Modern Catholic Millennialism

Massimo Introvigne

in The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780195301052
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Modern Catholic Millennialism


This article gives an overview of modern Catholic millennialism. Despite staunch opposition from the Vatican, millennialism emerged among fringe Catholic groups, and even came to influence slightly the Catholic perception of Islam. While sanctioning elements such as judgment day, persecution, and the apparition of the Antichrist Roman Catholicism condemns the ideas of the thousand years of kingdom and secular messianism, stating that the latter is akin to communism. As a result, confrontation arose with regards to terminology—while apocalypticism was considered appropriate, millennialism was thought to be pitching the objectionable idea of Christ's reign on Earth. Melanism propounded by Melanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud became the basis for several tenets of Catholic millennialism, based on Marian apparitions. Louis Massignon (1883–1962) extended a parallel between the persecution of Shi'i Muslims and their founder Ali, and the similar fate of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, while proclaiming that when the time comes, God himself will convert Muslims to Christianity.

Keywords: Marian apparitions; Melanism; Marie Antoinette; modern Catholic millennialism; Catholic perception of Islam; apparition of the Antichrist

Article.  8387 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Christianity

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