by Anura Guruge
The March 18, 2011 post of Cardinal Burke sporting a red, 15-tassel (on each side) galero proved to be very popular. We should also not forget the November 30, 2010 post about the giant, motorized red galero float prepared for the newly created Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don by the ever resourceful and creative folks of Sri Lanka. [Disclosure: I was born in Ceylon.]
We visited St. Patrick’s in New York City last Thursday, and given the interest folks had shown in seeing pictures of the suspended galeros of dead cardinals, I asked my wife to take some pictures of the four, cardinal galeros at the Cathedral.
The four galeros suspended from the vault of the East-end apse (a.k.a. sanctuary), behind the altar, belonged to:
1/ Cardinal John McCloskey (born 1810, created 1875, died 1885, bio),
2/ Cardinal John Murphy Farley (born 1842, created 1911, died 1918, bio),
3/ Cardinal Patrick Joseph Hayes (born 1867, created 1924, died 1938, bio), and
4/ Cardinal Francis Spellman (born 1889, created 1946, died 1967, bio).
The gallero worn by Cardinal Spellman is said to have belonged to Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (created 1929) — who went onto become Pius XII (#261) in 1939. Spellman was one of his creations.
In 1969, post Vatican II, a papal decree, by Paul VI (#263), eliminated the practice of cardinals receiving a galero when created — deeming that it was too elaborate and would detract with people identifying with their lord cardinal. The faithful in New York adhering to this papal edict stopped presenting galeros (galeri) to their cardinals — though the papal edict only eliminated new cardinals receiving a galero at their creation consistory as opposed to a blanket ban on cardinals receiving galeros from their fans. Subsequently, Cardinal Terrence Cooke who died in 1983 and Cardinal John Joseph O’Connor who died in 2000 did not (in theory) have galeros that could be suspended in public. Hence, just the four galeros of the four cardinals who died prior to 1969.
The apse vault is about 80′ to 85′ feet above the floor. The cables used to suspend the galleros appear to be 15′ to 20′ in length. So they are still way up there and the lighting is subdued. Hence the quality of the pictures.