Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Rome Journal: Your Outer Pope

Perhaps you find yourself enthused by a visit to the Pantheon with its famed Oculus looking out into the heavens. Perhaps you feel you have finally found your calling, as a man or woman of God. Perhaps you feel that if you act “as if” you may find yourself possessed of an unforeseen divinity. It’s just like dressing for success. Who says you have to be ordained to dress up like a cardinal, bishop or priest? Walk along the Piazza Minerva with its Bernini sculpture of an obelisk and an elephant at the center and onto the Via Cestari and you will come to De Ritis Marcello: Abiti ecclesiastici, where in the storefront windows you will find the latest fashions in clerical garb. Italy is one of the fashion centers of the world and while Donatella Versace might not have designed any of the outfits on display you will find everything from the classic black robe worn by Rossellini’s resistance fighter priest in Roma citta aperta to the golden robes that are part of every pope's wardrobe. You won’t find any of the torso hugging outfits that fashionable Italians like to sport. Most of the men and women of God seem to prefer the billowing potato sack look which fends off the temptations of the flesh.

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