The earth shakes. The world is judged.

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And Jesus, having cried out with a loud voice, gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in two, from the top to the bottom. And the centurion who stood over against him, seeing that crying out in this manner he had given up the ghost. said: Indeed this man was the son of God. (Mark 15:37-39)

This earthquake, which has significant historical corroboration, shows that the foundations of this rebellious world ultimately cannot stand before God. The foundations are struck; the powers of this world quake. Scripture says,

  1. People will flee to caves in the rocks and to holes in the ground from the fearful presence of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth. (Is 2:19).
  2. For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. ‘I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. (Haggai 2:6-7)
  3. In my zeal and fiery wrath, I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. (Ez 38:19)
  4. The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.” The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” (Psalm 2:2-6)
  5. In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.
    (Daniel 2:42)
  6. The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the heavens will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel. (Joel 3:16)
  7. A ruin! A ruin! I will make it a ruin! The crown will not be restored until he to whom it rightfully belongs shall come; to him I will give it. (Ez 21:27)

Yes, the world shakes; the world is judged. And, most important, as Jesus says, Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. (John 12:31)

Read more from Msgr. Charles Pope

Either Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, and the 2nd member of the Holy Trinity, incarnate – or he was a great pretender!

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Jesus “pretending” to cleanse the Temple?

It is the first mark of the “sensus catholicus” that a properly instructed Catholic immediately or almost immediately perceives that something is not in order, even if in the moment he might have some difficulties in saying why. Expressions like “Jesus was pretending to be angry”, or “Jesus in the Gospel was never angry” instinctively go against our grain of Catholics, because even if we cannot remember on the spot that God cannot deceive or that Jesus drove the merchant out of the temple with savage fury, we have been instructed to fear the Lord and not incur His wrath, and to say “the Word of the Lord” as the very epitome of everything that is truthful.

It is evident now that Francis completely lacks this kind of sound perception of Catholicism.  What he has learned – if he has ever learned it – and what faith he used to have – if he ever had it – has been now buried under so many strata of social and socialist blabbering, and washed out by so many decades of “social Gospel” and ecumania, that he might genuinely wonder how it can be that so many people take scandal whenever he opens his mouth.

At some point, Luther must have totally forgotten the truths that he used to believe; to the point that he must have been shocked at being repeated verbatim what he used to believe decades earlier. Francis isn’t as far advanced in this process as Luther, but it is clear that we are in front of one whose Catholicism has slowly slipped out of his hand, becoming the exterior clothing of an ideology that is not Catholicism anymore, though perhaps he does not realise it.

Read more at Mundabor’s Blog

Editor’s note: It’s time to quit blaming poor translations or mischievous newspaper editors for the Pope’s strange and often unchristian remarks. We have – in writing – his latest Apostolic Exhortation, which is literally riddled with inconsistencies and material heresy. We have his many, recent public statements, which have already been widely used to damage the Church and discourage souls from conversion.

In this matter, Pope Francis’ many “spinmeisters” and apologists perform no good service for the Catholic Church.

The Papacy is a prophetic, holy office and the long established standard of Catholic truth is the only standard to which the Pope absolutely must be held. If the Pope cannot develop the personal discipline necessary to speak Catholic truth – always and everywhere – in season and out – he runs the distinct risk of simply being disregarded – just like false prophets and lying, tin-horn politicians – or worse!

I hate to say it – but it now seems quite appropriate that all of this nonsense proceeds from a cheap, Vatican “guest house” – rather than the hallowed halls of the Apostolic Palace. Who says God has no sense of humor?

Seen on the web: An old joke.

Beefy Levinson (paraphrased)

An old joke from Latin America:

What happened when the Church opted for the poor?

The poor opted for the Pentecostals.

Link

The mythical “Q” source and modern Bible criticism’s self serving double standard

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There are identical verses in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The Markans claim both authors copied from Mark’s Gospel. They further assert that Matthew and Luke had no knowledge of each other. So where did they obtain their many identical verses that were not present in Mark’s Gospel? Markans say they copied from a lost document, which they call ‘Q’ from the German word ‘Quelle’ (Source).

There is not the slightest historical evidence, or even a hint, that ‘Q’ or its author ever existed. If ‘Q’ had existed, it would have been the most treasured, copied, precious scroll of Christianity during the first 50-70 years of the new religion. According to the Markans we owe the preservation of ‘The Our Father’ and ‘The Beatitudes’ to ‘Q’. Mark did not bother to record them. If ‘Q’ had been the key document containing the sayings of Christ, it would have been passed from hand to hand and read at Services.

