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Ex cathedra

Ex cathedra (Lat., ‘from the seat/throne’). Authoritative statements in Roman Catholicism.

Such definitions are ‘irreformable’, because they do not rely on the consent of the Church. The phrase colloquially has therefore come to refer to statements made with the kind of authority that brooks no argument.

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ex cathedra

ex cathedra with the full authority of office (especially that of the Pope, implying infallibility as defined in Roman Catholic doctrine). The phrase is Latin, ‘from the teacher's chair’, from ex ‘from’ and cathedra ‘seat’ (from Greek kathedra).

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ex cathedra

ex ca·the·dra / ˌeks kəˈ[unvoicedth]ēdrə/ • adv. & adj. with the full authority of office (esp. of the pope’s infallibility as defined in Roman Catholic doctrine): [as adv.] the pope spoke ex cathedra.

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ex cathedra

ex cathedraairer, bearer, carer, Clara, darer, declarer, Demerara, Éire, habanera, Halmahera, parer, Perak, primavera, repairer, Rivera, Riviera, Sarah, scarer, sharer, snarer, sparer, squarer, starer, swearer, tearer, wearer •cause célèbre • torch-bearer •swordbearer • pallbearer • wayfarer •seafarer • capoeira • Phaedra •sacra, simulacra •Libra, vers libre •ex cathedra •chypre, Yprespalaestra (US palestra) • urethra •joie de vivre •mirror, sirrah •Coimbra • Middlesbrough • Indra •Sintra •aspidistra, sistra •algebra • orchestra • vertebra •Beira, Fujairah, Hegira, Lyra, Myra, naira, palmyra, spirogyra •Hydra • Lycra •begorra, Gomorrah, horror •double entendre • genre • amour propre • Le Nôtre • contra •Cosa Nostra, rostra

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Ex Cathedra

EX CATHEDRA

Canonized in the language of the Church in the definition of papal infallibility (Enchiridion symbolorum,3074), ex cathedra symbolically expresses the supreme authority within the Church of the Roman pontiff. Extended in the form of ex cathedra Petri, it symbolizes the Roman pontiff's title to that supreme authority and to the charism of infallibility that accompanies it: because he is the successor of Peter, head of the college of Apostles. Where gallicanism, abusing the distinction between sedens and sedes, sought to separate the authority of the Roman pontiff from that of Peter, vatican council i (ibid. ) by using the formula ex cathedra rejected that separation. Through succession to his chair, or supreme office, in the Church, the authority and infallibility of Peter lives on in the Roman pontiff.

See Also: chair of peter; definition, dogmatic; primacy of the pope; teaching authority of the church (magisterium).

Bibliography: a. michel, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, Tables générales 1:916917. m. j. scheeben, Handbuch der katholischen Dogmatik, v.1 (Freiburg 1948) 231242.

[e. g. hardwick]

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