Friday 22 January 2016

Record of the Week: Cardinal Carter's Pallium

Yesterday Catholics celebrated the Feast of St. Agnes. From as far back as the tenth century, there has been a tradition of the Pope blessing two lambs, as shown in the video below which is from last year's ceremony:

The wool from these lambs is later used to create the pallia, which are episcopal vestments reserved for metropolitan archbishops and the Pope. The pallium is symbolic of the Good Shepherd, and of the authority of the archbishop in his jurisdiction. It is worn in his own territory; only one prelate will be wearing a pallium at a time. If the pope is in an archbishop's territory, he will be the one wearing a pallium, since his territory is universal.

The wearing of the pallium originated in early Christianity. Originally a Greek garment which was much larger and worn for warmth, Christians began wearing it as a symbol of their loyalty to the Church. It was adopted by the clergy, and was eventually given as a gift by the Pope. Over the centuries, its use was restricted to only the highest-ranking bishops, and its shape changed so that it was symbolic rather than functional.

When a new metropolitan bishop is named, he must request the pallium from the Pope within three months. Last year, Pope Francis made a change so that new metropolitans are invested with their pallia in their own sees rather than in Rome, although they are still present for the blessing of the pallia on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. This practice serves to provide more involvement for the people of the local Church in the new archbishop's initiation.

ARCAT has a pallium which belonged to Cardinal Carter. It is rare for a pallium to be in an archives because they are usually buried with their owner when he passes away. However, this pallium was damaged and replaced by a new one, which was buried with Caridnal Carter.

TX 107a: Cardinal Carter's Pallium
The pallium is a white woolen circle with two two stems that hang down in front and back. It is embroidered with six crosses. 

TX 107b: The pallium folded in its case.

The pallium is held in place by three jewelled pins:

AF 355: Three pallium pins

This set belonged to Cardinal Carter to replace the set below.

AF 356: Three pallium pins
This set originally belonged to Cardinal McGuigan. When Archbishop Pocock received his Toronto pallium he used these pins, as did Cardinal Carter until he replaced them with the yellow set above. You can see this set in the photo below.

PH 18P/30CP: Cardinal Carter wearing his pallium at a large event.

Cardinal Ambrozic receiving his pallium from Pope St. John Paul II on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, June 29, 1990.
PH 19P/01CP

Cardinal Ambrozic wearing his pallium in St. Michael's Cathedral, ca. 2006.
Photo courtesy of the Office of Public Relations and Communications.

For more information about the pallium and other vestments and traditions of the Church, read The Church Visible, by James-Charles Noonan Jr.

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