ex cathedra

What is the exact definition of ex cathedra?

Here it is in a nutshell:

When the Pope decides to pronounce as the successor of Peter a matter of Faith and Morals, binding on the whole Church.

I might add that the subject would be something that until then had been undecided by the magisterium of the Church.

I don’t know the exact Latin translation, but when used by the CC it means that the Pope is speaking “from the chair of Peter”, or with the authority as given to Peter by Jesus and handed down to the Bishop of Rome (the Pope).


Shalom Aleichem

My real question is, what is the exact criteria that a statement must meet in order to be considered ex cathedra, i.e. what exactly consists of faith and morals as opposed to matters of discipline. Also, what is considered binding on the whole church, does he just have to say it’s binding, or what. Thanks.

Vatican I said:

[quote=Canons and Decrees of the First Vatican Council]We teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra, that is, when:

(1) in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, (2) in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, (3) he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church,

he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable.

Doctrine is Divinely revealed truth, as part of the Deposit of Faith, which must be believed by all Christians, and is not open to any debate of discussion.

Mary was Conceived without Original sin from the moment of her conception.

Discipline are matters imposed by the Church, such as Church laws, Norms.

Priests may not enter into a valid Marriage after Ordination, even if they were Married at the time they were Ordained.

He says in his infallible statement, this is to be held or believed by all.

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