Markans want us to believe that the community that produced ‘Q’ made such few copies that none have been found or have been mentioned by historians. Yet the anonymous authors of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, unknown to each other, found two rare copies and made them the basis of their writings. Then the communities of both Matthew and Luke lost ‘Q’. If ‘Q’ was so important, multiple copies would have been made for many communities. Markans have not explained how all copies of this key Christian document were lost. Also, how did all knowledge of ‘Q’ disappear without leaving even a vague reference or echo in any piece of Christian or heretical literature?

Those who hold the Markan theory demand the most stringent proof for the historicity of the Gospels, for which we have much historical evidence. Yet they accept conjectures and theories about ‘Q’, based on further conjectures and theories for which there is no evidence at all. In reality ‘Q’ was created out of nothing by theologians in the 19th century, to fill a hole in the Markan priority theory.

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Modern Bible Myths: The “Q Source”.

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Irenaeus, Eusebius, Tertullian and others had travelled throughout the Roman Empire, and were well educated.

Why did they have no knowledge of the alleged anonymous authors or ‘Q’?

Why did the Jews, heretics and pagans never mention them or it?

Why were all the ancient historians and theologians completely ignorant of ‘Q’? Or the name of the genius, who had produced the key written account of the life and teaching of Christ?

Also, why did all the historians of the period, alleged to have lived far apart, accept the gospels were written by four other men and agree their names and backgrounds?

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A former evangelical learns to love the Rosary…

I was brought up in a devout Protestant, Evangelical home in Pennsylvania. We weren’t exactly anti-Catholic, but we thought Catholics needed to “get saved.” After college in South Carolina, I moved to England and became an Anglican priest. It was my habit to make my annual retreat at the Benedictine Abbey of Quarr on the Isle of Wight. Just as I was about to leave for retreat, a parishioner gave me a rosary. She had just come back from a pilgrimage to the great Marian shrine of Walshingham, and she had felt led to buy me this gift. I had never used the rosary, and was prejudiced against it.

My first instinct was to reject this “Catholic superstition.” However, one of my guiding principles was a little saying I had discovered while a student. It is, “A person is most often right in what he affirms and wrong in what he denies.”

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About the four (authentic) Gospels of Jesus Christ and their (supposed) discrepancies


Now, the cherubim of Ezekiel had four faces and four forms, namely, of a lion, a man, a calf, and an eagle. S. John, in the Apocalypse (chap. iv.), calls them four living creatures. “The first living creature,” he says, “was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, and the third living creature, having the face, as it were, of a man, and the fourth living creature was like an eagle flying.”

The lion denotes S. Mark, whose face, i.e., the beginning of his Gospel, is the cry and the roar of John the Baptist in the wilderness, “Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand:” the calf denotes S. Luke, who commences his Gospel with the ancient priesthood, whose victim was a calf. The man denotes S. Matthew, who begins with the human genealogy of Christ. The eagle denotes S. John, who, soaring aloft from earth to heaven, balances himself like an eagle, and thunders forth, as it were, that Divine exordium, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Deservedly does S. Denis the Areopagite, in his Epistle to the same John, call him the sun of the Gospel, and his Gospel itself the memory and the renewal of that Theology, which he drew from the Lord, as he lay upon His breast, and left to be beheld in his Gospel by those who came after, like a ray of the sun.

Listen to S. Jerome in his Preface to S. Matthew: “First of all is Matthew the publican, surnamed Levi, who published a Gospel in Judæa in the Hebrew language, chiefly for the sake of those from among the Jews who had believed in Jesus, but who still observed the shadow of the Old Law, after the truth of the Gospel had come in its place. The second is Mark, the interpreter of the Apostle Peter, and first Bishop of the Church of Alexandria, who had not indeed himself seen the Lord, the Saviour; but related the things which he had heard his master preach, rather according to the truth of what was done, than the order. The third is Luke the Physician, a Syrian by nation, an Antiochene, whose praise is in the Gospel. He was a disciple of the Apostle Paul; and composed his work in the parts of Achaia and Bœotia. He aimed somewhat loftily; and as he himself confesses in his Preface, narrated what he had heard rather than what he had seen. The last is John, the Apostle and Evangelist, who loved Jesus very greatly, and who, lying upon the Lord’s bosom, drank of the very purest streams of doctrine, and who alone was privileged to hear from the Cross, ‘Behold thy Mother.’”

