666 and Vicarius Filii Dei claims
Vicarius Filii Dei is NOT, nor has it ever been a title of the Pope. This little anti-Catholic gem was created by the Seventh-Day Adventists in an effort to discredit the “godless Papists.”
This title is a fraudulent one created out of nothing by Ellen Gould White, inventor of the SDAs. You will never find it in a Catholic document (or tiara, as the legend usually goes).
It’s a title (from one of the more famed forgeries of history, the Donation of Constantine) that other people use to prove a 666-antichrist-papacy connection and to show that, no matter who is Pope, the papacy and the Catholic Church are not of God. Also, Catholic apologists mention (to Seventh-Day Adventists in particular) that Ellen Gould White’s name totals 666 when given the same treatment.
Interestingly, if you take the Roman numberals used in Ellen G. White’s name it adds up to 666.
How’s that for irony?
Let’s consider this accusation. Latin, Greek, and Hebrew have numerical values assigned to various letters in their alphabets. In Latin the values are: I=1, V=5, X=10, L=50, C=100, D=500, M=1,000. By extension W=10 (because W=VV, or two Vs together), and U=V (because there was no letter U for the Romans; where you see the letter U in modern writing, use the letter V instead).
As you can work out for yourself, Vicarius Filii Dei does add up to 666 in Latin: Vicarius=112; Filii=53, Dei=501. (Ignore letters which are not assigned a numerical value.) The problem is that Vicarius Filii Dei is NOT a title of the pope. One of his titles, in fact his chief title, is Vicarius Christi (Vicar of Christ), but, unfortunately for Seventh-Day Adventists and other anti-Catholics who attempt to use this ploy, Vicarius Christi adds up to only a measly 214, not the infernal 666.
Since the average person, Catholic or Protestant, hasn’t the foggiest idea what the pope’s titles are in Latin or English, anti-Catholics (some of whom know better) can get away with this subterfuge.
But what if one of the pope’s titles did add up to 666? Would that coincidence prove the pope is the beast? Hardly. It would prove nothing because lots of names and titles add up to 666. By using a nifty little technique you can force a Seventh-Day Adventist to admit that the addition to 666 proves nothing, even when it’s a papal title that’s in question. Here’s how.
Have your son-in-law do the math, and he’ll be shocked to learn that the name of the woman who started Seventh-Day Adventism, Ellen Gould White, adds up to 666: Ellen=100, Gould=555, White=11. Ask him whether this “proves” that the foundress of his religion was the beast? If he says “No,” then the tallying of the name means nothing. If he says “Yes,” then what’s he doing belonging to a church founded by the beast? Either way his argument collapses. (Isn’t apologetics fun?)