Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ex cathedra: politics, sex, religion...the easy stuff

When the Bishop of Rome teaches officially and authoritatively as successor to the First of the Apostles, he teaches "ex cathedra", that is, "from the chair". Then it is not his personal opinion or speculation which is involved, but the truth.

This chair is the reason why some churches are called "cathedrals", because the bishop's "cathedra" is there. Professors who teach expertly in universities often "hold a chair" in thus-and-such. The person in charge of a group is called "the chair". So, speaking "ex cathedra" is authoritative teaching.

Of course, the "cathedra" that I have is a used dining room chair, but that will not stop me from having my say..."ex cathedra." No opinions. No speculation. Just the truth. About?

Sex. Politics. Religion. The stuff that's really interesting and that you aren't supposed to talk about at dinner parties.

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