Power of the keys

Also found in: Wikipedia.
(Eccl.) the authority claimed by the ministry in some Christian churches to administer the discipline of the church, and to grant or withhold its privileges; - so called from the declaration of Christ, "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven."
- Matt. xvi. 19.

See also: Key

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Gospel speaks of the "power of the keys." In Jesus' time, as well as in the evangelist Matthew's, the scribes and the Pharisees who were the teachers of the Law held the "key" to give entrance into the kingdom because they sat on "the chair of Moses" (Mt 23:2), that is, they had the authority of Moses.
The all-round power of the Keys pack - spearheaded by locks Daniel Hodge and his brother Oliver - held sway, as Keys claimed a bonus-point victory.
By the entire promise, a man submits to the Power of the Keys. As he advances in the hierarchy, he is entrusted with increasing responsibility for it.
These are laws which require personal compliance with the Power of the Keys at every degree of hierarchical responsibility, from deacons, as ordinary ministers of the Holy Eucharist, from priests on up.
Two old French satires on the power of the keys; L'Escommeniement au lecheor and Le pardon de foutre.
Chapters one and two discuss the theological core of Bucer's thought in the 1520s, his reaction to the late medieval practice of penance (common to Protestants generally), and the counter view of the power of the keys as the proclamation of the gospel (also shared with other Protestants, although more Zwinglian in its expression at this time than in Bucer's later development).
The fourth discipline I would call the power of the keys: one of the more irritating things for Catholics is the extent to which many politicians are willing to identify themselves as Catholic while giving no evidence of that either in their lives or their policies.
They have not experienced the release or the unbinding 'power of the keys"'.