... or is he just a Fashionisto? As Vatican II thinking and theology takes a backseat in Rome, and by imposition, in dioceses throughout the world, fashions are also going retro. With a new raft of monsignors in Chicago, the demand for fancy cassocks is going up. Once again young clerics can treasure red-plumed birettas in their “hope chests”. Mothballed fiddleback vestments are again seeing the light of day with the revived Tridentine Masses which takes laity off the altar and puts them back in the pews.
To keep the laity informed of Papal sartorial trends, the Chicago Catholic New World recently did a lengthy article on the inside cover. It tried to explain the intricacies of papal couture. One must admit that B16 is a sharp dresser and makes a fashion statement wherever he goes.
Of course there are some critics (including Justice Ann Burke) who feel that rather than regal garb and Prada slippers, simpler papal clothing would show greater humility– but obviously those critics simply aren’t Catholic enough to understand. http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/07/31/sex-abuse-critic-to-pope-swap-white-cassock-for-black-lose-the/