Pallium: Insignia of Episcopal dignity was imposed on most Reverend Archbishop Dr Edward Tamba Charles on Monday 13th October, at the feast of St Edward, Confessor, Patron of the Archdiocese of Freetown and Bo.
The solemn imposition of the Pallium- a narrow circular band ornament, with two pendants and centre loop resting on the shoulders and over the chasuble- was imposed on His Grace by the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop George Antonysamy- representative of his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
In his homily, to the congregation that cramped the St Anthony’s Church, the Nuncio said, “the Pallium which I’m going to confer is an expression of spiritual bond…”
He noted that the ornament is a “symbol of faithfulness” to Christ and the Holy Father.
Archbishop Charles explained that he made a request to Rome for the imposition to be done in Sierra Leone so that his congregation can witness the occasion.
His Grace explained that each year on the feast of St Peter and Paul the Pope in Rome imposed the Pallium on newly appointed Bishops.
“The Pallium is a symbol of personal service, by accepting it I have accepted the responsibility of being in the service of the church of Sierra Leone and the universal church,” explained Archbishop Charles.
The use of the Pallium represents the piece of cloth which shepherds used to put around the shoulders to prevent their garments from being soiled when they carry a slow or sick lamb.
The Pallium is meant to portray the image of Christ as the Good Shepherd carrying the lamb on his shoulders.
Since the Archbishop has a diversity of members that constitute his flock, he takes pastoral care of each, thereby following the command of the Divine Shepard to feed His lambs.
In this way, the Pallium symbolizes metropolitan jurisdiction over the flock which is under his care.
Only the Pope and metropolitan Archbishops wear the Pallium. No other Bishop could wear it, even retired metropolitans- unless with special permission.
By Ophaniel Gooding