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  • Fr. Juan Pablo Carpio

On Canonical Possession

Updated: May 7

On the 2nd of May, 2024, His Grace, the Most Rev. Rex Andrew Clement Alarcon shall take possession of the Archdiocese of Cáceres that was appointed to him by Pope Francis to shepherd as its Pastor and begin his duties as its Archbishop.

At the beginning of the Holy Mass, the Solemn Installation Rite shall be held: the Liturgical Act done in the cathedral church of the Archdiocese with the clergy and people gathered together by which the Archbishop assumes office by Canonical Possession (cf. Can. 382 n.4). The Archbishop takes canonical possession of his Archdiocese when he personally or through a proxy has shown the apostolic letter to the college of consultors in the presence of the chancellor of the curia, who records the event (Cf. Can. 382 n.3).

When the Archbishop-designate accepts the rights and duties of shepherding the Archdiocese, he receives the Crozier and Miter and is seated at his Cathedra, the signs that he has taken canonical possession of the Archdiocese.

After the Archbishop has taken possession of the Archdiocese, the clergy of the Archdiocese and representatives of the Faithful of his flock come to pay him homage by kissing his ring, the sign of respect given to a Bishop that is symbolic of obedience and service.

 The Solemn Occasion shall truly be filled with signs and symbols. Indeed, there will be pomp and pageantry, regalia and jewelry, protocols and choreography. But what we keep in mind in lieu of this worldly grandeur, is the humility of service that our dear Archbishop, our Among Rex, assumes as our chief shepherd in persona Christi capitis.

On the Crozier, Miter and Cathedra

The crozier, baculum, is the symbol of the pastoral office of the Archbishop. It is a hooked staff, a pole with a curved top, similar to a shepherd’s crook used to pasture sheep.

The miter, also a symbol of the office of a bishop, is the liturgical hat that represents the splendor of holiness, dignity and authority embodied by the Archbishop. The hat is made up of two triangular or elongated rigid cloth that are partially joined at the sides that form two points at the top that represent both the Old and New Testaments, and with two long bands that hang at the back.

The cathedra is the episcopal throne of the Archbishop. This is why the principal church of the Archdiocese is called the Cathedral because it is where the Cathedra is placed.

On the Pallium

The Pallium, personally given by the Pope to the Archbishop, signifies the power which the metropolitan, in communion with the Roman Church, has by law in his own province (cf. Can. 437 n.1). It is a band of cloth from a lamb’s wool that is worn over the chasuble or stole by an Archbishop. This is also why a pallium is incorporated in the coat of arms of the Archdiocese Cáceres. After he assumes office, Among Rex shall go to Rome to be given the Pallium.


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