Thursday, 15 October 2015

Costume Of Prelates Of the Catholic Church according to Roman Etiquette. By The Rev. John A. Nainfa S.S. Part 28.

CHAPTER IV. Crosier.
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1. Description. — 2. Use. — 3. Crosier of Eastern Bishops.

1. The crosier or pastoral staff (baculus pastoralis) is an ecclesiastical ornament which symbolizes the pastoral authority of Bishops and Abbots. Its symbolical meaning was felt very early in the history of the church, but its real origin is probably to be traced back to the ordinary walking sticks, which the Apostles used in their long journeys. (a)

The crosier consists of a long staff, curved at the top, and pointed at the bottom. When not in use, it may be divided into sections and kept in a box. (b)

According to strict etiquette, the crosier should be of gold or gilt silver for Cardinals and Patriarchs, and of silver for Bishops and Abbots; (c) but this point of discipline is hardly ever observed, and most crosiers are more modestly made of gilded brass.

Some authors say that the Abbots belonging to the Order of the Reformed Cistercians (Trappists) should make use of a crosier of wood; but this is an exaggeration of severity, peculiar to one branch of the Order, which has no foundation in the general law of the Church or even in the traditions of the Cistercian Order; St. Bernard, the great Cistercian Abbot, founder of Clairvaux, and a strong supporter of the old monastic discipline, made use of a metallic crosier.

2. Cardinal-Bishops, Cardinal-Priests, Prelates invested with the episcopal character, and Abbots, are entitled by law to use the crosier; and Abbesses have pretty generally usurped the same privilege. Other Prelates, who may have been granted the use of the pontificals, are not allowed that of the crosier, unless an individual exception is made, as was the case for the celebrated Mgr. de Segur. (d)

Early monuments testify that, up to the tenth century, the Roman Pontiff made use of the crosier like other Bishops. How this practice ceased is not known; but it was soon forgotten, and legendary as well as symbolical reasons were ventured in order to explain the present-day usage. One of the most commonly found is that the curved top of the crosier is a symbol of a limited jurisdiction, and, therefore, can not suit the Pope, whose jurisdiction is universal. (e)

The crosier, being a token of jurisdiction, is used by Cardinals in Rome in their titles, and everywhere outside of Rome; by Archbishops, in their provinces; by Bishops, in their dioceses; and by Abbots, in their monasteries. The diocesan Bishop may allow a stranger Bishop to use the crosier in his diocese; but it is better not to do so, especially when the outsider officiates in presence of the diocesan, so as to preserve a well-marked difference between the Ordinary and the visiting Prelate. An Abbot can not lawfully use the crosier outside of his monastery, and a Bishop has not the power to grant him that privilege; (f) to do so, a Papal indult is necessary.

The proper way to carry the crosier is to hold it with the left hand at the handle, just below the knob, which connects the crook with the staff, the curve being turned forward. (g) The Prelate should not hold the crosier lifted, but alternately raise it and rest it on the floor, as he walks.

Some Ceremonials of foreign importation and antiquated scholarship teach that an Abbot in his monastery, and a Bishop when permitted to use the crosier outside of his diocese, should turn the curve backward. There never existed such regulations. The difference in the direction of the curve in the crosier of a Bishop and that of an Abbot is marked only in Heraldry, as will be mentioned in Chapter VI.

Whenever a dignitary uses the crosier, whether it be by right or privilege—or even without right or privilege— he should always turn the curve forward. If the crosier-bearer is directed by the Ceremonial to carry the crosier so that its curve be turned backward, it is not in order to mean that he has no right to use the crosier, but in order that it be correctly turned when he hands it over to the Prelate. At processions, when the Ordinary does not carry his crosier, he may have it carried before him by the crosier-bearer, who, in this case, holds it raised in both hands and the curve turned forward. (h)

Cardinals and Ordinary Bishops use the crosier at High Mass, Vespers, solemn processions, and generally at all pontifical functions, except on Good Friday and at funerals. (i)

A Bishop outside of his diocese may use the crosier when performing functions which imply its use, as, for instance, ordinations, consecrations of churches, etc. (j)

As was remarked for the mitre, the crosier supposes the full pontifical dress; (k) therefore, a Bishop should not use the crosier when vested in cappa magna or mozzetta. (l)

3. The crosier of Eastern Bishops is different from the Latin crosier. Instead of a crook, the top of the Oriental crosier consists in a cross in the form of a "T" (crux decussata) . This form of the pastoral staff is exceedingly ancient, and was used not only in the Greek, but sometimes also in the Latin Church, as it is often found in the old monuments of the West. It points very distinctly to the primitive use of the staff as a support (fulcinatorium, sustentaculum, reclinatorium) or a walking stick. Often the arms of the "T" are twisted so as to represent two serpents opposed. (m)

(a) P. Morrisroe, Crosier (In Catholic Encyclopedia, IV., 515-6).—W. Smith and S. Cheetam, Dict, of Christian Antiq., art. "Pastoral Staff."

(b) The form, use and symbolical meaning of the crosier are indicated in the following mnemonic verses:

In baculi forma, praesul, datur haec tibi norma,
Attrahe per curvum, medio rege, punge per imum;
Attrahe peccantes, rege justos, punge vagantes;
Attrahe, sustenta, stimula; vaga, morbida, lento.
                                                  (Cap. Oum venisset. De Sacra unct.)

(c) Barbier de Montault, Le costume et les usages ecclesiastiques, II., 308.

(d) Marquis de Segur, Vie de Mgr. de Begur, I., 280.

(e) Another well known reason is thus given by Pope Innocent III.: "The Roman Pontiff does not use the pastoral staff because St. Peter the Apostle sent his staff to Eucharius, the first bishop of Treves, whom he appointed with Valerius and Maternus to preach the Gospel to the German race. He was succeeded in his bishopric by Maternus, who was raised from the dead by the staff of St. Peter. The staff Is, down to the present day, preserved with great veneration by the church of Treves."— (Innocent III., De Sacro Altaris Mysterio, I., 62.— Migne, P. L., ccxvii., col. 796).—St. Peter must have repeated more than once the sacrifice of his pastoral staff, for several places claim to have it.

(f) S. R. C, Sept. 27, 1659.

(g) Caer. Episc. II., viii., 62.

(h) Caer Episc. I., xvii., 6.

(i) Caer Episc. (passim),

(j) Caer Episc. I., xvii., 5.—On such occasions, the Pope uses the ferula, a long staff or sceptre with a cross at its top. This cross is not triple-armed, as is often believed and represented, but is an ordinary cross pattee.

(k) Mitra et baculus in episcopo sunt correlativa (Caer Episc.. I., xvii., 8).

 (l) Caer Episc. II., ii., 11.

(m) Cahier et Martin, Melanges d'archeologie, IV., 152, seq.— Battandier, Annuaire Pontifical (1898, p. 110-1; 1900, p. 291-2).