Benedict XVI consecrates 4 new bishops… Roman vestments

Today the Holy Father consecrated four new bishops.

Roman vestments.

Pianeta by pianeta.

I’m just sayin’

Prayers for the new bishops.

More images from the video feed.

Nice to see that they have been bringing out some of the splendors of the papal sacristy.

The Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, His Eminence Marc Card. Ouellet (future pope?) makes the formal request that the four priests be raised to the “onus” of bishop.  The Holy Father responded “Libentissime“.

Litany of Saints

Consecratory prayer.

The new bishops get their gear: the book, the ring, the miter, the staff.

Then they are seated in a “cathedra”, because they are teachers.

When Pope Benedict and Bishop Gänswein exchanged greetings, the latter seemed rather moved.

Heading down to greet other bishops.

More about Gänswein’s stemma, HERE.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. MargaretC says:

    In addition to the lovely Roman chasubles, I’m impressed by the amount of lace.

    Lace is good.

  2. maioremlaetitiam says:

    Not only do they wear Roman vestments, pianetas, but even the dalmatic underneath – very good indeed. Consequently, no crossing of stoles!

  3. benedetta says:


  4. Clinton says:

    … and the fanon seems to be back to stay.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    wow…. look at the lace

  6. SimonDodd says:

    This seems to be the second time Benedict has vested in the fanon, the first time having been the Synod of Bishops. What’s the connection between that and this? What can we infer about the logic driving the decision “fanon vel non”?

  7. Angie Mcs says:

    It must be so moving and awe inspiring to be in His Holiness’ presence, to look into his eyes. I see such kindness and wisdom in them, even in these small glimpses. May the Lord protect him and give him strength for many years.

    Yes, the lace is indeed beautiful. Some of you have even commented on it. Does it have a particular symbolic significance?

  8. HighMass says:

    Congrats to the new Bishops…..

  9. jaykay says:

    Angie Mcs: no real symbolic significance, except that it’s a sign of how formerly people desired to give the Lord their very best for His Holy Sacrifice and all connected with it. Lace was expensive and prestigious and generally used for “best wear” so its use on sacred vestments, altar cloths etc. was a sign of honour to the Lord. It was very common for communities of nuns to make vestments and in a town near to me here in Ireland Saint Louis nuns single-handedly initiated a thriving craft industry based on lace in the 19th century, much of which was for the Church. Some of it still exists today, happily in use.

  10. CatholicMD says:

    His Holiness also wore the fanon at Christmas as well.

  11. Jim of Bowie says:

    Isnt one of them Msgr. Georg Ganswein?

  12. acardnal says:

    Jim of Bowie: Yes.

    Msgr. Ganswein is now an Archbishop and designated Prefect of the Pontifical Household. He also remains the pontiff’s personal secretary.

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  14. AnneG says:

    Beautiful. What I love besides the excellent quality and dignity of the vestments is the embroidery. There has been more excellent quality embroidery and lots of it is done by hand. The Pope’s mitre is an excellent, beautiful example. Thank you Fr Z for pointing it out. I wish they had some really good photos to make designs from.

  15. Jon says:

    HH also wore the fanon at Mass for the Solemnity last Tuesday.

    As I’m guessing Pope Ouellet, Pope Scola, or Pope Burke would all agree for the same reasons in thinking it spiffy, I’d say it’s definitely here to stay.

  16. Mike says:

    I wish Benedict would incorporate some of these remarks into his latest book on the nativity narratives. They would complement that wonderful, slim volume very much.

