Pope Francis and the Pallium

As we have come to expect, Pope Francis is switching things up a bit. Last week I reported on the Feast of St. Agnes and its connection to the pallium. News out of Rome this week is that there will be changes to the way in which the pallia are distributed to the new metropolitan archbishops.

The pallium will no longer be bestowed liturgically on the new metropolitan archbishops in Rome during the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, as has been the recent custom. Rather, new metropolitan archbishops will be vested in their own archdiocese by the Apostolic Nuncio. According to Mgr. Guido Marini, the papal master of ceremonies, this new initiative by Pope Francis is meant to “greatly favor the participation of the local Church in an important moment of its life and history.”

The new metropolitan archbishops will be invited to concelebrate the Mass of the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul with the pope as has become the custom. After Mass, they will then be presented with their pallium privately. When they return to their dioceses it will then be bestowed on them liturgically.

More about the significance of the pallium and Pope Francis’ change in its bestowal can be found at America.


  1. If memory serves, this was the practice until relatively recently, too – but i cannot seem to confirm when it was changed (i suspect early 1980s) – does anyone have more information?

  2. Excellent idea! Now if only there was a real significance to the office of Metropolitan. To the best of my knowledge Archbishops get to preside at infrequent gatherings of provincial bishops, and to enter last in a liturgical celebration in which these bishops are present. For most Catholics the pallium is just a liturgical decoration. Hasn’t Francis made it clear that becoming a priest, bishop, archbishop, or Cardinal is not a personal honor or a position of privilege but a call to greater service?

  3. Here’s what I know –
    The Imposition of the Pallium as it appears in the Roman Pontifical takes place at the beginning of the Mass in which the archbishop is received into his Cathedral church; however, the practice of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI has actually been to summon all new metropolitans to Rome to receive the pallium directly from the hands of the pope on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. So, we’re returning to the original practice. And looking forward to a liturgy in Chicago this summer probably! We skipped that part in November….

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