Saturday, December 30, 2006

Desperately Seeking... Pallium

Several items of pontificalia belonging to Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb of Mobile -- including the first pallium bestowed on the newly-created province 25 years ago -- were stolen from his car on Christmas Eve:

Lipscomb had backups for most of the items taken -- a crosier shepherd's crook, a pectoral cross, a gold antique chrism vessel and other valuable symbols of his office, Farmer said. But the pallium, which the Maryknoll Catholic Dictionary describes as a white, woolen circular band two inches wide, ornamented with six small black crosses and having a weighted pendant in the front and in the back, can only be replaced by the Vatican, church officials said.

Farmer said Friday that the pallium, while made simply from inexpensive material, is highly valued by the archbishop.

"The pallium is very much part of being an archbishop," Farmer said. "And is given by the Vatican to an archbishop."

To get a replacement, Lipscomb possibly will have to petition Catholic Church officials at the Vatican in Rome and that could take a month, Farmer said.

As a last-ditch option, every so often a pallium goes up on eBay... but of course, the feeling just isn't the same.