Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pallium Primer, 2012 Edition

It's that time of year again, when bishops appointed archbishops over the course of the preceding year gather in Rome to receive the pallium from Pope Benedict XVI. The Pallium Mass takes place on June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

The pallium is a wool band worn by an archbishop at Mass, around his neck and over his vestments. This blog delved into a little more of the pallium's background in our write-up for last year's Pallium Mass.

Like last year, four U.S. archbishops will be participating in this year's Pallium Mass. Each one brings something unique to the event:

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila
Archbishop of Denver

Age 61
Ordained a priest June 5, 1976
Ordained a bishop August 24, 2001
Bishop of Fargo, North Dakota 2002-2012
Appointed Archbishop of Denver May 29, 2012

The fifth archbishop of Denver, Archbishop Aquila's appointment amounts to a homecoming as he was ordained a priest of Denver and served in that archdiocese until being appointed coadjutor bishop of Fargo in 2001. Denver was one of three U.S. archdioceses to go vacant (i.e. without an archbishop) in the past year, the other two being Baltimore and Indianapolis. Of the three, Indianapolis is the only one still awaiting the appointment of a new archbishop.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia

Age 67
Ordained a priest August 29, 1970
Ordained a bishop July 26, 1988
Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota 1988-1997
Archbishop of Denver 1997-2011
Installed as Archbishop of Philadelphia September 8, 2011

Predecessor to Archbishop Aquila in Denver, Archbishop Chaput's presence at the Pallium Mass brings to light one interesting aspect of the event, that a bishop who's been moved from one archdiocese to another receives the pallium again with his new assignment. This is the third consecutive year the U.S. Church has seen this phenomenon with Archbishop José Gomez (moved from San Antonio to Los Angeles) receiving the pallium in 2011 and then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan (moved from Milwaukee to New York) receiving it in 2010.

Archbishop William E. Lori
Archbishop of Baltimore

Age 61
Ordained a priest May 14, 1977
Ordained a bishop April 20, 1995
Auxiliary bishop of Washington 1995-2001
Bishop of Bridgeport, Connecticut 2001-2012
Installed as Archbishop of Baltimore May 16, 2012

The presence of the Archbishop of Baltimore at the Pallium Mass is always significant for the United States, as Baltimore is regarded as our Premier See, that is the first diocese from which all other U.S. dioceses were eventually carved. The bishops still hold their annual fall meeting in Baltimore. The first Archbishop of Baltimore, John Carroll, had a brother sign the U.S. Constitution and a cousin who was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps fittingly, Archbishop Lori has been a major force behind the U.S. bishops' Fortnight for Freedom campaign, focusing on religious liberty.

Archbishop William C. Skurla
Archbishop of Pittsburgh (Ruthenian)

Age 56
Ordained a priest May 23, 1987
Ordained a bishop April 23, 2002
Bishop of Van Nuys (Ruthenian), California 2002-2007
Bishop of Passaic (Ruthenian), New Jersey 2008-2012
Installed as Archbishop of Pittsburgh (Ruthenian) April 18, 2012

Archbishop Skurla's presence on this list brings an interesting twist in that he isn't a Roman Catholic archbishop, but rather the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh. This is one of several Eastern Rite Catholic Churches in the United States. Eastern Catholics belong to communities with ancient, distinctive worship and traditions that are very similar to Eastern Orthodox Christians, except that they are in communion with the pope. The Pallium Mass provides one strong visible sign of this communion.

Hat tip to David Cheney.

1 comment:

Mr. Flaherty said...

I attended last year's Mass and was disappointed to hear that this year the pope will be presenting the pallium to the archbishops before Mass. Hardly seems fair to everyone who has traveled to attend the Mass. Like going to a consistory and not seeing the cardinals receive their hats!