30 January 2015

Patrimony and the Pallium

Vatican Radio reports that our beloved Holy Father will no longer himself impose the pallium upon Metropolitan Archbishops (They will each be surreptitiously given one to pack in their suitcases and to take home so that the nuncios can do the business in the home dioceses, at the same time, I presume, as the Cappa Magna is bestowed).

This is a return to earlier practice. I do not think there is anything sinister about it.

I presume that the usual oath will be sworn on that occasion. Oaths of obedience to the Roman Pontiff are, incidentally, very much part of the Anglican Patrimony; you will recall how ready that principled man Thomas Cranmer was to swear such an oath. I wonder if his Patrimonial wife used to darn his pallium for him.

But could it be that this new change of practice has something to do with an ecumenical problem? Some Orthodox prelates have ... well, let's be frank, a bit of a paranoia ... about the public conferring of the Pallium on "uniate" metropolitans in Rome on the feast of SS Peter and Paul. You see, that day is the major occasion for an official delegation to visit Rome from the Phanar. During the last pontificate, there was one occasion when rather embarrassed special arrangements had to be made. I would thoroughly approve if this awkwardness has now been eliminated. It will remove just one possibility of "uniate" prelates being embarrassed or snubbed in public.

In the Church of England, the Pallium is not, I suspect, currently much in use. But in the 1530s, legislation was passed under Henry 'Empire' Tudor to the effect that when one of the English Metropolitans died, the survivor was to consecrate and send the pallium to his successor. So it is definitely part of the Anglican Patrimony. I wonder if the Irish Parliament passed similar legislation?

I think it would be very nice indeed, thoroughly jolly, if the senior of the Ordinaries of the three Ordinariates were to be sent a pallium. In fact, he could be called the Archordinary and given the jus to have a Primatial Cross carried before him. That is yet another part of the Patrimony. Patrimony is endless ...

7 comments:

Don Camillo SSC said...

You are such a wag, Father!

Jack Lynch said...

The good father makes a rather important point--Anglican patrimony contains all sorts of things that one could excavate and display with aplomb, a rather Anglican action in itself!

I do wonder when Fr. Hunwicke will suggest that Ordinariate priests begin preaching in gown, tabs, scarf, and hood...

Delia said...

Well, it may be a return to ?much earlier practice, but nevertheless St Thomas Becket, for example, received the pallium direct from the pope (admittedly in Tours in his case, not Rome), as did ?some/?most other medieval metropolitans. So just another nice bit of tradition that has been ditched.

Don Camillo SSC said...

Surplice if not gown, at least. I think the Holy Father's laudable aim is for the Provinces to become much more aware of the dignity of their Metropolitan, and to participate in his reception of this important symbol of communion with the Holy See. Nothing wrong in that.

The Saint Bede Studio said...

Nothing wrong in that, at all, Don Camillo; rather laudable. One wonders why, however, it is necessary for the new Metropolitans to be summoned to Rome at all for the Solemnity? Could the entire rite not take place in their own Cathedral? The money they might be obliged to spend on the airfare to Rome could be given to the poor, according to the Bergoglian model.

Edwin said...

In the first reading at Morning Prayer last Sunday (on Dt 18.8) there is an interesting footnote. The verse reads 'They shall have equal portions to eat besides what he receives from the sale of his patrimony".
The footnote on 'patrimony' says
"Hebrew obscure".
Perhaps, Father, you will lift the veil for the commentator?

Disciple said...

The Saint Bede Studio: Could the entire rite not take place in their own Cathedral? The money they might be obliged to spend on the airfare to Rome could be given to the poor, according to the Bergoglian model.

I'm not too sure about that. Last night, when before family prayer (the Rosary) my elderly aunt asked my 15yo brother if he had a rosary, he claimed--on the basis of some misunderstanding, I'd say--that he's allowed to use his fingers.

Later, when he finished leading a decade, in amusement I whispered to him, "Good job using that rosary!" because, since he'd felt the need to enquire about the Nth Hail Mary at some point, he basically sold himself out that he wasn't using his rosary as he pro-mised.

Similarly, if the "Bergoglian model" favours this way of being able to give to the poor, I would think it should also provide for the giving, too.