By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
tIn an image that might playfully be termed “arresting,” Pope Benedict XVI today told a crop of new archbishops that although their jobs require a certain kind of surveillance, that shouldn’t turn them into “prison guards,” but rather into pastors who “want to serve others.”
tThe pontiff spoke this morning during an a ceremony to impose the pallium, a narrow band of wool cloth, upon 34 metropolitan archbishops appointed to their current archdioceses during the past year. While the 67 million Catholics in the United States represent just six percent of the global Catholic population of 1.1 billion, the five Americans who received the pallium this morning amount to more than 20 percent of new archbishops in 2009:
•tGregory Aymond, 59, New Orleans
•tRobert Carlson, 65, St. Louis
•tTimothy Dolan, 59, New York
•tGeorge Lucas, 60, Omaha
•tAllen Vigneron, 60, Detroit
The pallium ceremony is held each year on June 29, the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.