(Latin). With authority. The Pope, speaking ex
cathedra, is said to speak with an infallible voice—to speak as
the successor and representative of St. Peter, and in his pontifical
character. The words are Latin, and mean “from the chair” —i.e.
the throne of the pontiff. The phrase is applied to all dicta uttered
by authority, and ironically to self-sufficient, dogmatical
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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