Godzdogz

Godzdogz

The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

Built on the four pillars of our Dominican life – preaching, prayer, study, and community – Godzdogz offers many resources for exploring the Catholic Faith today.
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The Chair of St Peter

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
It may seem rather odd, the idea of celebrating the feast of someone’s chair. I suppose, in fact, it is actually very odd. However, in the context of whose chair we celebrate, namely St Peter, we should take note of a deeper significance than a superficial celebration of a piece of furniture.

The seat or ‘cathedra’ of a bishop is, traditionally, the place from which the bishop preaches. It is a sign of his authority. Pope Benedict spoke of the ‘cathedra’ as ’literally meaning the established seat of the Bishop, placed in the mother church of a diocese which for this reason is known as a "cathedral"; it is the symbol of the Bishop's authority and in particular, of his "magisterium", that is, the evangelical teaching which, as a successor of the Apostles, he is called to safeguard and to transmit to the Christian Community’.

St Peter, of course, held a preeminence among the other Apostles, and as Catholics we believe St Peter was charged with particular care for the entire flock of Christ. Whereas ordinary bishops have particular care for those who fall under their local jurisdiction, the Pope, as successor of St Peter, has a special care for the entirety of the flock worldwide. I also like to think that this means each bishop too has someone therefore to care for them!

Today we celebrate and give thanks to God for the graces and authority given to Peter by Christ, and for the continuing role of the Petrine ministry as being a point of unity for the universal Church. We should pray especially for the Pope that he may be a faithful disciple of the Gospel and that he may govern and guide the Church in the way of truth, steering her through the tumultuous storms of time as she journeys on to her final destination.

 

Br Joseph Bailham O.P.

Br Joseph Bailham O.P.

Br Joseph Bailham, a brother in solemn vows, volunteered at the Brentwood Diocesan youth centre immediately after school, and then studied Theology at St Mary's, Twickenham and then his Master's degree at the University of Oxford. From September 2018-2019 he pursued theological studies in Bologna.  He is involved in Jewish-Catholic dialogue through the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. He enjoys running, the gym, and travelling. He greatly admires the figure of Jean Vanier, and has also been inspired for many years by Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, whose life and example he promotes by organising pilgrimages in his honour. | joseph.bailham@english.op.org




Comments

Anonymous commented on 01-Mar-2017 12:16 PM
Also excellent!

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