Dear Parishioners of St. James:
Praised be Jesus Christ!
The promises of Jesus are trustworthy because He is God Himself. Jesus promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church (cf. Mt. 16:18). He instituted His Church, the Catholic church, upon the rock of St. Peter and his successors. The Pope is the visible sign that St. Peter is still among us, and, therefore, the church which Jesus founded in still among us.
Jesus gave St. Peter and every pope after him the keys to the kingdom of heaven. The Pope has the authority to bind and to loose. Saint Catherine of Siena called him the “Sweet Christ on Earth.” As the vicar of Christ, he guards the Faith entrusted to the entire Church and confirms his brethren in their pilgrim way to the Father. All of the Church’s goods, both spiritual and temporal, belong to him as he serves the hierarchy and the lay faithful. All Sacraments are exercised by his authority and anyone to whom he shares that authority. His authority is full supreme, immediate, and universal.
We Catholics are obliged to pray daily for the Holy Father. The burdens and the blessings of the Pope are unimaginable. He depends on our prayers that he remain faithful in order to save his own soul first and then to shepherd the Church according to God’s will. Remember him in your Masses, Rosaries, and devotions. Reverence for the Pope is a sign of a faithful Catholic since Jesus Himself gave us the papacy.
In these days of uncertainty and discord we can rely on the office of the papacy as the rock upon which Jesus Christ built His Church. The gates of the netherworld will not prevail against the Church. Jesus promised.
God bless you,