« Cathedra Cathedral Catholic »


CATHEDRAL: In the churches with episcopal organization, the principal church of a diocese, the especial seat of the bishop. It is the normal place for the principal episcopal functions, such as ordination, and is directly under the charge of the bishop, who is assisted in its administration and in the performance of divine service by a body of canons (see Chapter), whose head is a dean or provost. In England, from the Reformation until 1840, a distinction was drawn between cathedrals of the old and of the new foundation. The former were those where the chapter had been always composed of secular canons, and whose constitution remained, therefore, unchanged; in the latter, after the suppression of the monasteries by Henry VIII., a new organization was required to replace the earlier monastic chapter. The older cathedrals, from their rank and importance in the history of the Church, offer some of the most splendid and imposing examples of Christian architecture. See Architecture, Ecclesiastical.

Bibliography: M. E. C. Walcott, Cathedralia: a Constitutional History of Cathedrals of the Western Church, London, 1865 (authoritative); idem, Documentary History of English Cathedrals, London, 1866; J. S. Howson, ed., Essays on Cathedrals, by various writers, London, 1872; C. A. Swainson, Hist. of a Cathedral of the Old Foundation, London, 1880; P. Schneider, Die bischöflichen Domkapitel, Mainz, 1885; Bell's Cathedral Series, 35 vols., London, 1896–1903 (deals with history and archeology); J. J. Bourassé, Les plus belles cathédrales de France, Paris, 1896; L. Cloquet, Les Grandes Cathédrales du monde catholique, Paris, 1897; The Cathedrals of England and Wales, New York, The Churchman Company, 1907.

« Cathedra Cathedral Catholic »
VIEWNAME is workSection