The founding myth of Europe, or Europa, in its pre-Christian days was of a beautiful woman who was forcibly kidnapped by Zeus, the pagan god, in bull form. The bull is interchangeably referred to as a beast in pre-Christian literature. After being forcibly kidnapped, the woman is seduced by the bull, who represents the power of the whole pantheon of pagan gods. Willing submitting herself to the power of the pagan gods, she marries the bull and derives strength and riches from the spiritual force that she has wedded herself to.
St. John used the same symbol - a woman riding a scarlet beast - because to readers in the ancient world it would be clear that he was talking about Europe. St. John tells us that the Beast (paganism that dominates Europe) "was" (because Europe was pagan before Christ), "and is not" (because Europe will become Christian), "and shall come up out of the bottomless pit, and go into destruction" (because Europe will become pagan once again.)
Does this sound familiar?
St. John was telling us that Europe - who was pagan and became Christian - would apostatize in the last days and become pagan again. Except this time the beast that dominates Europe came "out of the bottomless pit" (hell) and "will go into destruction."
St. John calls Europe a "whore" because she has cheated on Christ - the force that made Europe strong, powerful, faithful, the "fairest part of Earth" - with paganism once again. That is why St. John uses the imagery of the "whore" throughout chapter 17.
Europe became powerful because the "blood of the saints" fought for Europe (protected it from pagans and Muslims), educated Europe (in the days after the Roman Empire collapsed it was Catholic monks throughout Europe that kept literacy and law alive and opened up the first institutions that eventually became schools) - and protected Europe spiritually from evil for the entirety of Christendom.
After God did all of this for Europe, after God rescued it from paganism and protected it from all foreign attackers and from the power of the devil, it has collectively chosen to submit itself to the scarlet beast from hell that is "full of names of blasphemy." That is why Europe is a "whore", who seeks to corrupt the rest of the world with her "whoredom."
Recall what Christ said about towns that saw miracles and had experienced God's great power and still rejected Him:
Woe to thee, Corozain, woe to thee, Bethsaida: for if in Tyre and Sidon had been wrought the miracles that have been wrought in you, they had long ago done penance in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment, than for you. And thou Capharnaum, shalt thou be exalted up to heaven? thou shalt go down even unto hell. For if in Sodom had been wrought the miracles that have been wrought in thee, perhaps it had remained unto this day. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. (St. Matthew 11:21-24)
Europe is the "mother of fornications" because every ideology that dominates in our secular age - freemasonry, secularism, atheism, materialism, socialism, communism, feminism - began there and spread throughout the world, as St. John says, and the world "became drunk with the wine of her whoredom." Europe has chosen to wed itself to ideologies that are straight from hell. St. John makes it clear that this beast - scarlet in colour, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns - is the devil incarnate.
Because Europe apostatized first - Europe started becoming extremely secular before North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia all of which are becoming secular following its lead - and used its great power to corrupt the world, it is in for special judgement. That is what St. John is describing in chapters 17, 18 and 19.
Don't believe me? Can you imagine that after all that God did for Europe, which I outlined above, after God made Europe the home of His Church, the European Union did this:
And, to shake their fist at God, they deliberately built the European parliament to look like this:
And put a woman riding a beast, Europe wedding itself to the devil, outside of their
parliament and on their money:
Or, as St. John says, "And he said to me: The waters which thou sawest, where the harlot sitteth, are peoples, and nations, and tongues" (Europe sits on many peoples, nations, and tongues a prescient description of the European Union.)
The last quarter of Chapter 17 and the first half of Chapter 18 describe what happens to Europe:
Europe may have decided to submit to the Devil, but the "beast" hates the Whore (Europe) and "burns her flesh with fire" (all of the wars of the 20th century.) This makes sense as Europe was the home of the Church for millennia and the home of millions of saints that spread the faith throughout the whole world. Even if Europe has decided to worship evil the Devil still hates it.
The next chapter - chapter 18 - after St. John expertly and clearly summarizes the return of Europe to paganism, details something frightening:
God tells His people, the faithful Christians that remain, to get out of Europe:
"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying: Go out from her, my people; that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and the Lord hath remembered her iniquities." (18:4-6)
God is telling His faithful that if we stay within Europe we may partake in her sins (the "European way of life" that has rejected God) and might suffer along her plagues.
Now please read this....
"As much as she hath glorified herself, and lived in delicacies, so much torment and sorrow give ye to her; because she saith in her heart: I sit a queen, and am no widow; and sorrow I shall not see. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine, and she shall be burnt with the fire; because God is strong, who shall judge her." (18:7-8)
God is going to destroy pagan Europe with fire.
I am absolutely certain of this.
This chapter has often been interpreted to mean the destruction of Rome but that is mixing up two separate events. The first event is the destruction of mainland Europe by fire. Perhaps that is why the Bishop in White is seen bleeding, in pain, going up a large hill in the partially released Third Secret of Fatima? The second event is the earthquake that destroys pagan Rome.
And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
This is not something to be sad about for the believer: Europe has been the source of every poisonous ideology that has spread among the world. The Europe that we love, that my parents came from, that created Christendom, is dead. It doesn't exist anymore. Only pagan Europe exists now. Chapter 19 tells us that heaven celebrates when Pagan Europe is destroyed:
After these things I heard as it were the voice of much people in heaven, saying: Alleluia. Salvation, and glory, and power is to our God. For true and just are his judgments, who hath judged the great harlot which corrupted the earth with her fornication, and hath revenged the blood of his servants, at her hands. And again they said: Alleluia. And her smoke ascendeth for ever and ever. And the four and twenty ancients, and the four living creatures fell down and adored God that sitteth upon the throne, saying: Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out from the throne, saying: Give praise to our God, all ye his servants; and you that fear him, little and great. (19:1-6)
I expect after the destruction of the European mainland, and the European Church, and the Beast that gives pagan Europe its power, for the Catholic faith to purify itself: "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give glory to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath prepared herself."