Antwerp’s Cathedral of Our Lady was originally built as a parish church, not as a cathedral. In 1559, Antwerp became a separate diocese. Before this, Antwerp’s ecclesial community fell under the huge diocese of Cambrai. Until then, the Cathedral of Our Lady was overseen by a group of priests whose main task was to assure daily prayers. These canons formed the collegiate chapter.
Today the bishop still surrounds himself with priests who take joint responsibility, as canons of the cathedral chapter, for the spiritual life in the cathedral.