my priest, who previously was an RC priest, frequently references his strong belief that the east and west will be reconciled....and it sounds like its not far off....
but i am unsettled by that talk...having been evangelical for over 35 years (altho raised RC), i was drilled in Revelation studies including the "whore of Babylon" being none other than the Roman Catholic Church....
what does the Orthodox church teach re this passage?
thank you so very much- everyone here has been so kind, patient and helpful to me...
Here is a quote from Dr Constintinou's translation of St Andrew's commentary on Revelation. The RCC is not the whore of babylon, and I personally give little to no credit to any Protest
ant interpretation of the symbolism found in Revelation. Please forgive me for the length of the quote. I edited the quote to take out the page numbers, but left the chapter numbers, and moved the notes at the bottom of the pages to the end of the quote.
Here is the commentary on Rev 17:1-7.
Concerning the One of the Seven Angels Showing to the Blessed John the Destruction of the Harlot's City and About the Seven Heads and Ten Horns
Rev. 17:1-3 'And one ofthe seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me saying to me, "Come, I will show you thejudgment ofthe great harlot who is seated upon many waters, with whom the kings ofthe earth hâve committed fornication, and the dwellers on earth hâve become drunk with the wine of her fornication. " And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, 3and Isaw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was
 full ofblasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.
Some understood this harlot to mean ancient Rome,846 lying upon seven mountains, the seven heads of the beast which bears her to be the seven most impious kings from Domitian until Diocletian who persecuted the Church.847 But we, since we are being guided in accordance with the séquence,848 we would suppose she is either the earthly kingdom in gênerai as (appearing) in one body or the city which is to rule until the coming of the Antichrist. For ancient Rome from long ago lost the power of its kingdom, unless we suppose the ancient rank were to return to her. But if we were to give her this (rank), the one ruling today849 would be overthrown beforehand, for the Apocalypse says, The woman which you see is the great city having dominion over the kings ofthe earth?50 And regarding this, in what follows, if God grants, we will express accurately. It is necessary to remark what the (word) désert must mean into which one is carried off in the spirit. Désert we regard, therefore as the spiritual déserts in every city, or a great throng which is drunk  in the soûl both by the fornication against God and being charged with other such recklessness. And alternatively one must realize that the Apostle perceives the désolation of the aforementioned harlot as a vision mentally in the spirit, which he saw as womanly because of the luxuriant indulgence toward sin and being without a husband. And she was seated on a red beast, because of the resting upon the murderous and blood-delighting devil and on account of her evil deeds through which the apostate (devil) becomes a coworker in the blasphemy against God. For both the beast and the red color mark his savage cruelty, great ferocity and murderous intention. About the seven heads and ten horns with (the help) of God we will learn from the divine angel in what follows.
Rev. 17:4a And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold andprecious stones andpearls.
She has been clothed in scarlet and purple as the symbols of her rule over ail. Wherefore she has been adorned with precious stones andpearls.651
Rev. 17:4b holding in her hand a golden cupfull of abominations and the impurities of her fornication.
Through the cup is shown the formerly sweet-tasting drink of evil deeds and by the gold (is shown) the high price (of those deeds), as it is said about Job drinking up scoffing like water852 to show that she is not satiated  but in thirsting for her own depravity she pursues wickedness. Therefore, she made her own abominations abundant, that is to say, the loathsome practices against God, by which the sin-loving multitude is given to drink, imbibing as a sweet draught, the abominable strong drink of sin and the filth of fornication from God.853
Rev. 17:5 And on her forehead has been written a name of mystery: "Babylon the great, mother ofharlots and ofearth 's abominations. "
The writing on the forehead shows the shamelessness of the offenders filling up to the measure, and the disturbance of the heart, and the mother (means) the fact that she is the teacher of soûl fornication to the leading cities, giving birth to transgressions loathsome to God.
How the Angel Explained to Him the Mystery that was Seen
Rev. 17:6-7 6And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood ofthe saints and the blood of the martyrs [of Jésus]. When I saw her I marveled greatly. But the angel said to me, "Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery ofthe woman, and ofthe beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her.
By the literal meaning it is possible to learn much about the names of the cities applied to them in accordance with their deeds. Wherefore, the ancient Babylon was also given the name the charming harlot, leader of sorcery  and ancient Jérusalem heard you hâve the appearance ofa harlot and the older Rome was addressed as Babylon in the epistle of Peter.856 More importantly, the one having power at the time ofthe Persians857 will be called both Babylon and harlot, and every other city which delighted in homicide and bloodshed. So the Evangelist seeing one of thèse, having been polluted with the blood of the saints, was amazed and he learned from the angel the things about her, such things as to what extent it is necessary for her holding power to suffer for her offense until the end time of earthly rule, either that one chooses to understand it as the one ruling in the time of the Persians, or the old Rome or the New, or taken generally as the kingdom in one unit, as it is said. For in each of thèse (cities) various sins had been born and blood of the saints poured out, some more, some less, we hâve been taught. And the blood the martyrs (shed in the former Rome) until Diocletian or the torments of those (martyrs) in Persia, who could enumerate them? Thèse things were endured under Julian secretly and the things they dared to do in the time of the Arians against the orthodox in the New Rome860 the historiés présent to those who read.
