Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Notification Concerning Whether Bishops are Permitted to Wear the Pectoral Cross on Top of the Chasuble, 16 July 1997.


There has arrived at this Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments the following question from several parties and from various places:

Is it licit to wear, on the part of the Bishop, the pectoral cross also above the chasuble?

Response. Affirmative

The usage to wear the pectoral cross above the chasuble during the eucharistic celebration by Bishops, originally a specific characteristic of the Ambrosian rite and of the oriental liturgies, in recent years has become very widespread also in the Roman liturgy.

Moreover, it seems opportune and significant that the Bishop, when he celebrate alone or when he presides at a concelebration, can have a sign which distinguishes him from the presbyters. Therefore, this Dicastery, in addition to what is already prescribed, establishes, with the consent of the Superiors, that the cross can be worn also above the chasuble, there freely remaining the possibility, at the Bishop’s choosing, to wear it beneath the chasuble

Rome, 16 July 1997

Jorge Medina Estévez

Archbishop ProPrefect

Geraldo M. Agnelo

Archbishop Secretary

Notitiae 33 (1997): 280. Unofficial translation.