Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

POWER OF THE KEYS

Ecclesiastical authority conferred by Christ on Peter and his successors. In virtue of this authority, the popes have universal and independent jurisdiction over all the churches and all the faithful. The term is derived from Christ's promise to Peter to give him the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 16:19). More commonly, however, the expression refers to the Church exercise of authority to forgive or retain sins in the sacrament of penance.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Straws in the Wind 21 hours ago
Hans Urs von Balthasar on Renewal that Matters 23 hours ago
Wrongheaded diocesan legal defenses in abuse cases July 24
New HHS Mandate must truly eliminate complicity July 23
Self-Esteem: Beyond Pop Psychology July 23

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21