Did You See What the Pope Is Wearing?!?

Benedict brings back vintage papal styles; Catholics wonder why
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2008 3:13 PM CDT
Pope Benedict XVI arrives for Vespers in the Crypt at the Basilica of the National Shrine.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – Benedict XVI is wearing some pretty flashy, and pretty old-school, outfits, and pope-watchers the world over are atwitter, the Washington Post reports. Unlike his predecessor, who “would just wear whatever was given to him,” the current pontiff is reaching into a closet that dates back hundreds of years, causing some to wonder whether “this old-fashioned 'character' also comes with an old-style authoritarianism.”

A top adviser to the pope was quick to play down any reactionary agenda; “these aren’t new things,” he said. The interpretations are endless: One bishop saw a woolen cloak as a signal the pontiff hoped to reunite the Eastern and Western churches. And let’s not leave out the materialists: One blogger noted that the cross Benedict wore in Washington had “major bling.”