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Pallium at Pope Benedict's Inauguration
Question from J.J. on 4/24/2005:
United States

Hi there. What's the deal with His Holiness' Pallium?

I've never seen a red Pallium before, at least not for a Latin. I've seen Eastern Bishops with similar garb (I think it is called the omphorion, or something similar?), but never a Western Bishop. Why were the crosses red?

Plus, why is the Pallium in the Eastern style and not in the Roman style that we're accustomed to seeing? I am used to the type that is sort of worn like a pendant, with strips in the front and the back. Why did the Pope have that Eastern type that collects at the side?

I would understand that they would do this if Pope Benedict were an Eastern-Rite Catholic, but as far as I know, he is a Latin, and only a Latin. He's not bi-ritual, is he? I would be so surprised to learn that he is. If he is though, I am happy we have an Easterner for Pope, because frankly almost all of us here in the west don't even know that the Eastern Catholic Churches exist. Sure, there are great Apostolates who try to educate us on this, like EWTN, that even has a special TV programme based on the Easterners, but still, for the most part, Westerners aren't even aware of the Eastern existence.

Anyway, back to my question, why was the Pallium like that? I thought perhaps that this is a special Pallium for inaugurations, but I don't recall a similar Pallium for any of the last Papal inagurations that I've seen on TV. Got any clue on this one? Or do you know where I could find out? I'm really interested, because I am really attracted to our Eastern brothers.

Thanks so much.

P.S.: I am having the hardest time shifting to remembering that it isn't John Paul II and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, but, rather, Pope Benedict XVI. Are you also having the same problem? I guess it'll take me some time to get the hang of it. I'm just 20, and John Paul was the only Pope I knew, so it is a bit of a stretch for me to have to remember that Benedict is our Pope now. I'm still having a hard time believing that John Paul is really gone. Sometimes, it hits me that he's not with us anymore, but I always feel like he is standing there telling me not to mourn for him because he is with God now and he'll never really leave us, and I should be paying attention to our Pope Benedict now.

Answered on 4/24/2005:

He is Pope of all the rites. So, presumably this was done to emphasize that fact. I am only guessing, of course.

Since the crosses represent the five wounds, the color is obvious.

Yes, we must all make that switch, which is normal, like remembering to put the correct year on checks during January. No mystery there.

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