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Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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The term commonly applied to the special and explicit exercise of papal infallibility. When the Pope speaks from the chair (cathedra) of authority, as visible head of all Christians, his teaching is not dependent on the consent of the Church and is irreformable. (Etym. Latin ex cathedra, from the chair.)