846 Oik. 9.13.1-5.
847 Oikoumenios names Nero, Domitian, Trajan, Severus, Decius, Valerian and Diocletian, who "persecuted the Church without restraint." (9.13.3, Suggit 149)
848 àKoXou0la. Andrew refers to a technique by which one arrives at conclusions based upon the correct order or séquence of events. This créâtes parameters for correct interprétation. 'AKoXouôia was also used to identify the séquence of an argument or orderly progression of a biblical writer's thought. This was a well-recognized principle in patristic exegesis. Hère, Andrew's objection to Oikoumenios' interprétation is the violation ofthe historical séquence, which Oikoumenios felt free to disregard. When his interprétation of a given passage sequentially contradicts an earlier interprétation, Oikoumenios dismisses the inconsistency by explaining that the Apocalypse does not comply with the usual order of events. "For ail that the evangelist sees are a vision, and he is often shown the first things last and contrariwise the last first." (9.5.3, Suggit 142.) "As though in a continuai return to the starting point, as already described, the vision now plans to describe an earlier beginning which had indeed been partialïy mentioned previously...." (7.5.1, Suggit 113). "After many digressions and after reverting from thèse starting points to previous beginnings, he came to the serious business." (8.1., Suggit 123) Andrew might hâve been able to accept that the beast represented the Roman Empire, but it could not represent the "old Rome" and the heads could not be the emperors identified by Oikoumenios. Andrew concluded that the events narrated will occur in the future because the things described - extrême heat, sores, darkness, the Euphrates drying up - hâve not yet happened. Therefore, if thèse events are to occur in the future, the beast cannot be Rome and the heads ofthe beast cannot be first century emperors otherwise the séquence is destroyed.
849 The dominant city in Andrew's time was the capital, Constantinople, not Rome. Rome therefore could not be the city described as having dominion over the kings ofthe earth unless Constantinople was destroyed first.
850 Rev. 17:18. This détail supports Andrew's conclusion that the beast cannot be Rome because the woman is described as having dominion over the earth (v. 18), and Rome had lost that level of world-wide supremacy.
851 Tertullian used the description of Babylon to encourage Christian women to be modest and to instruct them on the inappropriateness of outward adornment. Citing this description of Babylon, he noted that Rome is described as a prostitute, adorned with gold, purple and scarlet. (On the Apparel of Women 12. Tertullian: On the Apparel of Women, trans. S. Thelwall, The Fathers ofthe Third Century, Ante-Nicene Fathers séries, vol. IV, [Grand Rapids: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, reprinted 1989], 24.) Cyprian also used this passage to argue that Christian women should not be adorned in a worldly manner. Three Books ofTestimonies Against the Jews 3.36. (The Treatises of Cyprian. Treatise XII: Three Books ofTestimonies Against the Jews, trans. Ernest Wallis, The Fathers of the Third Century: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Caius, Novatian, Ante-Nicene Fathers séries, vol. V, eds. Alexander Robertson and James Donaldson, [Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., reprinted 1990], 544.)
852 Job 34:7.
853 i.e., apostasy. The harlot of Babylon represents "the glory of this world," according to Gregory the Great, "And this 'cup' is said to be 'golden,' because while it shows the beauty of temporal things, it so intoxicates foolish minds with its concupiscence, that they désire temporal display, and despise invisible beauties." Morals 34.15(26), LF 31:639.
854 Nah. 3:4. The word for sorcery, <|>âpuo;Kov, can also mean "poison."
8561 Pet. 5:13.
857 The Persian kingdom in the early seventh century included the area which had been that of ancient Mesopotamia and encompassed the actual, historical city of Babylon.
858 The extensive martyrdom of Persian Christians, in which reportedly approximately 16,000 Christians were martyred in 343, is described by Sozomen in his Ecclesiastical History 2.9-14. Andrew may also be thinking of events closer to his own time in which Persian Christians were martyred under the Persian Emperor Khosrov whose own chief wife and queen was an outspoken and influential Christian. "But when the days were fulfilled and she reached the end of her time, many of the magi who had converted to Christianity were put to a martyr's death in various places." (Sebeos 13, TheArmenian History 29.) Although there were Christian martyrs during the reign of Khosrov, he was not a very ardent persecutor. (Bernard Flusin, éd. Saint Anastase le Perse et l'histoire de la Palestine au début du VIF siècle. 2 vols. [Paris: Editions du Centre national de la recherche scientifique, 1992], "Martyrs sous Chosroès", II, 118-27.)
859 Emperor Julian, "the Apostate." See Socrates Ecclesiastical History 3.12-13, 15, 19 and Sozomen Ecclesiastical History 5.5, 9-11, 18. (See also Text 136, Comm. 140, m 691.)
860 On the persécution by Arians against the orthodox Christians, including torture, confiscation of property, martyrdom and exile, see Socrates History 2.12-16. For the persécutions of the orthodox Christians under Macedonius, the Arian bishop of Constantinople see Socrates History 2.27 and 38. For Arian persécutions in Alexandria see 2.28, in which Socrates quotes from Athanasius' Apology for his Flight describing the persécutions which occurred in that city.