These four so appropriately wrote the words and deeds of Christ, that they seem to make a kind of musical harmony of four chords; for what each one writes is different in style from the others, but agrees with them in meaning and in facts. What one is silent about, another supplies: what one gives concisely, another relates more at large: what one obscurely hints at, another gives at length. As S. Augustine says, “Although each seems to have preserved his own order in writing, yet they are not found to have written as though any one were ignorant of what had been said by him who preceded; but as each was inspired, he added the not superfluous co-operation of his own labour.”

Lastly, the discrepancies of the Evangelists are the greatest possible testimony to their truthfulness. As S. Chrysostom says in his Preface to S. Matthew, “If altogether and in every respect they exactly corresponded, and with the utmost precision with respect to times and places were in perfect verbal agreement, there is not one of our enemies but would believe, that they were engaged in a common design to deceive, and that they had framed the Gospels by human understanding, for they would not judge that this supposed harmony arose from simple sincerity, but was the result of contrivance.” And again, he says, “If any one whatsoever had related everything, the others would have been superfluous: or if again, on the other hand, each had written nothing which was found in the others, there could have been no proof of their agreement. Wherefore they have written many things in common, and yet each hath related something specially and peculiarly his own. And thus they have escaped the charge of writing for writing’s sake, merely to add to the number of the Gospels, as well as the opposite danger of bringing discredit upon everything, by each giving entirely different events.”

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Former atheist Lee Strobel’s Christian conversion based on facts

Presenting his case for Christ, former atheist Lee Strobel described how the evidence of Easter killed his faith in atheism in his essay published in The Wall Street Journal.

Over 30 ago Strobel – who was no stranger to investigating as the legal editor of The Chicago Tribune and an award-winning journalist – began his two-year search for evidence regarding the credibility of Christianity after his wife’s sudden conversion.

Recalling his first reaction to his wife’s newfound belief, Strobel stated in the WSJ how “it was the worst news [he could] get as an atheist.”

“Two words shot through my mind. The first was an expletive; the second was ‘divorce,’” the evangelist relayed.

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Monday of Holy Week – Jesus cleanses the Temple.


Monday of Holy Week According to Matthew 21, Mark 11 and Luke 19, Jesus returns to Jerusalem today and, seeing shameful practices in the Temple area, he cleanses the Temple. John’s Gospel also records that he rebuked the unbelief of the crowds. Mark 11:19 records that he returned to Bethany that night. Pray with Jesus as he is zealous to purify us.

Matthew 21:12-13  And Jesus entered into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of he money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves; and he saith unto them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer: but ye make it a den of robbers.

More …

Bishop Aquila: When bishops and priests are hesitant in exercising their authority, the “father of lies” takes hold of the hearts and minds of the faithful.

“One must honestly ask, how many times and years may a Catholic politician vote for the so called ‘right to abortion’ … and still be able to receive Holy Communion?” the bishop said.

The continual reception of Communion by those who “so visibly contradict and promote a grave evil” creates “grave scandal” and undermines the teaching and governing authority of the Church, he warned. The faithful can interpret these actions as indifference to the teaching of Christ and the Church on the part of those who have “the responsibility to govern.”

“If we honestly pray with the Gospel we can see that hesitancy and non-accountability is not the way of Jesus Christ, but rather it is a failure in the exercise of governance,” Bishop Aquila told a March 18 symposium in Philadelphia about the spirituality and identity of diocesan priests.

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Pope Benedict confirms (in his new book): Jesus put to death by “unknown assailants” (formerly described as “the Jews”).

At a critical point in the book (pg. 184) Benedict poses the questions simply, clearly, and without evasion: “Now we must ask: Who exactly were Jesus’ accusers? Who insisted that he be condemned to death?” And, with his customary directness, he answers the questions in the space of only three pages. He passes the Gospels in review in a way that beautifully exemplifies the fundamental purpose of the book: to present the “figure and message of Jesus” through the complementary use of scientific scholarship (a “historical hermeneutic”) and the vision of faith (“faith-hermeneutic”).

For John, the accusers were “simply ‘the Jews’”. But Benedict shows that in John’s Gospel that designation has a “precise and clearly defined meaning”, i.e. the Temple aristocracy, not the Jewish people as an undifferentiated whole.

