.- Earlier today, Pope Benedict XVI bestowed the sacred pallium to the Vatican Secretary of State, Card. Angelo Sodano, and other 32 catholic archbishops urging them to work with him for the growth of the Body of Christ, avoiding false autonomies.
After a profound reflection on the catholicity and the unity of the Church, the Holy Father raised the issue of the apostolicity, reminding the honored Archbishops that the pallium, which was placed beside the tomb of Peter, is an expression of their common responsibility and apostolic mission.
The pallium is the symbol of a metropolitan archbishop. It is a circular band about two inches wide made of white lamb’s wool, worn by all metropolitan archbishops and the Pope. It is commonly decorated with five black crosses and worn over the bishop’s vestments about the neck and shoulders. It has two pendants, one hangs down in front, the other down the back.
Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, Pope John Paul II's longtime private secretary who was named archbishop of Krakow, Poland, earlier this month, was among the group of newly appointed archbishops. Applause rang out when he went up to receive the pallium from the pope.
Archbishops José Gomez of San Antonio, and Joseph Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston, were also among the group of prelates receiving the pallium.
Archbishop Fiorenza was named the first archbishop of the newly formed Galveston-Houston archdiocese in December, having already served as bishop since 1985. Pope John Paul II established the ecclesiastical province of Galveston-Houston Dec. 29, 2004 and raised it to the status of a metropolitan archdiocese simultaneously.
In concluding, Pope Benedict reminded the prelates that the aim of all their functions and ministries is for all to reach unity in Faith and true knowledge of the Son of God, so that the Body of Christ may build itself in the charity.