#20 The Office of the Keys Do Not Belong to the Pope

You must pay no heed here to the two keys of the pope, which he converted into two skeleton keys to the treasure chests and crowns of all kings. If he does not want to bind or reprove sin, whether it be publicly or privately (as he really does not), let it be reproved and bound in your parish. If he will not loose, or forgive it, let it be loosed and forgiven in your parish, for his retaining or binding, his remitting or releasing, makes you neither holy nor unholy, since he can only have skeleton keys, not the true keys. The keys belong not to the pope (as he lies) but to the church, that is, to God’s people, or to the holy Christian people throughout the entire world, or wherever there are Christians. They cannot all be in Rome, unless it be that the whole world is there first—which will not happen in a long time. The keys are the pope’s as little as baptism, the sacrament, and the word of God are, for they belong to the people of Christ and are called “the church’s keys” not “the pope’s keys.” (Luther’s Works, v.41, p.153-154)

Picture: Office of the Keys

Posted in 2020 Church.