin does represent the Catholic Mass, but that is claimed to be an unbloody sacrifice.

There is a remarkable and direct correlation to these depictions of the Catholic faith as a woman, and the woman described in Revelation 17, as will be demonstrated.

***You haven't so far, and I doubt you can to anybody who actually understands that Revelation 17 is Pagan Rome under the Emperor Dominicus***

On the contrary, by minting those coins, the Catholic Church is clearly claiming to be the prophetic cup holding woman of Revelation 17, as well as the prophetic city of same chapter.

The woman of Revelation 17 represents the apostate church, the direct opposite of the true church represented by the woman of Revelation 12.

***A lie, straight out. The woman of Revelation 17 is Pagan Rome, under Emperor Dominicus***

Let the reader be the judge of any interpretation, but the woman of Revelation 17 cannot possibly be anything other than an apostate Christian Church that is the mother of other harlot churches.

Rev 17:1 ... Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

***Pagan Rome (unlike the Christian Rome which followed) controlled many different nations***

Pagan Rome never had the power or influence that the Roman Catholic Church has wielded historically, or even in the present day. Today Catholicism has global influence, in politics and religion.

The woman of Revelation 17 riding a beast is symbolic of the combining of the ecclesiastical power of church (the woman) and political power of the state (the beast).

***The Truth that Michael doesn't want anybody to know is that what it is really symbolic of is the Power of the State executing the "beast of war" upon the early Christians***

Pagan Rome was merely the beginning of Christian persecution. Catholic Rome far exceeded its pagan predecessor in this pursuit.

Rev 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

***Still talking about Pagan Rome***

Quite the contrary, the Vatican proudly proclaims it is this city by its very name.

The Vatican City is the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, and since the Lateran Concordat of 1929 it is also an independent country, the epitome of Church and State combined. Their full title in Italian is STATO DELLA CITT DEL VATICANO, as shown on the coin below from the pontificate of Pope Pius the 12th, which means:

The City-State of Prophecy

***The Prophecy of Revelations 12, if you were telling the truth instead of lying***

Calling me a liar is aptly described as an ad hominem. If you cannot refute the argument, then insult the person presenting it. That shows an inherent weakness on your part, that you are not able to defend your position.

 A woman (church) dressed in scarlet and purple.

***No, just a WOMAN dressed in Scarlet and Purple, the Emperor Dominicus was famous for cross dressing***

I will let the reader decide, based on the evidence presented.

 Rev 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

Here you see the Pope wearing scarlet and an Archbishop wearing reddish-purple.

***But of course, the Pope is a man, and wears a type of clothing that the Emperor Dominicus was never seen in, a Man's clothing from the 400s***

Does the pope wear the color scarlet? Yes, on occasion he does. Do Catholic Bishops frequently wear purple? Yes they do.

Below are photos from the recent signing of the Joint Declaration on Justification by Faith between the Roman Catholic and Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Churches in Augsburg Germany. The Roman Catholics were boldly wearing the prophesied colors of scarlet and purple.

***But they are also the traditional colors of the Holy Spirit and Penance***

By whose Tradition? Why Catholic hierarchy wear scarlet or purple is not relevant, that they wear those colors matches the prophecy.

Dressed in scarlet red is Cardinal Edward Cassidy, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. On the right wearing purple is Bishop Walter Kasper, secretary, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Seated on the left in black is Rev. Christian Krause, the Lutheran World Federation president.

***Yep. So your conclusion is obviously incorrect.***

You are welcome to your opinion.

In this photo of the audience at the ceremony in Augsburg, the Catholic cardinals are wearing scarlet red and the Catholic bishops are wearing purple. Cardinal Cassidy is in the center with Rev. Krause seated to his left (right in the photo).

***So what? Nobody's wearing *both* colors at once.**

A meaningless distinction.

Priests of the Catholic Church regularly wear red vestments on Good Friday, Palm Sunday, Pentecost, Birthday Feasts of the Apostles and Evangelists, and the Feasts of Martyrs.

***Because these are the days of the Holy Spirit***

That Catholic Tradition dictates wearing scarlet is a fulfillment of the prophecy.

