The follow excerpts in the box are from the original Thursday, September 10, 2009 blog entry VFD: Yet Another Post by Hugo Mendez:
... The weaknesses of this interpretation are profound, as I have argued before:
1. The VFD view selects only one (relatively uncommon) title of the pope to fulfill a prophecy of the "number of the beast." With so many other titles, nearly all of them far more common and invested with an more official status, why would one select this one? Honestly, why this one? There is one reason: this title, unlike the others, can be manipulated to fulfill the prophecy. As I have stated in one of my essays: "The VFD view effectively argued from convenience: seeking what worked to satisfy the 666 prophecy, no matter how tenuous the connections."
2. Just as embarrassing, the VFD view selects a Latin title which must be interpreted using a system of Roman numerals to fulfill the specifications of a gammatria prophecy written in Greek for a Greek-speaking audience. This fact alone makes the entire enterprise appear far too suspect and tenuous. How would one know to look for a title in the Latin language, and interpret it according to a Latin gammatrial system? Again: the VFD grasps unto what is possible, however stretched. (Note: Michael claims this is legitimate insofar as the papacy issues its documents in Latin and "obviously" is the beast. I am less than impressed.)
3. Finally, the view never connects VFD (as "the number of the beast") to the "mark of the beast," despite the fact that the two are equivocal according to the prophecy (13:17).
1. Vicarius Filii Dei has a long history of use in the Roman Catholic Church, which is now quite well documented, to include use by Paul VI as recently as 40 years ago. However, association of Revelation 13:18 to the papacy via this title proves nothing in and of itself. It seems completely arbitrary to anyone not familiar with the prophecies that pinpoint the Roman Catholic Church. You have to identify the little horn, the man of sin, the beast from the sea, and the harlot, also known as Mystery Babylon, first, before you look for an application of 666. Simply trying to pin 666 on any individual, without the relevant prophecies being understood, is really quite futile. By the way, no "manipulation", as Hugo put it, of VFD is necessary to arrive at 666, it is a simple straight-forward calculation.
2. What I actually said to Hugo was:
"The Roman Catholic Church is easily identified as the sole candidate for the Antichrist / Harlot Church based on the many other criteria specified by prophecy, Old and New Testament, and the title appears in official Church documents in Latin. It is irrelevant what language the prophecy was written it."
3. As to the mark/number of the beast issue, I explained to Hugo in my email:
"You should know full well that number of the beast and the mark of the beast are two different characteristics. The mark of Catholic authority over the law of God is Sunday keeping. The blasphemous name/title that equates to 666 is vicarius filii dei. By the way, it is significant that in Trionfo's Summa, which applies the title to the papacy, also attributes the change from Sabbath to Sunday to the Pope, and that it was in print for hundreds of years."