Cathedral chapters grew up in the Middle Ages, as advisory bodies to the local bishop or territorial abbot, made up of clerics or religious “capitulars”, who were responsible for things like the order of worship, and other daily business. They also sometimes advised on matters of governance, and even elected the new bishop when the time came. They would meet in special buildings – chapter houses – often on the cathedral grounds and not infrequently attached to the cathedral proper, to talk about the business of the day and discuss issues and affairs more broadly.
These days, most cathedral chapters have much less power than in the past, and appointment to the chapter is an honorary affair.
So, Chapter House is a space distinct from the main Catholic Herald website, but contiguous with it: a place in which writers we know and trust will encounter readers and each other in conversation over news and affairs, culture, society, arts, leisure, and the issues of the day – a space for knocking ideas around, in other words – and hashing them out.
From the US, David Mills, Larry Chapp, and Leticia Ochoa Adams will be filing weekly. From the UK, Colin Brazier and Niall Gooch will be offering their contributions each week. Their subjects will surprise us (almost) as much as they will surprise you – and we know they will be offering fresh, insightful, challenging takes.
You’ll hear from us – Constance Watson and Chris Altieri – a couple of times each week. In addition, we’ll be bringing you essays by a host of occasional contributors on a broad range of subjects. Feel free to come and visit anytime, and invite your friends to join the conversation.
We’ll be on social media this week, so, keep eyes on Catholic Herald channels for the announcement.
Chris Altieri and Constance Watson
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