Jun 252013

A Philippine archbishop will receive from Pope Francis in Rome this weekend the pallium, one of the most special symbols of the Catholic Church.

Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tirona, who arrived in Rome Sunday, will attend the Mass and imposition of the pallium on new metropolitan archbishops at St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said the Mass will take place at 9:30 a.m. (3:30 p.m. in Manila) on Saturday.

It noted Tirona, a Carmelite missionary, will be the only Filipino archbishop to receive the pallium this year—and the first Filipino archbishop to receive pallium from Pope Francis.

A pallium is a vestment made of white wool worn only by the Pope and archbishops. The pope uses the pallium to symbolize the plenitude of pontifical office.

“Many of those receiving the pallium were appointed since June 29 of last year or during the term of Francis’ predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI,” the CBCP said.

The CBCP said a pallium for archbishops signifies the authority from the Pope over their respective archdioceses, particularly their bond with the pontiff to pastors in their regions.

It said the pope gives a pallium to newly installed archbishops around the world during the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.

Last year, four Filipino archbishops were given the pallium:

  • Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle of Manila
  • John Du of Palo
  • Jose Advincula of Capiz
  • Romulo Valles of Davao.

Tirona, 66, was the last archbishop appointed by Benedict XVI on September 8, 2012, before Benedict XVI resigned from his post five months after.

He was formally installed as Caceres archbishop on November 14, 2012, succeeding Archbishop Emeritus Leonardo Legaspi. —VC, GMA News

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