Purple vestments are worn on Advent, Lent, and at Funerals,

***For remittance of sin***

Again, this Tradition is precisely what the prophecy speaks of.

although other colors are optional on some of those days. Other approved colors are white, green, black and rose and gold. A distinctive shade of bright orange-red designated officially by the Church as "scarlet" is frequently worn by Cardinals of the Catholic Church. Here you see Archbishops and Bishops in purples and Cardinals in scarlet.

***Yep, but nobody in both***

That is really nothing more than hiding your head in the sand, and refusing to see the truth.

A traditional "Red Mass" is also held for Supreme Court Justices in the United States, on the Sunday prior to the opening of the Supreme Court session. The Red Mass is an English tradition that was instituted about 1310 during the reign of King Edward II.

***And notice that this is an Anglican tradition, not a Roman one***

Obviously you have not studied this matter. There was no "Anglican Church" in the 14th century when the practice began, as mentioned above, and the quote below is from a recent Roman Catholic book. The Red Mass is indeed a practice of the Roman Catholic Church.

Red Mass - Ordinarily this relates to the color of the vestment used on the occasion of the Votive Mass in honor of the Holy Spirit, celebrated at the opening of councils, deliberative groups, schools, and such similar occasions when guidance is invoked. Frequently, at the beginning of a judicial year, such as a Mass is attended by judges and court officials for any civil court or legislative assembly with the intention that they might exercise equity and prudence while fulfilling their official capacities.

Source: Dictionary of the Liturgy, by Jovian P. Lang, OFM, copyright 1989 by Catholic Book Publishing Co., N.Y., ISBN 0-89942-273-X, page 541.

***That they should have the Spirit, thus you prove my point that this color is not related to the Whore of Babylon***

You are going to assert that scarlet is not a color related to the woman of Revelation 17?

 The Cup of Doctrinal Fornication

Rev 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

***Note that the woman was arrayed in both.***

Yes, she is, and as a church both colors are worn by Catholic priests. That one priest may not wear both colors at the same time is not relevant.

The cup illustrated on the three Vatican coins at the top of this article, and in the hand of the other symbolic depictions of FIDES, is the golden cup of wine of the Mass. Above it is the host or wafer of the Eucharist, which resembles a sunburst.

***Why do you think it resembles a sunburst, and not a halo?***

There is no difference in a halo or sunburst.

This is the reverse side of a papal medal minted by Pius XI in 1929 to commemorate the Lateran Treaty, which restored Papal sovereignty and made Vatican City an independent state. The sunburst wafer of the eucharist appears in the sky above the Lateran and St. Peter's basilicas, over the cup of the Mass.

***You're using the word Sunburst instead of Halo for a reason. I wonder how you're going to twist the truth?***

The halo is nothing more than an abbreviated sunburst.

The golden cup in the hand of the woman of Revelation 17 is full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication, which represent apostate doctrine, corrupt dogma, which she has made all the nations to drink:

***Thank you for contradicting the Bible here, see John 6:53-54***

The woman of Revelation 17 is without doubt an apostate persecuting church, and the passage you cite does not change that fact.

Rev 17:2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. ...

***Interesting how you claim the blood of our Lord to be Fornication***

The blood of Jesus Christ was shed at the cross, and is not present in the Catholic Mass except in a symbolic way. Claiming the Mass is the same sacrifice, the true body and blood of Christ, but in an unbloody manner is nonsensical and a corruption of the truth. Corruption of the truth is what Revelation means by fornication.

Rev 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

The Catholic faith is again represented in these paintings as a woman holding a golden cup with the round wafer of the Eucharist.

***And since the Eucharist is Holy, and not Fornication, it does not fit the prophecy of Revelations 17. But Dominicus was a great drunkard, and often had orgies with wine present, so it fits him perfectly***


Eating the flesh of another human being is defined as cannibalism. In truth, the Lord's supper is merely a symbolic memorial, and not a sacrifice.

***Of course, here you prove that you don't know the first thing about EITHER the Eucharist, or the Eternal Lord's Supper.***

That I reject Catholic teaching does not mean I am ignorant of the truth.

This oil on canvas of The Triumph of Faith which is in the Vatican collection, is by Gaetano Gandolfi and was painted about 1774. It is the preparatory work for the ceiling of a chapel in Bologna, and was given to Pope Pius X by the Sacra Congregazione di Propaganda Fide, otherwise known as the office of the Inquisition.

***Ah, the Inquisition. A wonderful group that did away with liars like you***

A comment that deserves no response.

