Matthew 16 – “18 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. 19 And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”
The Greek word for prevail in this famous passage is κατισχύω (katischuo), and means “to overpower or get the upper hand”.
All orthodox Catholics accept Our Lord’s words here, and yet it has become fashionable for some time now to honor His promise in the breach by saying that “the Church [or the Roman See] has been hijacked.” Well, as they used to say on the old Laugh-In, “Very interesting… but stupid.”
Here is one standard definition of the word “hijack”:
“To seize control of (a moving vehicle [such as an ark]) by use of force, especially in order to reach an alternate destination.”
Thus, we might just as easily render the Lord’s promise as, “Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not HIJACK it.”
Do with these facts what you will. But please, let us do away with the Demagoguery of Despair, if for no other reason than that despair is a mortal sin.
P.S. For extra points, let us ponder whether or not the liturgy falls under those astounding provisos in verse 19, and if not, why not.