  17. Widukind says:

    Very nice!
    But the style of the vestments for me is a contradiction. I just cannot get my sensibilities wrapped around a Roman / fiddle-back / etc. style chasuable. I know I will rankle some people here, but it is simply illogical for these reasons:
    a) it speaks of minimalism. This style is reduction taken to its extreme. Over the ages as the chasuable got heavier and more encumbered, it kept getting snipped shorter and narrower to accomadate the celebrant, until this was all there was left. The style is simply a “short cut”.
    b) this abbreviation is then an historical abberation. Just because something was prevalent in ages past, it does not mean that it was necessarily correct or appropriate. So why resurrect that which is lacking? I know of some young priests / seminarians who upon seeing a Roman chasuable, swoon, drool, and collapse into spasms. It seems as if such a vestment style has become for some the “poster child” of the reform of the reform. But can it? Does it have weight? I cannot see it.
    c) it is because I see no correspondence, symbolic connection, to what the reclaimng of our liturgical patrimony is all about. If we are yearning for the return of a “fullness” of our heritage, I fail to see the “fullness” of this vestment?
    d) as sight and image are most important in liturgy, that by the visible – what is depicted or is seen, the truth is impressed upon our imagination. Beauty, truth, goodness, life and love, and sacrifice too, are about abundance and fullness. Little abundance seems to be engendered by this style.
    e) the prefiguring or correspondence of the earthly liturgy to the heavenly liturgy is lost. I believe that Guardini speaks about the celebrant being “clothed” in glory, that he, as alter Christus reveals to us the splendor of Christ. The awe of glory and splendor is something that ought to enwrap us. There is far too little here that can enwrap.
    f) aesthetically it is unflattering, particularly on a well built celebrant. When a portly priest wears such a style, proportion is skewed. The less too little of the material makes it appear that the man is much too much in the flesh.
    g) it show incongruity with our Eastern rites, and will hamper ecumenical rapport with the Orthodox. We have been embarassed and ridiculed once by our double-knit, quilted, and rainbowed vestments, but then when we say we have set such silliness aside and are recapturing our tradition, we just go and embarass ourselves again, but in the opposite direction by trotting out our priest sandwiched between two postage stamps. These others are not at all embarrassed by their full cut vestments made of noble cloth. Do you think they are really going to takes us seriously when we place one of ours next to one of theirs and we come up short again.

  18. Giocrypt says:

    Now if we could only get them to wear the episcopal gloves next.

  19. Dr Guinness says:

    I agree with most of your comments. Personally, I am quite partial to either a good “Roman” or “Gothic” vestment. Its new-found fame among the younger generation, I think, stems from the Gothic style being tarnished by those awful, awful mass-produced polyester bedsheets which are still very prevalent in some places, with their four-inch fold-over collars at the back and their mandatory minimalistic artwork on it, usually consisting of a picture of a cup, some grapes and wheat.

    With the limited amount of material on the Romans, especially at the front around the arms, this makes the movements at Holy Mass easier. In terms of the large, flat section at the back of a Roman, this gives rise to a good ‘canvas’ for a talented artist to display some magnificent images, which the Gothic just doesn’t allow for. [This presupposes, of course, that the celebrant is facing the correct way while saying Holy Mass. But that’s another argument!]

    I will agree with your comments of the problems of the gradual ‘cutting away’ at vestments from the Gothic, to the Roman, could lead to some sort of “scapular chasuble”. [Brief article about it at the Saint Bede Studio website:

  20. Joboww says:


    I can understand your point of view on most of this, however I have to take issue with g)

    Maybe its just me but most Orthodox that I dialogue with never bring up this, instead they babal on and on about the Filioque or the See of Rome being unfounded… yada yada yada. Im not saying that its not good to talk and dialogue with them but in general most Orthodox are hardened Sedes who would only accept authority if an Orthodox Bishop sat in Rome in the first place. So Vestments are the very least of any concerns, plus we are the Church they are still the schismatics (maybe Im wrong on that but I dont think so) whether they like the vestments is irrelevant because they have no authority in the first place without Peter

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  22. originalsolitude says:

    I’m jealous that the men get to wear such exquisite lace. It’s not fair! Forget the theological arguments. Lace is the best reason for women’s ordination. :- D

  23. Stumbler but trying says:

    Such beauty, I am glad to see it again in these fine pictures you have shared with us, Fr. Z. When I gaze upon such holy finery, the white lace…I am reminded of purity, of splendor, all in loving and faithful service to the One who made heaven and earth…I too, am inspired to reflect upon the Lord’s beauty and holiness as I look at these pictures.

  24. Widukind,
    I am with you on this. I was under the impression that Gothic vestments were worn long before 1962? And aren’t they closer to what the original Roman garment looked like that the chasuble derived from?
    Aesthetically, too, they can very easily be displeasing. Some that I have seen look like cardboard covered in upholstery fabric or the sides of a ‘cello case. I do like this set though – the fabric is gorgeous and the vestments don’t look too stiff or heavy. And that lace is amazing!
    Is it the camera angle or is the top altar cloth crooked??

  25. inara says:

    More lace, more grace! ~ or so my 13 year old, who nervously MC’ed his first Missa Cantata last night likes to say ;o)

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