In Mark, there is a widening of the circle of accusers: the “ochlos”, the crowd, “the masses”. But Benedict points out that the crowd was mainly comprised of sympathizers of Barabbas, who wanted the customary amnesty to be granted to him. The followers of Jesus “remained hidden out of fear”. This crowd, therefore, does not represent the attitude or the actions of the Jewish people with respect to Jesus.

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Editor’s note: Got to watch out for those crowds! The devil gets into those crowds!

It’s an outright shame that, 40 years later … just as Jesus clearly foretold … God saw fit to bring in the Romans to destroy the whole of Jerusalem, the bulk of the people living there, and the Temple … just because of a few Scribes and Pharisees … especially since most all of those nasty “temple aristocrats” were long dead, by that time!

Worse yet … all this totally unnecessary, disingenuous qualification and obfuscation was done merely to satisfy the liberal/progressive wing of the Catholic Church … along with the Jewish ADL (Anti Defamation League) … two obvious “birds of a feather”.

Fortunately, the pope has already pointed out that nothing contained in either of his books on this subject need be accepted on faith, by any Catholic. They are to be viewed simply as “popular” literature: ‘It goes without saying that this book is in no way an act of the magisterium, but is solely an expression of my personal search “for the face of the Lord…” Everyone is free, then, to contradict me.’ (Foreword by Pope Benedict: Volume One – Jesus of Nazareth)

I wonder if there’s an actual category by the name of: “Fairy Tales for Our Jewish Friends”?

Link to the book site

Mary’s Visit to Elizabeth, Ark Imagery and the Fathers


Mary as the Ark of the Covenant in Patristic Sources

First, let me establish the assertion I made above, namely, that patristic writers linked Mary with the ark. A few citations will do. Note that this is by no means an exhaustive survey.

Hippolytus (c. a.d. 170–c. a.d. 236): “At that time, the Savior coming from the Virgin, the Ark, brought forth His own body into the world from that Ark, which was gilded with pure gold within by the Word, and without by the Holy Ghost; so that the truth was shown forth, and the Ark was manifested….And the Savior came into the world bearing the incorruptible Ark, that is to say His own body” [Dan .vi].

Athanasius of Alexandria (c. a.d. 296– c. a.d. 373): “O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O [Ark of the] Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides” (Homily of the Papyrus of Turin).

Gregory the Wonder Worker (c. a.d. 213– c. a.d. 270): “Let us chant the melody that has been taught us by the inspired harp of David, and say, ‘Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy sanctuary.’ For the Holy Virgin is in truth an ark, wrought with gold both within and without, that has received the whole treasury of the sanctuary” (Homily on the Annunciation to the Holy Virgin Mary).

John Damascene (c. a.d. 676–c. a.d. 749): “This day the Holy and Singular Virgin is presented in the sublime and heavenly Temple… This day the sacred and living Ark of the Living God, who bore within her womb her own Creator, took up her rest within that temple of the Lord that was not made with hands… And David her forefather, and her father in God, dances with joy…” [Oration on the Glorious Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God the Ever-Virgin Mary, 2].

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One Hundred Questions that Jesus Asked

So twenty years ago Bishop John Marshall,  Bishop of Burlington VT. and later Springfield Mass compiled a book: But Who Do You Say That I Am? In the book he collected and listed all the questions Jesus asked in the Gospels. And he encourages us to answer the question. He also listed questions asked by others in another section of the book. Bishop Marshall in listing the question gives extra verses for context and adds brief commentaries. However, I would like to list just the raw questions. I will give the verse reference so you can look it up. But I encourage you to print this list and take it to prayer. Read it slowly, perhaps over days or weeks. I have attached a PDF version of the List here: 100 Questions that Jesus asked and YOU must answer. Ponder each question. Answer each question prayerfully and reflectively. This is not the complete list of questions but it is surely food for thought. Now, answer the questions:

100 Questions that Jesus asked and YOU must answer:

  1. And if you greet your brethren only, what is unusual about that? Do not the unbelievers do the same? (Matt 5:47)
  2. Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan? Matt 6:27
  3. Why are you anxious about clothes? Matt 6:28
  4. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye yet fail to perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? (Matt 7:2)
  5. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? (Matt 7:16)
  6. Why are you terrified? (Matt 8:26)
  7. Why do you harbor evil thoughts? (Matt 9:4)
  8. Can the wedding guests mourn so long as the Bridegroom is with them? (Matt 9:15)
  9. Do you believe I can do this? (Matt 9:28)
  10. What did you go out to the desert to see? (Matt 11:8)

See the other 90 questions

The social gospel and idol worship

“Nothing….absolutely nothing…..not even the service of the poor, takes precedence over the worship, honor and obedience due to God.” Nothing.  If even the service of the poor takes precedence over this, it becomes an idol. An idol in sheep’s clothing to be sure, but an idol nonetheless.

