Friday, June 02, 2006

Who is this guy?

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Anybody out there know who this is? The photo was snapped at the Hope & Future Conference in Pennsylvania last year. The picture caught my attention because it is either:

1. the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Pittsburgh who doesn't quite understand how to dress, or
2. some other cleric who has some explaining to do.

The man in the picture is wearing the pallium, which is the strip of cloth with black crosses that encircles his neck and hands down in front. The pallium in the Western church is a sign of metropolitanical jurisdiction and communion with the pope. The use of the pallium is reserved to the pope and archbishops, but the latter may not use it until, on petition they have received the permission of the Holy See. Simple bishops have sometimes received the pallium as a mark of special favour, but it does not increase their powers or jurisdiction nor give them precedence. The pope may use the pallium at any time. Others, even archbishops, may use it only in their respective dioceses, and there only on the feast days and other occasions designated in the Pontificale. Unlike in the picture, it is always worn over the chasuble.

First of all, the man in the picture is not Bishop Donald Wuerl, the RC Bishop of Pittsburg at the time. Nor is it Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, the Archbishop of that province (who would not be permitted to wear it on that occasion anyway).

What can we deduce? The man in the picture seems to be a bishop. He is wearing the purple skullcap. You can just see the purple cassock at the edge of his alb (which should not be worn without a chasuble over it anyway). He is wearing his stole bishop-wise, that is, hanging down straight instead of being crossed over the chest. He is wearing a pectoral cross (though on a chain instead of properly on a green and gold cord). You can't see an episcopal ring, but you can see a wedding ring. Methinks this is not a Roman Catholic archbishop. And I suspect the Holy Father did not grant him the pallium which he wears.

Nitpicking? Yes. But am I right?

2 comments:

Timotheos Prologizes said...

P.S. Can you tell it's my day off?

Anonymous said...

In some rites, the equivalent of the Latin or Petrine pallium sees broader use. An example would be the omophorion of the Greek Rite, use of which is a privilege not only of archbishops, but of all bishops. I do not recognize either the gentleman or his rite.