Collect: Grant, we pray, almighty God, that no tempests may disturb us, for you have set us fast on the rock of the Apostle Peter’s confession of faith.
“Et ego dico tibi quia tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversum eam”
“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.” ~Matthew 16:18
Today, we celebrate the Feast of The Chair of St. Peter. The above Bible verse is my most favorite verse because it shows how blessed it is to be a part of the Catholic Church.
This Church, founded by Jesus Christ himself and safeguarded by the line of St. Peter for over 2000 years!
But, why Rome? Of all cities, why do we look towards Rome?
The Church is taught through Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the Magisterium, which is the authority the Church has to interpret Tradition and Scripture.
Of course, we can say that Rome is where the line of St. Peter descends, but that is not all.
In the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul says “For this is what the Lord has commanded us:’I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'”~Acts of the Apostles 13:47
Where are the ends of the earth? Sacred Tradition and Scripture tells us St. Paul ministered in Rome. Tradition tells us that Sts. Peter and Paul both ordained presbyters, and depending on your source, Pope St. Linus was ordained Bishop of Rome by St. Paul, and Pope St. Clement I was ordained by St. Peter. This means that the Apostolic Succession of the Popes of Rome trace themselves to both Sts. Peter and Paul.
Thus, we look to Rome because that is where St. Peter was martyred. St. Peter being the Rock of the Church, laid his life, and therefore the cornerstone of the Church in Rome. We look to Rome because St. Paul was commanded to bring salvation to the ends of the earth. He laid down his life and was martyred in Rome, and so therefore the ministry to salvation flows from Rome. The heirs of that ministry are fully embodied in the unbroken line of Bishops of Rome.
We look to the Pope to safeguard the Truth with confidence because the Gates of Hell shall never prevail against the Church.
We look to the Pope because Christ told us to look to him, for whatever he loosens on Earth shall be loosed in Heaven, and whatever he binds on Earth shall be bound in Heaven.
For over 2000 years, the Popes, even the worst ones, have done this. The Truth has been proclaimed and will continue to be proclaimed until Christ returns.
It is by faith in Christ that we can look to the Pope in confidence.