Mosaic of Benedict XVI at St. Paul’s “outside-the-walls”

From a reader comes yet another e-mail without a link:

Info from theratzingerforum: Our Pope’s Mosaic in St. Paul’s Outside the Walls hat been altered and shows now the pallium which the Pope is wearing now, no longer the one he wore at his installation.

The Forum is "astonished".

Are you also?



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  1. Thomas says:

    The New Liturgical Movement has a picture of the old and new mosaic.

  2. J. Basil Damukaitis says:

    Though utterly impracticle and restrictive to the type of vestments he wears, I rather liked the old pallium. I’m sad to see the mosaic changed. It was good iconography. I don’t much like the new pallium either. It is poorly tailored given the nature of the vestment. When it moves around, it looks dissheveled. I would have preferred the traditional pallium used by the recent popes perhaps altered with red crosses and maybe slightly larger.

    Remember, the more tailored the garment, the more perfect it must lay, with little room for movement, otherwise it will give a more sloppy look. That’s why the new pallium briefly used worked well. It was meant to be “sloppy” for lack of a better word because it lacked precise tailoring. It’s like linen. It wrinkles quickly, but so beautifully.

  3. Aleksander Stepanovich says:

    I agree with Mr. Damukaitis (is that Greek?), I liked the old pallium much more – it looked more patristic to me which I like, I don’t know why “trads” always hated it

    why waste time and money on changing the mosaic?

  4. J. Basil Damukaitis says:

    I’m Lithuanian, it was changed at Ellis Island when my family came over (most think I’m Greek), but I as raised in both the Greek Rite and Latin Rite, and the fact the interem pallium looked like an omophorion was as you said, very patristic, and that ain’t bad!!!!

  5. Mark says:

    The old pallium wasnt perfect, they could have made it more omophorial, but I did sort of like it. I dont mind the new one either, but I am baffled by wasting time and money to change the mosaic. It was nice before, and nice now, so who cared enough to obsess about changing it?

  6. Mitchell NY says:

    Any reasons floating out there as to why this was done? (old mosaic changed) Someone “in the know” must have heard a whisper about this..Both styles were OK to me, although I think with the vestments The Holy Father is now using the newer one does seems to hang better….I liked the ancient one but it always looked unkempt.

  7. prof. basto says:

    The Marini I pallium was bad with Roman Chasubles, and that was enough to make it a bad pallium. Roman chasubles rule!

    Also, it used to fall through the pope’s shoulders, and needed constant adjustment to be kept in place.

    That said, the flatness of the Marini II design is a bit strange, and a-historical.

    Perhaps future Popes will go back to using the beautiful pallium worn by Metropolitan Archbishops, or perhaps a pallium identical to the one worn by the Metropolitans, but with red crosses.

    You know, the Pope wouldn’t need to wear a different pallium to distinguish his office from that of the Metropolitans if he used the FANON. The fanon would distinguish him. Indeed, the suppression of the fanon is difficult to understand. What is wrong with it? Bring back the Fanon!

    Still, as a poster in the NLM noted, it does seem kind of a damnatio memoriae of Marini I’s terrible invention.

    And for those who defend the use of a more “oriental style” pallium by the Pope, let us remember that he is the Bishop of Rome, and that the Latin Church has its venerable traditions, too. Instead of copying Eastern forms, we should appreciate our rich Latin Church heritage. Even the Orthodox appreciate us more when we cherish our own Latin traditions. Their positive reaction to Summorum Pontificum is a prime example. So, in the West, the pallium has acquired a certain shape over the centuries, let’s go with it, instead of trying to copy other forms of pallia that do not suit well our Roman vestments.

  8. stigmatized says:

    i guess people want him to represent more the church’s attitude of a thousand years ago than of 1600 years ago. (is that an improvement?)

  9. J. Basil Damukaitis says:

    I don’t know why the pope could not employ two pallia! The Eastern bishops do it all the time, there is the short omophorion, and the large omophorion. He could use the Marini I for full gothic vesture, and the old style perhaps with red crosses and just a bit larger, with “roman” vestments.

    Either way, the new new one looks like a 6 year old cartoon done in crayon. It doe3s not respect the integrity of the material of which it is made, nor how it is used.

  10. I’ve not yet received any messages from the Vatican asking my opinion but I did not like Marini I’s pallium and I agree with Prof. Basto that the present Papal pallium is too flat. The pallia on the metropolitans forms a dignified collar.

    I’m not really all that sure that the Pope’s pallkium needs to be different from those worn by the metropolitans. After all, they wear it to show their unity with him.

    And by all means bring back the fanon.

  11. Danny Mary-Joseph says:

    Forget vestments, perhaps his holiness should wear the papal crown. Remember that? That big thing that popes used to wear?
    Why doesnt he?

  12. J. Basil Damukaitis says:

    I hear the title of the next motu proprio is,
    “tiara nostra”

  13. Mark says:

    “The Marini I pallium was bad with Roman Chasubles, and that was enough to make it a bad pallium. Roman chasubles rule!”

