In researching how conspiracy theorists build entire plots of cosmic significance around events of minor importance (as I noted here and here), I located several anti-Catholic sites. I can’t say this was accidental, as I was specifically looking for something a Seventh-Day Adventist had shared with me 30 years ago, about Napoleon and a pope’s chair in 1798 and the letters of various papal titles adding up to 666. That stuff is still out there; someone still believes it, anyway.
I am familiar with a strong Baptist strain of anti-Catholicism, as my boys were exposed to it occasionally at Baptist schools, but the attitude there was more “well, their doctrine is so wrong that they’re not really Christian,” than obsessive proofs about how the Roman Church is the Antichrist. I knew that the latter attitude was probably still out there, but I haven’t run across it in person for many years now. Our congregation rents space from an SDA concregation, so I see their fliers and the covers of their pamphlets pretty regularly and don’t think that the Pope=Antichrist doctrine is as important as it once was. I don’t read it in any detail, however, and I know that this pernicious belief is strong in the Ellen G. White books so important to the founding of the denomination.
I don’t get any sense of how common this is, though. Any recent observations out there? Do you run across this extreme anti-Catholicism anymore, or has most of it watered down into the Baptist/fundamentalist version, as above? And actually, I don’t know as I run into even that all that often anymore.