Long time no see John. I have one question that will answer one thousand: Was the Seat of Moses an infallible authority?
J. Salza: Gene, the Jews had access to God’s infallible judgments through the leaders that God appointed over them (Moses, Solomon, etc). This was also true in the case of the Sanhedrin. This is why Caiaphas could prophesy infallibly about Jesus’ pending death for the sins of His people. This is also why Jesus recognizes their authority to “bind and loose,” and tells his disciples to “obey what they teach, but not what they do” Matt. 23:2-3 (of course, this was limited to the Old Testament side of the cross). However, the Jews’ access to God’s divine judgments was obviously limited; otherwise, the Sanhedrin would not have rejected their Messiah.
After Jesus established His Church and gave Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven, Peter’s chair became the new seat of authority under the New Covenant. This is why, when the Pope officially speaks on a matter of faith and morals with the intention of proclaiming a universal doctrine for the Church (which is rare), we say He is speaking “ex cathedra” (from the “chair”). Jesus’ use of the “chair of Moses” certainly shows a continuum of authority as the New Covenant replaced the Old.
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