Indeed, and it would seem that no other Christian denomination but the Catholic Church has depicted itself in this manner.

***That is because the other so-called "Christian denominations" have abandoned Christ***

No, other denominations have the common sense not to depict themselves as the woman of Revelation 17.

The earliest image of a cup-holding FIDES that I have found is on the gilded bronze doors on the south side of the Baptistry in Florence Italy, which date from the early 14th century.

***Which is all right and good, since we have long since proven that the image of the cup represents the Eucharist and the Faith.***

Actually I would agree with you there. The cup in the woman's hand does depict the Catholic Mass precisely. It is the same cup in the hand of the apostate woman of Revelation 17.

***The next section is taken through copyright infringement directly from certain works by E.G. White, an anti-Catholic "prophetess" of the early 19th century who didn't ever have a single prophecy come true***

Apparently I am not only a liar, but a plagiarist as well? The charges are both quite untrue, and I note that there is not one shred of proof offered. Ted will not be able to provide any proof of copyright infringement, because the works of Ellen White were not even consulted, much less copied, when I composed my essay on the Vatican.

Only the Roman Catholic Church claims to be the "mother" Christian church:

***Maybe because it is the Church started by Christ, as claimed here by the council of Trent?***

That is the logic that leads to the claim, and it merely fulfills the prophecy.


This self-proclaimed "mother" church is also Mystery Babylon, the apostate church of Mysteries and the purveyor of Babylonian doctrinal confusion. Note this quote of John Paul II from the Vatican Information Service press release dated 17 September, 1997, (emphasis is mine):

Thanks to greater attention to the mystery of the Church and Mary's relationship with her, the Virgin has begun to be invoked more frequently as 'Mother of the Church.'

***In what way does this quote prove that the mother Church is Mystery Babylon?***

It helps to document the association of the word "mystery" with Catholicism, a trait of the woman of Revelation 17.

Mystery is also the term used by the Roman Catholic Church to refer to the Mass, specifically the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. It is a key part of Catholic dogma. These are the words of the priest in Latin or English (emphasis is mine):

***But note NOT Babylon***

Mystery is a word associated with the woman of Revelation 17, for she is Mystery Babylon.

The Fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary are divided into three groups: the Joyful, the Sorrowful and the Glorious.

***So the Church has "mysteries", items taken on faith. But where is Babylon?***

That she relies so much on "mysteries" is a much a trait as the colors scarlet and purple.


1 Pet 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.

"Babylon" in this verse is widely recognized as a code word meaning Rome, not Babylon, since there is no evidence that Peter ever ministered in Babylon.

***And note the Church AT Babylon, Pagan Rome, not the Church OF Babylon. Mark this difference well, for you seem to ignore it***

That the name Babylon is attached to Rome is all that matters.

Roman Catholics have even acknowledged this association:

"Babylon," from which Peter addresses his first Epistle, is understood by learned annotators, Protestant and Catholic, to refer to Rome - the word Babylon being symbolic of the corruption then prevailing in the city of the Caesars.

Source: Faith of Our Fathers, by James Cardinal Gibbons, 111th printing, Published by TAN Books and Publishers, INC., P.O. Box 424, Rockford, Illinois 61105, Copyright 1980, page 87.

***Note: Symbolic of the corruption of PAGAN Rome, not Christian Rome.***

To admit such is to affix the name Babylon to Rome. That is sufficient.

The Roman Catholic Church during the "dark ages" is responsible for the persecution deaths of uncounted thousands of Christians who dared to read the Bible, translate the Bible or preach from the Bible or denied the apostate Catholic doctrines or dogma.

***Totally false, and you know it. The "Dark Ages" is a myth invented after 1500***

On the contrary, the dark ages were quite real, and the persecutions of that time are likely attested to by virtually any history book covering the period.

 The City of Seven Mountains

The woman of Revelation 17 sits on seven mountains:

Rev 17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

Look in any encyclopedia and you will find that Rome is known as the city of seven hills, or seven mountains, and Vatican City is located in the city of Rome. These seven hills are the Capitoline, Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline, CŠlian (Coelian/Celio), Aventine and Palatine.

***But NOT the Vatican, and there are other hills as well, why don't you list THEM?***

Rome for over two thousand years has been known as the city of seven hills. That is documentable fact.

