The Triregnum or Papal Tiara symbolizes the spiritual and temporal power of Papism over the Church and over all the nations of the world. It is worn only by popes during non-liturgical services, such as ceremonial processions, ceremonial coronation etc..
Furnished with three diadems, it is ornamented with precious stones and pearls and has at its highest point a cross resting on a globe. This three tiered crown (Triregnum), was worn by popes from Clement V (1305-1314) up to and including Paul VI who was crowned in 1963.
Though not worn by any of Pope Paul’s successors, it has not been abolished and therefore remains the symbol of the papacy and the Holy See, featured in the Vatican coat of arms and on many other papal coats of arms. It is possible that the next pope or any of his successors could decide to reinstate the Papal Tiara for ceremonial use.
The Coronation of Pope Paul VI (1963-1978).
During the ceremonial coronation the archdeacon placed the Tiara on the head of the new pope and recited this prayer:
Accept the Tiara ornamented with three diadems and know that you are the Father of Princes and Kings, Despot of the entire world, earthly representative of our Savior Jesus Christ, to whom belongs honor and glory unto the ages of ages.
Áccipe tiaram tribus coronis ornatam, et scias te esse Patrem Principum et Regnum, Rectorem Orbis, in terra Vicarium Salvatoris Nostri Jesu Christi, cui est honor et gloria in s.cula s.culorum.
After Paul VI the ceremonial coronation was substituted (and not abolished) by the ceremonial Inauguration of the Supreme Pontificate
Pope Benedict XVI.
The refusal of the last three popes to wear the Tiara in no way alters papal ambitions and cacodoxies. The main dogmas of the primacy and infallibility of the pope responsible for all visible and symbolic deviations of Papism remain firmly entrenched.
According to Cardinal Bea (Harvard Colloquium), “it would be simply dishonest to suggest that there is any likelihood that the dogmas of the primacy of the infallibility of the pope will be revised”
(Robert B. Keiser,The story ofVatican II, NY 1963 - pp. 254-255).
Of course not! These two dogmas are the two pillars upon which the entire papal edifice rests; their abolishment would automatically bring about the collapse of Papism.
The Insignia of Papism.
Though not currently worn as part of the papal regalia, the Papal Tiara is used on the flag and coats of arms of the Holy See and the Vatican as the continuing symbol of papal temporal authority.
The first bishop of Kenge, Africa, Franz Hoenem kneels and kisses the red slipper of Pope Paul VI (1965).
Since then this custom was also suspended (for a time).
We are deeply grateful to his Eminence Bishop Chrysostom of Rodostolon, who provided this most rare photograph. It could possibly be the only such photograph available in circulation today.
Until the first half of the 20th century, it was customary for pilgrims having an audience with the pope to kiss the cross on his red slipper, after having made three prostrations as a sign of total obedience and reverence.
The Portable Throne (Sedia Gestatoria)
The Sedia Gestatoria is a portable throne on which the popes were carried until 1978. It consists of a richly adorned, silk-covered armchair, fastened to a suppedaneum, on either side of which are two gilded rings
through which long rods are passed. Twelve palafrenieri (footmen) in red uniforms use the long rods to carry the throne on their shoulders. Two large fans (flabella) made of white ostrich feathers are carried at either side of the Sedia Gestatoria. After its last use by Pope Paul I in 1978, the Sedia Gestatoria was replaced by the pope mobile.
The pope ex cathedra with the two large ostrich feather fans (flabella)
Paul de Ballester’s parents, Francisco and Maria.
Father Paul as an archimandrite.
His Grace Paul, Bishop of Nazianzus.
The church of Saint Sophia in Mexico City, built by the initiative and labor of Bishop Paul.
The casket with the remains of Bishop Paul is lowered into the tomb.
The portrait of Fr. Paul De Ballester permanently adorns the focal wall of the priest's office of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Scranton Pa, his first parish in the United States (1960-1961).
Page created: 20-5-2011.
Last update: 20-5-2011.