Episcopal ordination, papal style

The new papal almoner, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, was ordained a bishop in St. Peter’s yesterday. Here’s Francis, Bishop of Rome, on his way there. (That’s not Give Us This Day in his hand, btw.)


Francis was in attendance in simple white cassock…

…but with stole ready for the ordination part…

… like this.

Most of the prelates are wearing black cassocks, an observant eye will notice.

Archbishop Piero Marini was a co-consecrator – for the first time in nearly a decade, I’m told.

More photos here.


  1. What Francis is carrying in his hand in the first photo is, I think, the people’s booklet for the service, produced by the Vatican Polyglot Press, with the usual woodcut graphic on the front cover.

    1. @Paul Inwood – comment #1:
      Yes, Pope Francis was carrying the order of episcopal ordination, published specifically for that occasion. On the back of this booklet was Archbishop Krajewski’s coat of arms and motto: “Misericordia”

  2. Archbishop Krajewski himself was wearing choir dress though as photos of the reception afterward show…
    From the photos in the link though, it seems that most of the prelates were wearing choir dress.
    What i’m much more interested to see is Cardinal Law being present, and apparently being greeted by the Holy Father… nihil sub sole novum i’m afraid.

    1. @Stanislaus Kosala – comment #2:

      What i’m much more interested to see is Cardinal Law being present, and apparently being greeted by the Holy Father… nihil sub sole novum i’m afraid.

      Alas, he apparently isn’t in the papal doghouse after all.

    2. @Stanislaus Kosala – comment #2:
      He was wearing a white chasuble as were all the concelebrating priests. The other archbishops and cardinals present were wearing choir dress. Archbishop Krajewski changed into his new choir dress for the reception afterwards.

    3. @Stanislaus Kosala – comment #2:
      Archbishop Konrad was wearing a white chasuble for the consecration as he concelebrated at the Eucharist after the ceremony. Yes, he wore his new choir dress for the reception afterwards – a very happy occasion!!!!

  3. Why was Francis in attendance? Could he have sat with the people if just attending? Why does he not wear simple black clerics instead of the white if all the rest or most of the others wear black? In a recent posting or comment Francis said to his audience he sees himself as a simple priest. It would seem that if this is the case then why the white? It always seems odd to me to have high ranking church officials sitting for Mass when they could just as easily sit with the people.

    I also recall from the past that several Jesuits I have worked with often wear a coat and tie to such affairs. Could he? Maybe it’s just a local phenomenon.

    As for Cardinal Law in attendance and a greeting by Francis … well it seems that nothing is changing fast enough at least for me.

    God bless our church including those who are ordained to pastor us.

    1. @John J. Hoffman – comment #3:
      “I also recall from the past that several Jesuits I have worked with often wear a coat and tie to such affairs. Could he?”
      John, can you imagine what would have happened if he had worn a coat and tie?? It’s a delicious thought.

  4. On a related topic, I have always been a bit troubled by the tradition of making people bishops in order to enhance their job status, or as a reward for service. Thus what is there about the role of papal almoner that requires the candidate to be an archbishop? Likewise Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, Pope Benedict’s longtime secretary, was made a bishop, pretty much as a reward for faithful service. I would hope for taking seriously once again the ancient norm that ordinations should not take place without a concrete diocese that needs a bishop. It is troubling that ordination to the episcopate seems to be given out like parking spaces. It is somewhat ironic as well that Archbishop Krajewski’s dissertation was on the understanding of episcopal ordination in the reforms of Vatican II.

    1. @Jan Larson – comment #4:
      I read this comment before noting the author, and kept nodding in agreement: What kind of ecclesiology is it where fully 49% of our episcopate is titular? What does that do for the cancer of careerism? Someone out there is “un liturgista in gamba!” (to paraphrase my bishop).

      …oh and then i look up and realise we’ve known each other for twenty years, this great commenter and I. Ciao padre!

    2. @Jan Larson – comment #4:
      There are some archbishops who work in the Vatican and do not have dioceses, simply because their job is not in a diocese but in the curia. I can assure you that Archbishop Krajewski is not guilty of “careerism” and he still prefers to be called Padre Conrado. He was made an archbishop not as a reward [although he has worked tirelessly in the Office of Liturgical Ceremonies for many years], but because his new work is going to require much more effort from him. Pope Francis has enhanced the post of Papal Almoner, because he wishes the work for the poor and homeless to have much more emphasis than in the past. The Papal Almoner has always been an archbishop, though [see notes on the Vatican website on the page about the Office of Papal Charities under Institutions Connected in the section on the Curia]. I cannot see what relevance the subject of Archbishop Krajewski’s dissertaion has in connection with his present post. He is far too busy to think about it. Curial archbishoprics are not sinecures. I have seen Archbishop Krajewski doing work for and with the poor and homeless long before he was “promoted”.

  5. Good point, John. As I recall Archbishop Marini wasn’t ordained a bishop for a specific diocese either. Also, did anyone notice the crozier(with sculpture of John the Baptist) Archbishop Krajewski carried? It seems certainly a step away from the simplicity associated with Francis. Does anyone know if it has a special significance?

    1. @Stanislaus Kosala – comment #6:
      Archbishop Konrad’s own crozier has a little statue of Jesus The Good Shepherd. It is neither elaborate nor expensive. Not many people know that the archbishop’s neighbours in Borgo Pio clubbed together to buy his new vestments and, presumably, the crozier. Padre Corrado is a very simple, humble priest with an enormous workload, which he loves. Please do not criticise him in any way. He has been a servant of Jesus Christ since he was a schoolboy in Lodz, Poland.

  6. “It is troubling that ordination to the episcopate seems to be given out like parking spaces.”

    Very well put.

    To the contrary. I think Vatican parking places are much harder to get (particularly very recently)!

  7. Attending in choir is a time honored tradition in the Church. Moreover, the pope is a priest, but not just a priest. He is a bishop, but not just a bishop. That he accents one aspect of his role does not mean that he despises the other. The pope emphasizes the simple, the lower, the more common, the less regal. However, this doesn’t mean he despises all of that. When asked why he referred to himself as Bishop of Rome, he said it wasn’t because rejected his other titles. But the Bishop of Rome is the one that is most suitable at this time. The same with leaving off the red mozzetta, it seems. He isn’t going to throw out everything, including all of the Church’s tradition, in the interest of simplicity. He is simply going to accent the simpler, the more humble. Somewhere (the GIRM, or SC?) it says that clerics should attend mass vested and seated for their rank. That isn’t always a chasuble. It can be choir dress. Jesuits can dress in suit and tie in certain places (many priests dressed in normal street clothes for a long time), but they should not do so for mass. Cassock and surplice, please. Stole for receiving communion.

  8. Did anyone notice that the mitre of one of the concelebrants ( at the left of the screen at 25.55 in the video ) was the four evangelists design often worn by Paul VI.
    Any idea who it was that was wearing it and why?
    It did look odd that the papal chaplain was in a chasuble when his master was in just a cassock.

      1. My understanding is something along the lines of if the Pope (or a Cardinal) celebrated, they would outrank the principal consecrator and would thus need to be the principal consecrator.

        By attending in choir, he (and other high-ranking clergy) can participate without taking over.

        A similar case when a bishop is present at a funeral for a priest’s parent where the priest wishes to be the celebrant. The bishop cannot concelebrate, so he can attend in choir or (I think) preside without celebrating.

        It has nothing to do with Pope Francis trying to be low church or anything like that.

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