The Pallium as a Special
Bond of Unity
Pope Benedict delivered his address on June 30 to
the metropolitan archbishops whom he bestowed the pallium during
the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.
According to the Holy Father, the pallium symbolizes
the special bond of each metropolitan with the Successor of Peter.
This is worn by archbishops as a symbol of their hierarchical communion
with the Successor of Peter in the governance of God's people.
Father Benedict stated that the different places
where the archbishops come from illustrate the catholic character
of the Church: the faithful of the various particular Churches who
have arrived from every part of the earth feel united with the See
of Peter by a special bond of communion that is also clearly expressed
by the liturgical symbol of the pallium worn by their metropolitans.
Below is the complete text of the Pope's
message as issued by the Holy See.
Paul VI Hall
Friday, June 30, 2006
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today's meeting is like an echo of the solemn celebration
that took place yesterday in the Vatican Basilica, during which
I had the joy of conferring the pallium upon the metropolitan archbishop
here with their relatives, friends and a numerous representation
of their diocesan communities.
The different places they come from illustrate the
catholic character of the Church: the faithful of the various particular
Churches who have arrived from every part of the earth feel united
with the See of Peter by a special bond of communion that is also
clearly expressed by the liturgical symbol of the pallium worn by
I greet each one of you with affection, venerable
and dear brothers, and together with you I greet the members of
your faithful who have come on pilgrimage to the tomb of the apostles.
An affectionate greeting to you in the first place,
venerable and dear pastors of the Church in Italy!
I greet you, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, who is now
called, after various years of direct service to the Holy See, to
be pastor of the distinguished Archdiocese of Naples; to you, Archbishop
Tommaso Valentinetti of Pescara-Penne; to you, Archbishop Luigi
Conti of Fermo; to you, Archbishop Ignazio Sanna of Oristano; to
you, Archbishop Andrea Mugione of Benevento.
May the Lord Jesus, the one who chose you as pastors
of his flock, sustain you in your daily service and with the power
of the Holy Spirit make you faithful heralds of the Gospel.
I warmly greet the pilgrims who have come from France
and Africa to accompany the new metropolitan archbishops upon whom
I have had the joy of conferring the pallium, a sign of very special
communion with the See of Peter.
My greetings go to Archbishop Odon Razanakolona
of Antananarivo, Madagascar, to Archbishop Cornelius Esua of Bamenda,
Cameroon, to Archbishop Francois Xavier Maroy Rusengo of Bukavu,
Democratic Republic of the Congo, to Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa
of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, and to Archbishop Georges Pontier
of Marseilles, France.
Through you I carry in prayer all the faithful of
your dioceses and your countries.
Since I feel very specially close to Africa at this
time, I ask the Lord to help the countries there to advance on the
path of peace and the road of development of individuals and peoples.
May you each day become ever better witnesses of Christ, concerned
to proclaim the Gospel to your brethren and to help them to love
our Father in heaven more and more.
I extend a cordial greeting to the English-speaking
metropolitan archbishops upon whom I conferred the pallium yesterday:
Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco, U.S.A.; Archbishop
Daniel Di Nardo of Galveston-Houston, U.S.A.; Archbishop José
Serofia Palma of Palo, the Philippines; Archbishop Antonio Javellana
Ledesma of Cagayan de Oro, the Philippines; Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie
of Keewatin-Le Pas, Canada; and Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington,
I also welcome their family members and friends,
and the faithful from their archdioceses who have accompanied them
The pallium is worn by archbishops as a symbol of
their hierarchical communion with the Successor of Peter in the
governance of God's people.
It is made of sheep's wool as a symbol of Jesus
Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world and
the Good Shepherd who keeps vigilant watch over his beloved flock.
This vestment reminds bishops, as vicars of Christ in their local
Churches, that they are called to be shepherds after the Heart of
To all of you I affectionately impart my apostolic
blessing as a pledge of joy and peace in the Lord.
I greet with affection the Spanish-speaking archbishops
and those who have accompanied them at the important ceremony of
the imposition of the pallium, which distinguishes them and demonstrates
their role as metropolitans. I am referring to Archbishops Jorge
Liberato Urosa Savino of Caracas; Jorge Enrique Jiménez Carvajal
of Cartagena; Fabriciano Sigampa of Resistencia and José
Luis Mollaghan of Rosario.
Dear members of the faithful who have accompanied
them, I ask you to continue to be close to them with prayer and
generous collaboration, constant and loyal, so that they may carry
out their mission in accordance with God's plans.
I ask the Most Holy Virgin Mary, so deeply venerated
in your countries -- Venezuela, Colombia and Argentina -- to inspire
the archbishops' ministry and to accompany with tenderness the priests,
religious communities and faithful of your archdioceses.
Take back to everyone my affectionate greeting,
together with the apostolic blessing that I now warmly impart to
The Church in Brazil is rejoicing today because
the Archiepiscopal Sees of São Luís do Maranhão,
Ribeirão Preto and Londrina are celebrating the imposition
of the pallium on their new archbishops: José Belisário
da Silva, Joviano de Lima Júnior and Orlando Brandes, who
are accompanied today by their priests, their faithful and their
I would therefore like to greet your particular
Churches with affection and express the hope that this important
celebration will help to strengthen their unity and communion with
the Apostolic See, and to encourage the generous pastoral dedication
of their bishops for the growth of the Church and the salvation
I greet the pilgrims who have come from Poland.
It is a custom of the Church that new metropolitans receive the
pallium on the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.
The pallium symbolizes the special bond of each
metropolitan with the Successor of Peter.
Yesterday, among the metropolitans who have come
from various parts of the world, your compatriot Archbishop Wojciech
Ziemba, metropolitan of Warmia, received the pallium.
I hope that he and all the metropolitans in Poland
will receive abundant gifts in their apostolic ministry, in union
with the Successor of Peter.
I cordially impart my blessing to all the pilgrims
present here who have accompanied the new metropolitan. Praised
be Jesus Christ!
I address a cordial greeting to Archbishop Franc
Kramberger of Maribor, upon whom I conferred the pallium yesterday.
Dear Brother in the episcopate, may the holy apostles
Peter and Paul, great servants of the Church's unity, be a model
in your work for the good of the people of God which has been entrusted
I also greet all the Slovenians, your compatriots,
who have accompanied you today. I warmly impart my apostolic blessing
to you all.
Dear brothers and sisters, this meeting of ours
also sheds light on how the Lord continues to care for his people,
not allowing them to lack pastors and reliable guides.
As we thank him, we cannot but be aware that each
one of us, according to his or her own vocation, is called to work
diligently in the Lord's vineyard so that all may be living members
of his Mystical Body, which is the Church. Indeed, we are "like
living stones built into a spiritual house," the apostle Peter
recalls, "to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through
Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 2:5).
May Mary, Mother of God, intercede for us and help
us to be ever faithful to our mission. I assure you and the diocesan
communities from which you come of my daily remembrance in prayer,
as I willingly impart to you my blessing.