Here is a coin in the collection of the British Museum, minted in 71 A.D. during the reign of Vespasian (69-79 A.D.), which depicts the city of Rome as both a woman seated on 7 hills, and a wolf suckling Romulus and Remus (just above the R in ROMA).

***In 71 AD, the city was still on 7 hills, and was still Pagan***

So under papal Rome, the Vatican has been considered within the city limits of Rome since the middle of the 9th century. (See: I. Introduction, of the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia article on the Vatican.)

***So you admit that you were wrong***

Hardly. Changing the city limits of Rome to encompass the Vatican did not change the city's claim to being the city of seven hills. I would venture to say most every encyclopedia printed even today still calls modern Rome the city of seven hills. Can anyone find a book that calls Rome the "city of eight hills", or "nine hills", or anything but "the city of seven hills"?

So even today, official Vatican territorial sovereignty extends across the Tiber into various parts of the city of Rome. It can even be said that the Vatican literally straddles, or sits over the seven-hilled city of Rome (Rev 17:9)!

***Only if you want to lie and exclude the 8th hill***

Oh, now I am a liar again?

Note what a Catholic "expert" at EWTN has said on this subject, to refute Protestant claims that the Catholic Church is described in the book of Revelation:

... "The seven heads represent seven hills on which the woman sits." First of all, no Pope has ever lived or had his "seat" (cathedra or cathedral) on any of the seven hills of Rome. These hills are small hillocks (Capitoline, Palatine, Esquiline, Aventine and three lesser "bumps" in central Rome) where the religion and government of pagan Rome was situated. The Catholic Church's headquarters at the Lateran (the cathedral) and at the Vatican (where the Pope lives) does not coincide with them." ...

Quoted from Whore of Babylon by Colin B. Donovan, STL, in the Frequently Asked Questions section of EWTN's site.

***Which is correct***


Mr. Donovan needs to investigate one of those lesser bumps (the CŠlian), and the history of the Lateran, a bit more closely. Just where Mr. Donovan thinks the Bishop of Rome's official cathedra actually is, he does not say, but I dare say that most any encyclopedia's articles on Rome and the Lateran will reveal the error of his statement. With that kind of "expert" answer on a prominent Catholic web site, it is no wonder that most Catholics don't know the truth on this subject. But the truth is available even on EWTN's own site:

***Congratulations on this lie, but saying so doesn't make it true***.

At least you apparently understand this principle. Neither you or Mr. Donovan offer any real proof, which is abundant in any library.

June Hager

Christendom's earliest basilica and home of the Popes for a thousand years St. John Lateran on the Caelian Hill.

***Note on Caelian Hill, not on Celio/CŠlian hill. It's a Different Place!!!!***.

Various sources will have different spellings for the hills, but it is easily checked. The Lateran is indeed on one of the seven hills of Rome.

St. John Lateran is Christendom's earliest basilica. Ordered by Rome's first Christian Emperor, Constantine the Great, it became the Popes' own cathedral and official residence for the first millennium of Christian history. ...

... Henceforth, the Lateran palace, known as the Patriarchate, was the Pope's official residence until the fifteenth century. ...

Source: February 1996 issue of Inside the Vatican.

***Correct, so you are a liar.***

Who do you think you can convince? Anyone who takes the time to check this will see that I am correct.

 The Universal Church.

The woman of Revelation 17 sits on many waters, representing authority over many people:

Rev 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

***As did Pagan Rome***

The word Catholic means Universal. So the Roman Catholic Church is claiming to be the Universal or Worldwide Christian Church, a claim of authority over all the Christians of the world.

***As per John Chapter 17***

***Note that the following deals with politics that most Americans don't understand, and that this is DEMANDED by John 17:11***

 Here are just a few examples of this claimed authority over Kings:


While not specifically written in response to all the facts presented in this article, here are two attempts at rebuttals of Protestant claims on Rev 17 online at Catholic Answers: "Hunt-ing" the Whore of Babylon and The Whore of Babylon.

***My goodness, I'm actually finished. Not only have you failed to prove that the Eucharist is fornication, but you have succeeded in damning the Protestant Churches for failing to preserve unity per John 17!***

I will let the reader judge whether or not my essay provides truth or error regarding the Catholic Church and its relationship to the apostate woman of Revelation 17. The facts will, I think, speak for themselves.