An old Seminary professor (deceased now) told me many years ago” “Beware the poverty of Judas.” What does this mean? Fundamentally it means that the care of the poor can sometimes be used (by some) in an attempt to water down Christian doctrine and the priority of worship. The social gospel, if we are not careful, can demand that we compromise Christian dogma and the priority of proclaiming the Gospel.

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The Beatitudes: Generosity and Happiness Gracefully Attainable In Our Time

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This second side of our Christian responsibility is synthesized in the Beatitudes, which our Savior gave us. There are certain classic passages in Christ’s teaching that remain the cornerstones of our lives. Such, for example, is the Lord’s Prayer; such is Christ’s discourse in the sixth chapter of John when He promised the Eucharist; such is His long homily at the Last Supper before He died; such are the Beatitudes.

There are two versions of the Beatitudes in the Gospels; one of four and the other of eight. Over the centuries, Christian wisdom has speculated on how the four are really the eight, and how the eight can be synthesized into four. We shall concentrate on the eight Beatitudes by first looking briefly at their significance in themselves, and how what we call the Beatitudes are in many ways the Magna Carta of Christian perfection. So much so that the Second Vatican Council, which spoke more than all the other councils put together on the religious life, describes religious life as a “lifetime commitment to practicing the Beatitudes.”

Why are they significant? Because they are uniquely Christian principles of human conduct. Winston Churchill, on one occasion (you know he was capable of summarizing a lot in a few words), observed sagely how the British Empire could not survive for one week if it were based on the Beatitudes. Right he was! Secular society is not expected to, nor does it, operate on the Beatitudes.

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The Bible: “Master Code” of Western culture

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ROME, May 1, 2009 – In a few days, the daily “la Repubblica” and the weekly “L’espresso” will offer to the Italian public, in hundreds of thousands of copies and at a reasonable price, the entire Christian Bible, in a new translation edited by the bishops’ conference (CEI), accompanied by extensive notes and illustrated with artistic masterpieces from all time periods.

The work will be published in three volumes: the first with the Pentateuch and the historical books; the second with the wisdom books and the prophets; the third with the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the letters, and Revelation.

The initiative is all the more unusual in that “la Repubblica” and “L’espresso” are the leading publications for secular opinion in Italy, and are often critical of the Catholic Church and the Christian faith itself.

(Also included: a letter from Pope Benedict XVI about scripture reading techniques)

by Sandro Magister. English translation by Matthew Sherry, Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.

Click here to read the entire article

Wasn’t The First Council of Nicaea where most of Jesus and his relationship with his father defined by man?

Q: Wasn’t The First Council of Nicaea where most of Jesus and his relationship with his father defined by man?

A: The main thing the Council of Nicea confirmed was that Jesus was co-eternal and co-equal (as true God) with God the Father.

All of this had been clearly understood (at least) since Pentecost, and had already been a universally accepted part of church doctrine for some 300 years.

Councils typically convene in order to confirm or reaffirm already existing truths of the faith. Rarely do they come up with anything new.

The same is true regarding the Gospels.

All the books and letters of the New Testament have been widely used and accepted by the whole church since shortly after they were written.

Only those writings that were authentic, and that were indeed universally accepted, “made the cut”.

In case you haven’t noticed, it was Jesus, at the Last Supper, who gave us the basic liturgy for Sunday Mass, and it was Jesus who commanded us to remember him in that way.

The Church decided on Sunday as the universal feast day … the eternal observance of Christ’s death and resurrection … our Christian Passover and Sabbath rest … and it did so according to the authority that Jesus personally gave to the apostles and to the Church, while he still walked the earth … not to mention the constant guidance and advocacy of the Holy Spirit … as the Church’s arbiter of all divine truth.

This website has links to all the best Catholic resources. Poke around. Read. Learn. Have faith.

The closer you look at Catholic theology and philosophy, the better it gets.

Corruption? Even Jesus had his Judas … and Judas constituted about 8% of the priesthood of that time. Plus … all the other apostles ran and hid … save John.

That ought to tell you something very important about the Catholic Church … about some of the sinful and fallible people who run it … and about the truth.

Mat 16:17 And Jesus answering said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.
Mat 16:18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Mat 16:19 And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.