Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/24

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THOU ART PETER

Jesus was familiar with their language. Visibly in connection with the Book of Daniel, but surely also with other writings which fas- cinated those to whom He spoke, He urged the disciples gathered in Gesarea to reach a decision concerning His Person.

"What do men say concerning the Son of Man, Who He is?*' They said: "Some, John the Baptist, others, Elias, and still others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets (Moses) ." Then He asked them: "And ye? Whom do ye hold Me?" Then Simon Peter answered and said: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Then Jesus answered him and said: "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, for flesh W blood have not revealed it to thee, but My father Who is in. Heaven. So I say to thee also, Thou art Peter, and upon this ' '*&<$ (Petra) will I build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, and what thou bindest on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and what thou loosest on earth shall be loosed also in Heaven."

In these words of Jesus the Catholic Church reads the document with which the Papacy was founded. They have played a fateful part in history for those who said yes, or said no, to them. Some have, not without a modicum of reason, questioned their authenticity* Some have looked upon them as a later interpolation with which the spiritual Roma domina wished to insure beyond the grave of Peter its leadership inside Christendom, the primacy of its bishop as the suc- cessor of Peter, and the power and authority of his position. In shore the primacy of the viceroy of Christ on earth is involved. But the reasons advanced are not compelling ones and have been undermined more and more by objective science which, quite unconcerned about whether its findings did ill or good to Rome, sought to learn the truth of the matter. To mention just one point: if Rome had really invented this statement during the second century, the declaration would have had a different form. It would surely have provided for words assuring to the successors of Peter equality with him and a tide to the same powers; for of these things the words of Jesus do not expressly speak. Only with difficulty could it have hit upon a pas- sage as natively Jewish as this passage in Matthew, nearly every word of which leads us back into the deeps of Jewish ideas and their Biblical expression.


CHRIST