Clothes Make the Cardinal

Interesting commentary on UCA about clothing, especially the new cardinals:

With prices given in  euros, the Chasuble would cost  9,000, alb =  550, amice = 40, cassock = 550, sash = 175, socks = 20, shoes = 800, buskins = 320, tunic = 500, dalmatic = 500, ornate ceremonial gloves = 1,000, zucchetto = 125, biretta = 250, pectoral cross =  1800,  cord for cross = 250, miter = 6,000. A new cardinal could have a ready-made outfit bought in Rome with a modest price tag totaling 21,880  euros or  30,011 in US dollars …

Twenty-four new cardinals is a pretty good business–a lion’s share of my parish’s annual budget. Outfitting just one can be a hardship:

An Indian bishop who participated in the recent Synod of Bishops for the Middle East could not afford a black cassock with scarlet border, so he decided to borrow one for the occasion.

The same bishop went to buy a ring and told the shopkeeper that he wanted a simple and affordable one.

“Your choice is very impressive, unlike other bishops who look for more expensive rings,” the Roman shopkeeper complimented the bishop.

A refreshing piece after a week’s coverage here. On one hand, it’s hard to fault Rock’s enthusiasm for matters hierarchical. This photo, at first glance, looked like caterers setting up the buffet line.

By the way, does anybody know if outfitting cardinals comes out of pocket, or are the titular churches on the hook?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Church News, Commentary, spirituality. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Clothes Make the Cardinal

  1. Katherine says:

    Of course, what this list does not take into account is that most new cardinals are already bishops, so would already have much of it. (Pontificals are pontificals; Pope Benedict often wears vestments he had for years before he was pope.) A new cardinal presumably could get by with a cassock & sash (actually two cassocks, the full-dress red and the black with red piping), zucchetto, biretta, and a new cord for his pectoral cross. About 2000 Euros …

    So far as I know they are on their own to pay for it.

    I don’t know about the titular churches, except that I vaguely recall reading that new cardinals from wealthy dioceses were liable to be assigned titular churches that were in need of repairs, as it was assumed they could afford to help.

  2. Jimmy Mac says:

    Oh, gee – only 2,000 euros. Well that makes everything OK, then.

    I can’t believe that any right-thinking Catholic would defend ANY of this kind of expense or dress for servants of the servants of God.

  3. David says:

    Nope, titular churches don’t have to pay for any of the cost and its true that run down churches often get cardinals from wealthy dioceses with hope they will help pay for repairs.

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