    Please. Calling it a “Roman” chasuble is merely positive framing. It is a Baroque chasuble, not a “Roman” chasuble. That style is the style of a specific TIME PERIOD, not a specific PLACE.

    In Antiquity the chasuble at Rome was conical, as it was other places. In the Middle Ages the chasuble at Rome was gothic, as it was other places throughout the West too. And in the modern era it was baroque cut, but this was hardly endemically indicative of Rome, pretty much becoming common throughout the West.

    “And for those who defend the use of a more “oriental style” pallium by the Pope, let us remember that he is the Bishop of Rome, and that the Latin Church has its venerable traditions, too.”

    Again. It’s not a question of location. The Marini I was not more “oriental”. It represents a tradition that existed in the West at least until the 1100’s when we started slowly abridging everything and becoming lazy minimalists.

    Consider Innocent III’s pallium in this medieval portrait:

    Let us not identify the tradition of the Latin Church with merely counter-reformation tridentinisms.

  14. prof. basto says:

    What is wrong with “counter-reformation tridentinisms”?

    The Council of Trent and the Counter-Reformation were both great, and venerable practices issued from them.

    What placed us under the present liturgical mess in the first place was the desire of 20th century liturgy scholars to deviate from “counter-reformation tridentinisms” and instead search for “more ancient forms”.

    Under the “more ancient” pretext, we ended up having the Eucharistic Prayer II in our liturgical books; under the “more ancient” pretext, the liberals, dissenters, etc, call for us to celebrate the Eurcharist arround a table, in the NeoCatechumenal Way fashion.

    So, I am glad to stand up to “counter-reformation tridentinisms”.

  15. prof. basto says:

    Danny and J. Basil,

    The sight of bronze Statue of St. Peter at the Vatican Basilica was great yesterday, adorned with cope, pectoral cross, ring and tiara.

    You can watch the video of the Papal Mass and imposition of pallia here:

  16. Noel says:

    Going slightly off topic: a question which has intrigued me:

    ++Nichols would have received a pallium on his appointment as metropolitan of Birmingham Archdiocese. As he has not been elevated, but translated to Westminster, what was the need for him to receive a further pallium?
    My understanding is that the pallium is imposed to signify an Archbishop’s appointment as a metropolitan, and hence would not be received by those with, say, curial appointments.
    So does the ‘new’ pallium symbolise an appointment to a new ‘territory’ for want of a better word?

  17. prof. basto says:



    My ordinary, H.E. Mons. Orani João Tempesta, O. Cist., was Metropolitan Archbishop of Belém do Pará before his appointment as Archbishop of St. Sebastian of Rio de Janeiro.

    But, when appointed to head a different ecclesiastical province, the Metropolitan must seek a new pallium. That\’s why Archbishop Nichols also received a new pallium, for his new province.

    And you are correct that the pallium does not correspond to the rank of Archbishop, but to the rank of Metropolitan. Hence, Titular Archbishops serving in the Roman Curia, Archbishop-Bishops (i.e., those who head a \”normal\”, non-metropolitan diocese, but, having been granted the rank of Archbishop before, are allowed to keep it \”ad personam\”), etc. do not receive the pallium.

    Metropolitans nowadays do not have a huge authority as such over their suffragan bishops in the province, but still, the authority that they yeald over their suffragan bishops is seen as a delegation from the Supreme Authority, a participation in the plenitude of the pontifical dignity. That\’s the reason why, to signify their closeness to the Sucessor of Peter and the additional authority they discharge as metropolitans, they receive the pallium.

    The exception to the general rule that only metropolitans receive the pallium is the Dean of the College of Cardinals. However, after he receives it, the Dean of the Sacred College can only wear the pallium again for the Episcopal Consacration of a Pope. So, in practical terms nowadays, the Dean of the Sacred College receives the pallium, and never uses it again. The last time a Pope had to be consacrated a Bishop happened when Gregory XVI was elected to the See of Peter in the 19th century.

  18. Joan says:

    It is my understanding that the pallium “stays” in the diocese and an Archbishop receives a new pallium when he goes to a new diocese. Thus Dolan also received the pallium yesterday, even though he received one when he became Archbishop of Milwaukee.

    But maybe someone else has better insight.

  19. prof. basto says:

    When I said: “So, I am glad to stand up to “counter-reformation tridentinisms”.

    I meant: “So, I am glad to stand up for “counter-reformation tridentinisms”.

    The rationale for the Marini I pallium is the same rationale of search for first millenium archaisms that served as a justification for the liturgical madness of the 1960’s.

    Organic development is the precise opposite of the artificial search for the archaic; for the archaic ends up being a total novelty. And, sometimes, in an attempt to reproduce first century practices, what happens is a total fabrication, just as the Marini I pallium was an artificial fabrication.

  20. Noel says:

    My thanks to the ‘prof’.
    My own Archbishop explains the pallium to congregations from time to time so I was aware of its significance in the collegiality of the bishops as successors to the apostles with the Holy Father. Likewise as to the limited authority of a metropolitan these days.
    I am fascinated, though, to learn the other details which embellish its history.

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