Thursday, April 28, 2005

Pope's Coat of Arms Article in Question?

Am astute reader comments:
As someone who hopes that this story is inaccurate, I take some solace from the fact that the alleged changes to the escutcheon are not part of the L-Osservatore release, but are merely CNS’ observations. Others in the Church, especially those most knowledgeable about heraldry, have made conflicting observations:

Q: Is it correct that the Pope's new coat of arms no longer uses the triple tiara but has a mitre instead?

A: No. The Pope's coat of arms was drawn by Archbishop Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, the former Papal Nuncio to Italy. He took some stylistic liberties like also including a pallium below the shield which is really not appropriate. In addition, his stylized form of tiara looks, indeed, like a mitre with three horizontal stripes. Nevertheless, it is indeed a triple tiara. This ornament, no longer worn, is still the heraldic symbol of papal arms just like the red hat, also no longer worn, is the heraldic symbol for a cardinal.

The Pope's heraldic artist has come up with something interesting but he is not changing the customs of heraldry.

A special Hat tip to GFvonB for pointing this out about a previous post.

I have yet to find a picture of the Pope's Coat of Arms. If someone would send a link, we could see what Carol Glatz of Catholic News Service was talking about.

*** Updated *** A small pic - Cardinal Ratzinger's Coat of Arms.

*** Updated Again ***

A better looking & updated picture of the (yet unofficial?) Coat of Arms of Pope Benedict XVI (Thanks to GFvonB for the link)

These arms combine the bear of St. Korbinian of Freising with the Moor's Head of Munich (the Pope's former archdiocese) with the shell, a symbol of conversion, baptism and an allusion to the works of St. Augustine. The motto (not shown) is "Cooperatores Veritatis" (Co-Workers in Truth)

Apparently, there seems to be a problem with the Coat of Arms as stated in the link above:
The pallium is ill-placed and Catholic bishops do not ensign their arms with a mitre as per legislation laid down in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. So, these innovations are weird and unofficial.

The tiara is still the symbol in heraldry for the arms of a pope. A mitre with two keys would indicate the arms of an Anglican Bishop! I personally believe there is this lag in the Holy See displaying the arms of the pope because they are still tweaking it so that it looks less bizarre.

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