Today, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Pope Francis will once again be giving out he pallia to the world’s new metropolitan archbishops (or to their representatives). The actual imposition of the woolen band signifying the bond with the Rome and the world Church will take place in the archdioceses at a date of the prelates’ own choosing, per the changes introduced last year.
There are 27 new archbishops in this round, all appointed between 29 June 2015 and today. Here’s the list:
- Archbishop Felipe Accrocca, Benevento, Italy
- Archbishop-elect Basilio Athai, Taunggyi, Myanmar
- Archbishop Théophile Barakat, Homs (Syriac), Syria
- Archbishop Luiz Cabrera Herrera, Guayaquil, Ecuador
- Archbishop-elect Christopher Cardone, Honiara, Solomon Islands
- Archbishop Jozef De Kesel, Mechelen-Brussel, Belgium
- Archbishop Zanoni Demettino Castro, Feira de Santana, Brazil
- Juan Cardinal García Rodríguez, La Habana, Cuba
- Archbishop Bernard Hebda, Saint Paul and Minneapolis, United States
- Archbishop Fidel Herráez Vegas, Burgos, Spain
- Archbishop-elect Roger Houngbédji, Cotonou, Benin
- Archbishop Dominique Lebrun, Rouen, France
- Archbishop Salvatore Ligorio, Potenza-Muro Lucano-Marsico Nuovo, Italy
- Archbishop Corrado Lorefice, Palermo, Italy
- Archbishop Francisco Moreno Barrón, Tijuana, Mexico
- Archbishop Darci Nicioli, Diamantina, Brazil
- Archbishop Juan Omella Omella, Barcelona, Spain
- Archbishop Roque Paloschi, Porto Velho, Brazil
- Archbishop Marcos Perez Caicedo, Cuenca, Ecuador
- Archbishop Lorenzo Piretto, Izmir, Turkey
- Archbishop Eugeniusz Popowicz, Przemysl-Warszawa (Ukrainain), Poland
- Archbishop Ruy Rendón Leal, Hermosillo, Mexico
- Archbishop Kenneth Richards, Kingston in Jamaica
- Archbishop Adam Szal, Przemysl, Poland
- Archbishop Lauro Tisi, Trento, Italy
- Archbishop Rodolfo Weber, Passo Fundo, Brazil
- Archbishop Matteo Zuppi, Bologna, Italy
Most of the archbishops will still come to Rome, even if there is no official imposition taking place. Among these is Mechelen-Brussels’ Jozef De Kesel, the only archbishop from northwestern Europe in this year’s relatively small crop.
In his homily on last year’s feast, Pope Francis entrusted the archbishops with a call to prayer, faith and witness:
“The Church wants you to be men of prayer, masters of prayer; that you may teach the people entrusted to your care that liberation from all forms of imprisonment is uniquely God’s work and the fruit of prayer; that God sends his angel at the opportune time in order to save us from the many forms of slavery and countless chains of worldliness. For those most in need, may you also be angels and messengers of charity!
The Church desires you to be men of faith, masters of faith, who can teach the faithful to not be frightened of the many Herods who inflict on them persecution with every kind of cross. No Herod is able to banish the light of hope, of faith, or of charity in the one who believes in Christ!
The Church wants you to be men of witness. Saint Francis used to tell his brothers: “Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words!” (cf. Franciscan sources, 43). There is no witness without a coherent lifestyle! Today there is no great need for masters, but for courageous witnesses, who are convinced and convincing; witnesses who are not ashamed of the Name of Christ and of His Cross; not before the roaring lions, nor before the powers of this world. And this follows the example of Peter and Paul and so many other witnesses along the course of the Church’s history, witnesses who, yet belonging to different Christian confessions, have contributed to demonstrating and bringing growth to the one Body of Christ. I am pleased to emphasize this, and am always pleased to do so, in the presence of the Delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, sent by my beloved brother Bartholomew I.
This is not so straightforward: because the most effective and authentic witness is one that does not contradict, by behaviour and lifestyle, what is preached with the word and taught to others!
Teach prayer by praying, announce the faith by believing; offer witness by living!”