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Papal Tiara
Question from Anonymous on 9/15/2011:

Hello Father John, I need your help. I have been trying to ask this question but nobody ever answers It. What happened to the Papal Tiara that the Popes used to wear. Was'nt that a part of the Church's tradition. I heard that Pope Paul 6 gave to a Jewish merchant who in turn destroyed It. Thank you for your help. God bless

Answer by Fr. Jay Toborowsky on 9/16/2011:

The truth is that there were (and are) several tiaras in the Vatican museums and in the "Tesoro" (Treasury) of St. Peter's Basilica. Because Popes come in different shapes and sizes, so do the tiaras. Don't think of the Tiara in the way that Great Britain has the "crown jewels". The Pope is the Pope by his election and by his acceptance of the election, not because of being crowned with a tiara at a coronation (or installation, as it has been called of late).

Pope Paul was, most certainly, NOT destroyed. It can be seen on display at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. If you go to the Shrine's website, www.nationalshrine.com, you can click on a virtual tour of the lowel level papal exhibit and see the tiara along with a stole work by Pope John XXIII.

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