In today’s Gospel from the Mass (Matt 16:13-19), Jesus enacts the greatest transfer of power ever recorded in human history:

[13] Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare’a Philip’pi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” [14] And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Eli’jah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  [15] He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”  [16] Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” [17] And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.  [18] And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.  [19] I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

What is being recalled in this short passage is remarkable:

Peter and his successors, have yielded the power given to them by Christ for 2000 years.  The future popes and the Catholic Church of Christ will continue to be the only source of forgiveness on earth and “the powers of death shall not prevail against it.”

Jesus said so.