Archbishop Edwin O’Brien is on his way to Rome, where he will receive his pallium on Sunday from Pope Benedict XVI.
O’Brien, of course, is the archbishop of Baltimore — and a former auxiliary bishop of New York. I understand that a lot of his old friends from New York are also heading to the Vatican for the big event.
A pallium is a band of white wool that is worn around the neck and shoulders. It is given to “metropolitan archbishops,” who have jurisdiction over at least one diocese beyond their own.
It is supposed to symbolize an archbishop’s authority within his province and his communion with the pope.
O’Brien, long considered a contender to become archbishop of NY, became archbishop of Baltimore last year. He has not been made a cardinal yet — his predecessor, Cardinal Keeler, is still young enough to vote in a conclave — but it will come eventually.
The pallium Mass will be broadcast live by EWTN at 3:30 a.m. Sunday and re-shown at 9 p.m.