Archbishop Wuerl Receives Pallium from Pope Benedict XVI

June 29, 2006

Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl, installed as Archbishop of Washington on June 22, today received the pallium from Pope Benedict XVI during a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The Holy Father placed the pallium, a strip of specially blessed and woven wool that is worn by a metropolitan archbishop as a visible sign of his pastoral authority within his province, and of his communion with the Holy Father as the successor to St. Peter and shepherd of the universal Church, over Archbishop Wuerl’s shoulders during the 2-1/2 hour Mass. He then spoke with the new Archbishop for a few moments.

The pallium is given to new metropolitan archbishops during their first year of service in that position, and only on the Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul, June 29. A metropolitan archbishop heads the lead diocese within a province, or group of dioceses.

Archbishop Wuerl was one of 27 archbishops from around the world, and one of three Americans, who received the pallium this year. The other U.S. archbishops were Archbishop Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco.

A group of pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Washington attended the Mass. On Wednesday, they also attended the Papal Audience. At the conclusion, the youngest pilgrim, a 7-year-old boy, was embraced by Pope Benedict XVI when the Holy Father stopped by the area where the pilgrims were seated.

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Susan Gibbs
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