Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

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In posting n. 1218 brian wrote:


The Ceremonial of Bishops (CB) is the law on this point. #47 states that ‘….the chair should have enough steps leading up to it for the bishop to be clearly visible to the faithful’. That is why the Cathedra is physically higher than the altar. Nothing is said about a specific number of steps. The Cathedra is sited where it is because GIRM310 states: ‘Thus the best place for the chair is in a position facing the people at the head of the sanctuary’. The altar is sited where it is because CB #48 states: ‘It (the altar) should be so placed as to be a focal point on which the attention of the whole congregation centres naturally’…. Again, CB makes no reference to a height relationship between Cathedra and Altar.

… It is reasonable to assume that the liturgical law quoted in McConnell’s book (if not formally abrogated) is de facto so. I have a copy of McConnell’s book. It’s a wonderful book and I refer to it from time to time. I find it very useful for historical / traditional purposes but it should be remembered that it and the law quoted / referred to within it has been superceded.”

I could not deal with this until now as I was awaiting a mitered friend to lend me his Caeremoniale Episcoporum – which he kindly did last night.

In relation to article 47, it should be noted that this article begins by referring you to article 42 which gives us a definition of a cathedral, the place wherein a Cathedra is ubiquated. Cathedra (which is perhaps not quite accurately translated by the English word “chair”). No definition of a sedes is given in reference to a cathedra.

Please note that in the absence of a prescription concerning the relationship between the height of the altar and the height of the cathedra, the provisions of canon 2 (which you youeself quote) become operative and you are referred to the already existant norms which O’Connell mentions in his book. Thus, on this specific point, they continue to have force and they were not observed in the last re-ordering of the cathedral in Armagh. No one has the right to presume otherwise.

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