Pope Francis made his first public appearance wearing house dress, not choir dress. He doesn’t care much for ecclesiastical pomp and splendor, we read.
Our new pope asked for the people’s blessing before blessing them. Nice touch.
Pope Francis took longer to appear than it had taken Pope Benedict – over an hour. We trust it wasn’t because he was wrangling with Marini over what to wear. Maybe he gave a courtesy call to the pope emeritus? (He called him “bishop emeritus” rather than “pope emeritus,” btw – just a slip of the tongue?)
SJU freshman theology student David Wesson explains:
The official choir dress of the pope is a white cassock with a white watered silk fascia (sash). Over that, a rochet (a surplice for prelates with longer narrower sleeves). Over rochet is worn red-silk mozetta (red shoulder-length cape), then stole, then gold-corded gold pectoral cross.
When Ratzinger was elected pope, they went to put him in choir dress but the simar (cassock) didn’t fit him. (Didn’t help Gamarelli’s reputation any, that.) So they put an alb on him over his black sweater. Over the alb he wore the mozetta, pectoral cross, etc.
When Bergoglio was elected pope, he wore a white simar. But interestingly, he didn’t wear the rochet or mozetta or gold-corded gold pectoral cross – the choir dress of a pope. He simply wore a simar (which has a little shoulder cape) and what appeared to be his own pectoral cross. He put the stole on only for the blessing, and then took it off while still in public.
Not sure what any of this means. Oh, I see Rorate Caeli isn’t too happy:
Of all the unthinkable candidates, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is perhaps the worst…. A sworn enemy of the Traditional Mass… persecuted every single priest who made an effort to wear a cassock… or was interested in Summorum Pontificum….
Hmm. We shall see.