CHAPTER I. Pectoral Cross.
1. Etymology. — 2. Two Different Pectoral Crosses. — 3. Ordinary Cross. — 4. Pontifical Cross. —5. Use of the Pontifical Cross. — 6. Canons.
1. The pectoral cross derives its name from pectus (breast), because it is worn hanging over the breast. It is a mistake to call it "pastoral cross" as is sometimes done. This expression is incorrect, because the pectoral cross is not a sign of jurisdiction, as might be implied by the term "pastoral," but a sign of order. (a)
2. There are two different sorts of pectoral crosses, the ordinary cross and the pontifical cross, the former being worn in ordinary daily life, the latter in the ceremonies of the Church, and especially in the celebration of solemn Pontifical High Mass. Very often, this distinction is not strictly observed in practice, Bishops using the same cross both in their daily life and in church. In Italy, Prance, Ireland, Germany, England, etc., this distinction is generally observed.
3. It is now the universal practice to wear the ordinary pectoral cross suspended at the neck with a gold chain. It should be simple, without precious Stones, and it is not necessary that it contain relics of martyrs. It must be of Latin form, that is the upper part and the arms of equal length, and the lower part longer. An exception is made in favor of the Archbishop of Armagh, "Primate of All Ireland," and the Patriarch of Lisbon; both are entitled, in virtue of an immemorial custom, to wear a pectoral cross with a double traverse. Other Prelates wear a similar cross, but their right to do so is not officially recognized. (b)
The ordinary pectoral cross may be worn over the civilian dress and over the cassock and simar; it is also tolerated over the mantelletta and mozzetta; but, in spite of a very general practice, no pectoral cross is permitted to be worn over the cappa magna. (c)
All Prelates invested with the episcopal character are free to ordinary Pectoral Crow. wear the ordinary pectoral cross ; (d) also Abbots, in virtue of an immemorial custom ; (e) and, by a special grant of Pope Pius X., Cardinals who have not received the episcopal consecration. (f)
4. While the ordinary cross may be worn by Bishops and some Prelates in daily life; the pontifical cross is reserved for church ceremonies and especially for the celebration of Pontifical High Mass, and as such, is permitted not only to Bishops, but to all who have received the privilege of officiating in the pontificals.
This includes, besides Bishops, Cardinals, Protonotaries Apostolic, mitred Abbots and a great number of Canons.
The pontifical cross is suspended from a rather heavy cord, which may be fitted around the neck with a slide, and from the end of which hangs a tassel over the back. This cord is of gold for the Pope, Cardinals and Patriarchs; of green silk, entwined with gold (g) for Archbishops, Bishops, Prelates nullius and Abbots General; of red silk, entwined with gold, for Protonotaries Apostolic di numero; (h) of plain red silk for Protonotaries Apostolic supernumerary; (i) and of purple silk for Protonotaries Apostolic ad instar. (j) For Canons, the color is determined in each case by the indult of concession; generally it is black, entwined with gold. For the pontifical cross of simple mitred Abbots, the color of the cord is determined by the traditions of the Order.
The pontifical cross is of Latin form; it must be hollow, for the prayer recited by the Prelate, when he puts it on, supposes that it contains relics of Saints, "..... hanc crucem sanctorum tuorum reliquiis refertam." (k) Through respect for these relics, and on account of the solemn occasions on which this cross is used, it is made of gold. That of the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops and Prelates nullius, may be studded with diamonds and other precious stones; that of Abbots and Protonotaries Apostolic di numero should be adorned with one gem only (cum unica gemma). (l) Other Prelates and Canons, who are privileged to pontificate, wear a cross of plain gold. (m)
5. The Ceremonial of Bishops and the Rubrics of the Missal prescribe that the Prelate put on the Pontifical cross over the alb, after having put on the cincture, and before taking the stole. It is precisely on account of the pectoral cross that the Prelate does not cross the stole over his breast. If he had to say Mass and had not at hand his pectoral cross, he should wear the stole crossed, as simple priests do.
The Sacred Congregation of Rites several times forbade the wearing of the pectoral cross, and even of the very tassel of the cordon, over the chasuble.
Protonotaries Apostolic, when they come to church for the sake of celebrating Pontifical Mass, may wear the pectoral cross over the mantelletta. (n)
6. The privilege of the pectoral cross has been granted to a certain number of Chapters, both in Italy and elsewhere. Moreover, when a Chapter is favored with the concession of the pontificals, the indult always determines the time, circumstances and right of using them, and the "Ordinary" has the duty to prevent the express terms of the indult from being exceeded.
(a) We read In certain old ceremonials that a Bishop, outside the limits of his jurisdiction, should conceal bis pectoral cross. This Is a mistake. The pectoral cross Is a sign of order, not of jurisdiction. At the Vatican council, Pope Pius IX. ordered the Bishops to wear ostensibly their pectoral crosses even In his presence. "Fuori le croci!" he said, when noticing that some Bishops concealed their pectoral crosses, as he entered the hall where they were assembled.
(b) Annalecta iuris pontificil, 1896, col. 344.
(c) Barbier de Montault, op. cit, Tom. I., p. 408.
(d) Martinucci, Man. Caer., Book V., ch. IV., n. 10.
(e) Ferraris, Bibliotheca canonica, art. Abbas.
(f) Motu proprio of Pius X. (May 25, 1905).—A. Battandier, Annuaire Pontifical, 1906, p. 156.
(g) Martinucci , Man. Caer., Book V., ch. I., p. 6.
(h) Const. Inter multiplied (1005), n. 8.
(i) Const, cit., n. 27.
(j) Const, cit., n. 47.
(k) Rubric of the Missal.
(l) Const. cit., t n. 8.—Some ceremonials teach that Cistercian Abbotts should use pectoral crosses of wood; but this Is against the universal practice of the Church and the real traditions of the Order.
(m) Const, cit., n. 27 and 47.
(n) Const. "Inter multiplies" (Feb. 21, 1905), n. 7, 26, 46, 47.