First Mass of Pauline Year to be ecumenical; Pope to give palliums to 43 archbishops

.- The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announced that on June 29, the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate the Eucharist at 9:30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica.  The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I is also scheduled to participate in the ceremony.

Bartholomew I and the Holy Father will deliver the homily, recite the profession of faith and impart the final blessing. The Pontiff will concelebrate with the new Catholic metropolitan archbishops, upon whom he will impose the pallium.

Among the 43 archbishops receiving palliums are: Most Rev. Frederick Edwin O'Brien, archbishop of Baltimore; Most Rev. Thomas John Rodi, archbishop of Mobile; Most Rev. John Clayton Nienstedt, archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis; Most Rev. Anthony Mancini, archbishop of Halifax, Canada; Most Rev. William Martin Currie, archbishop of Saint John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

Receiving the pallium is a 1,700 year old tradition reserved for the Pope and archbishops.  When the archbishop receives the strip of cloth made of lamb’s wool, it signifies the archbishop’s role as shepherd over his respective archdiocese.

Just the day before, the Pope will have inaugurated the Pauline Year by celebrating Vespers at the Roman basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls.

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