A key is a symbol of
authority. The crossed keys in the papal emblem refer to Christ's promise to
St. Peter in Mt. 16:19 ("I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on
earth shall be loosed in heaven"). The silver key is said to signify the Pope's
authority to bind on earth, while the gold key is said to signify his power to
bind in heaven.
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