Friday, January 30, 2015
Palliums and Bureaucracy
Palliums are now to be given in the home diocese of Metropolitans by the Nuncio rather than received directly from the Supreme Pontiff who had taken them from the tomb of the Apostle Peter where they had lain over night.
I seem to remember notes about pre-Reformation English Metropolitans receiving the Pallium at Evesham or Ripon or some such place, and even the red hat was occasionally delivered (as in the case of St John Fisher) rather than got directly from the hands of the Pope. When changes are made it is always worth asking why things developed as they are in first place.
My initial reaction is that it will give the Nuncii something to do, and also enhance their status as Papal go-between, or Legates, and do a little to dispel stories of walls of ice between Nunciatures and Metropolitan Cathedrals.
The problem is that it distances the Metropolitan from Papacy by imposing a middleman, another level of bureaucracy, which we had all hoped the Holy Father intended to dispel but actually seems to be creating. Vatican Monday has an interesting over-view of the diplomatic service. With such illustrious names as Mgr Giovanni Battista Ricca and Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski one must ask if the Diplomatic Corps is really in a healthier state than other members of what Pope Francis himself describes as the "leprous court". In England and Wales the consensus among the clergy seems to be that we have not been served well by previous Nuncii.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake