The spiritual jurisdiction of the Church, in virtue of which power sins may

be forgiven, indulgences granted and penalties inflicted.

The binding and loosing power (Matthew 16:19; 18:18) is identical to the

jurisdiction exercised by the Pope as the head of the Church and the priest

in the Confessional.

The "power of the keys" was given to Peter; the Pope, as successor to

Peter, has full power of the keys. All priests participate in this power to

a lesser degree.


These same scriptures are cited in Vatican II document Lumen Gentium as

basis for the Pope's absolute and the Bishops' relative power over the



The Apostles couldn't have understood the above to be the case, as they

didn't have any Confessional in the early Church. They proclaimed the

Gospel, which was the power of God to the loosing of the sins for all who

believed, and to the binding of the sins of those who rejected (Romans


There are two suppositions that must be proved if we are to accept the

Roman Catholic position. It must be proved that the keys represented

absolute jurisdiction for Peter, and that this jurisdiction passed, by

Apostolic Succession to other Bishops of Rome. There is no evidence that

whatever prerogatives were given to Peter were to be perpetuated in Rome.

The Bishop of Rome achieved supremacy because he was in the chief city, and

in response to his own ambition. Peter received his ministry directly from

the Lord Jesus Christ.

As Peter alone is mentioned as having received keys, there must have

been a privilege that was uniquely his. A key is of great need when a door

is locked, but once a door is unlocked, the key loses it's importance.

Peter used the key to open the door to the Church to the Jews (Acts 2) and

the Gentiles (Acts 10). The door was never again locked, so the keys were

never again used. After using the keys, Peter himself fades from view.

Peter's loss of prominence in the latter part of Acts is God's way of

showing that, like all godly men, Peter had a definite ministry, but that

he wasn't eternal. As he declined, God raised up others to carry on the

task of preaching the Gospel.

Jesus Christ is Giver of ministry gifts in the Church (Ephesians 4:8-

13). The office of the Papacy was first bestowed by Imperial decree and is

now voted on by men.

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