Published in the June 26, 2022 bulletin.
June 29 marks the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the two great apostles of the early Church. On this occasion, the Pope celebrates Mass with archbishops appointed within the past year. During this Mass, he blesses and bestows the pallium on the new archbishops. The pallium is the insignia of the office of a metropolitan archbishop who presides over an ecclesiastical province. It signifies the communion between the Pope and the Metropolitan Archbishops he has appointed to oversee the Church. These archbishops hold certain powers over other dioceses in their province in certain circumstances. Such powers include appointing a diocesan administrator for a diocese if the college of consultors fails to do so, compiling a list of priests who may be suitable for the office of bishop, carrying out canonical inspections, and presiding at liturgical celebrations anywhere in his province as if he were the diocesan bishop. Our ecclesiastical province is Cincinnati which means our metropolitan is Archbishop Dennis Schnurr.
The pallium is designed to look like a yoke. Made with finely woven white wool with and pendants hanging down the front and back, it has six black crosses embroidered on it. Black silk covers the bottom of the pendants to represent the feet of the lambs for whom the Good Shepherd laid down his life. Simon of Thessalonica, a famous medieval liturgist noted, “The Pallium signifies the Savior who finding us like the lost sheep puts us on His shoulders, and taking on our own human likeness in the Incarnation He glorified it, and with His death on the cross He offered us to the Father, and with the resurrection He exulted us.” The plain white wool is to remind the archbishop that all power and authority comes from the pure and spotless Lamb of God. The pope’s pallium has five red crosses to symbolize the five wounds of Christ. In three of the five are pins representing the nails which pierced Christ’s hands and feet.