Monday, February 22, 2010

The Chair

Today is the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, one of the very few times during Lent that we recite the Gloria. The cathedra or chair is the symbol of the authority of the bishop of a diocese, in this case the Pope as the Bishop of Rome. Remember that the First Vatican Council solemnly defined the authority of the Pope to formally teach infallibly on issues of faith and morals. This has happened only twice, both teachings of the Church with regard to Our Blessed Mother, her Immaculate Conception and her Assumption.

So today we are invited to spend some time thinking and praying about the role Our Holy Father plays in the life of the Church as institution and as the People of God. The late beloved Venerable Pope John Paul II was a prolific author, and Pope Benedict XVI has also written quite substantially. Many of their writings are available at the Vatican website. Great reading for Lent!