Archbishop of Westminster receives Pallium from Pope Benedict XVI

The Pallium

The Pallium

The Very Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, today received the Pallium from Pope Benedict XVI in Rome on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. Archbishop Vincent joined over 30 Archbishops from around the world in receiving the Pallium during a Mass celebrated in St  Peter's Basilica.

The Pallium, a two inch band of white wool decorated with black crosses and worn over the shoulders during the Eucharistic celebration, is bestowed to new Archbishops. The liturgical vestment represents the fullness of episcopal office and is used by metropolitan archbishops within their provinces as a sign of their union with St Peter's successor.

Although Archbishop Nichols received a Pallium as Archbishop of Birmingham, they do not transfer if archbishops move to another metropolitan province and so a new Pallium, tied to the new province, is conferred.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols said: "I am honoured and moved to receive this Pallium at the hands of Pope Benedict XVI. As many will know, the Pallium is made from lamb's wool and becomes a sign of the office of shepherd in the Church. Most importantly this office is exercised in union with the Pope, the visible centre of unity in the Church. Every time I wear the Pallium I will recall this moment and the importance of our union with the Holy Father."

Other Archbishops to receive the Pallium today included Archbishop Tim Dolan of New York, Archbishop Giuseppe Betori of Florence, Archbishop Orani Tempesta of Rio de Janiero, Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of Lvov, Michael Miller of Vancouver and Braulio Rodríguez Plaza of Toledo (the Spanish primate).

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