The Chapel of the Cathedra
|This structure is a brilliant creation by Bernini, designed
to display the chair on which, according to ancient tradition, St. Peter
sat and taught Roman Christians. Pope Alexander VII had the ivory-covered
chair put into the gigantic bronze cathedra, with the statues of the Doctors
of the Church, St. Ambrose and St. Augustine of the Roman Church and St.
Athanasius and St. John Chrysostom of the Greek Church. The religious significance
is extremely clear. The Doctors of the Church were always consistent with
Peter's teachings as they expounded
The Gospel does not change because the Holy Spirit, portrayed
as a dove flies along the span of the centuries, assisting and accompanying
its church. The chair or cathedra of Peter symbolizes the perpetual continuity
It triumphed over all heresies throughout the centuries.
The fine alabaster window, surrounded by golden clouds and angels flying
between rays of light, casts a mystical, warmth through the basilica, especially
in the afternoon.