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Pope Francis' none-too-subtle Vatican 'dress code'
Pope Francis' none-too-subtle Vatican 'dress code'

Vaticanologists — the Catholic version of Kremlinologists — are journalists and scholars who scrutinize even the most trivial actions for clues to the thinking of the pope. A subset of this group (in which I include myself) pays special attention to what Pope Francis wears. As I have written before, compared with Pope Benedict XVI, Francis has been “dressing down,” eschewing ornate vestments and sky-high jeweled miters (the double-pointed headdress worn by Catholic and Anglican bishops). This isn’t just a matter of fashion preferences: Benedict’s fondness for Baroque vestments was viewed by both liberals and conservatives in the church as a coded endorsement of the theology and style of...

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