Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori receives the pallium from Pope Benedict XVI in Rome June 29. (Christopher Gunty | CR Staff)
Archbishop Lori struck with wonder, awe as he receives pallium
By Christopher Gunty
VATICAN CITY – Archbishop William E. Lori said he was overtaken by the wonder and awe of receiving the pallium June 29, as a sign of solidarity with the pope and a symbol of the yoke of Christ.
The pallium, a circular band of wool with two black stripes and six black crosses, recalls that the bishops, “like the good shepherd, are to care for the flock,” the archbishop said after the ceremony. He said that especially, the archbishop has an important role in bringing back those who have the faith, and carrying them back, like a lamb, on their shoulders. This, he noted, is part of the reason the pallium is worn around the neck, as a shepherd would carry a lost sheep. “We are to place especially those who have strayed on our shoulders and bring them back.”
This year, 42 archbishops from around the world who were appointed in the past year to head archdioceses received the pallium from Pope Benedict at St. Peter’s Basilica; two more who could not attend will receive the stole blessed by the pope from the papal representative in their country.
After the pallium was placed over his neck and shoulders and over his chasuble, as it will be worn in liturgical celebrations within the archbishop’s metropolitan archdiocese, the pope spent a few moments speaking to each archbishop. Archbishop Lori said Pope Benedict recalled on his own that Baltimore is the oldest archdiocese in the United States. “I felt his warmth and his kindness.”
He said he brought to the Holy Father the love, the loyalty and the unity of the people of the Archdiocese of Baltimore with the See of Peter and with the person of the pope. Sweeping his arms wide to encompass a mass of people, he said, “I felt I brought all the greetings of the archdiocese at that moment and I also mentioned, of course, the Knights of Columbus since I am the chaplain and the Holy Father responded warmly.”
In the pope’s homily, in which he reflected on the Gospel of Matthew in which Jesus called Simon to be the “rock” on which he would build the church,” he told the metropolitan archbishops, “The pallium that I have conferred on you will always remind you that you have been constituted in and for the great mystery of communion that is the church.”
He said the spiritual edifice of the church is built upon Christ as the cornerstone, but in its earthly and historical dimension, it is built on the rock of Peter.
The pope said that being cooperators in the truth “requires from each of us and from our communities a constant commitment to conversion to the one Lord in the grace of the one Spirit.”
The pallium features six black crosses, believed to symbolize the wounds of Christ at his crucifixion: his hands and feet, the crown of thorns and his pierced side. It also features three pins that symbolize the nails that held him to the cross.
By tradition, the palliums are placed on the tomb of St. Peter the night before the ceremony to connect the service of those who wear them to the first pope.
Copyright (c) June 29, 2012 CatholicReview.org