The office of the papacy is the “man of sin” of whom is spoken in 2 Thessalonians 2.
“Let not any completely deceive you in not one manner! for it will not be unless the defection should come first, and the man of sin should be uncovered, the son of destruction,” 2 Thessalonians 2:3 ABP
vs. 6 “And now that which restrains ye know, for him to be revealed in his own time.”
The papacy was revealed when the Roman emperors lost their ability to constrain it because of the destruction of the Roman empire. When pagan Rome was finally destroyed in 476 A.D., papal Rome rose to power since it was no longer constrained by pagan Rome.
From the Geneva Bible with footnotes:
vs. 4 “Which is an adversary, and (f) exalteth himself against all that is called God, or
that is worshipped, (4) so that he doeth sit as God in the Temple of God, shewing
himself that he is God.”
(f) All men know who he is that saith he can shut up heaven and open it at his pleasure, and took
upon him to be lord and master above all Kings and Princes, before whom Kings and Princes fall
down and worship, honoring that Antichrist as a god.
(4) He foretelleth that Antichrist, (that is, whosoever he be that shall occupy that seat that falleth
away from God) shall not reign without the Church, but in the very bosom of the Church.
vs. 7 (6) “For the mystery of iniquity doeth already (*) work; (7) only he which (♣) now
(h) withholdeth, shall let till he be taken out of the way.”
(6) Even in the Apostles’ time the first foundations of the Apostolic seat were laid, but yet so, that
they deceived men.
(*) To wit, privily, and is therefore called a mystery because it is secret.
(7) He foretelleth that when the empire of Rome is taken away, the seat that falleth away from God
shall succeed and shall hold his place, as the old writers, Tertullian, Chrysostom, and Jerome do
(♣) Which shall stay for a time.
(h) He which is now in authority and ruleth all, to wit, the Roman Empire.
Select quotes from Seventy Weeks – The Historical Alternative:
Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, 390 A.D., writes, “By the ‘Hindrance’ Paul means the Roman Empire.” This was also believed by Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, 400 A.D.
Jerome, 400 A.D., declared, “If St. Paul had written openly and boldly that the man of sin would not come until the Roman Empire was destroyed, a just cause of persecution would then appear to have been afforded against the Church in her infancy.”
Bishop Wodsworth wrote in 1850, “The earliest Christian writers declare…with one voice the ‘he who letteth’ was the heathen Roman Empire.” (Apocalypse, p. 520)
Tertullian: We pray for the Roman Emperors and empire, for we know that convulsions and calamities are threatening the whole world, and the end of the world itself, is kept back by the intervention of the Roman empire.
Jerome: The Roman world rushes to destruction, and we bend not our neck in humiliation…The hindrance in antichrist’s way is removing, and we heed it not…In that one city the whole world hath fallen.
Evangrius: The Roman emperors are driven from their kingdoms: wars rage: all is commotion: Antichrist must be at hand.
Thus, the pope is the man of sin and the antichrist.