Can a regular Bishop choose to wear the omophorion?

Instead of a normal pallium, as Benedict has chosen to revert back to the ancient version?

Jeese, does anyone here even know what an omophorion is?


Drunken_Master, have you seen a picture of Benedict wearing an omophorion?

Sure we aren’t mistaking the pallium (i.e., it’s just a pallium, although in a distinctive style)? Wikipedia says they are related vestments, and says:

For his formal inauguration Pope Benedict XVI reverted to an earlier form of the pallium, from a period when it and the omophorion were virtually identical. It is wider than the modern pallium although not as wide as the modern omophorion, made of wool with black silk ends, and decorated with five red crosses, three of which are pierced with pins, symbolic of Christ’s five wounds and the three nails. Only the Papal pallium takes this distinctive form.

Benedict XVI in his pallium.


“The omophorion of the Greek Rite – we may here pass over the other Oriental rites – corresponds to the Latin pallium, with the difference that in the Greek Rite its use is a privilege not only of archbishops, but of all bishops. It differs in form from the Roman pallium.”

from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Can a regular Bishop choose to wear the omophorion?

What do you mean “regular Bishop”? Are you implying that Eastern Bishops are somehow IRregular?


If you mean Roman/Latin bishops, call them that. Don’t denigrate Eastern Churches loyal to Rome by implying they are somehow irregular or abnormal.

The Pallium now worn by the Bishop of Rome is closer to its original form, as mosaics in Ravenna show, and is in same origin the Byzantine great omophorion. (There is also a short omophorion that resembles nothing so much as a tallis!)

I’m assuming by “regular bishop” you mean any bishop other than the pope. If that’s the case, then the answer is “no.” Only Byzantine Rite bishops wear the omophorion. According to canon law clergy must wear the vestments of their rite unless they have bi-ritual faculties. The pope, by law, has faculties in all sui iuris churches and can, therefore, wear the vestments of any church.

Deacon Ed

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