What is the name of the hat of the Popes

Clerical headdress

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Religions / Archive | Article from July 2nd, 2011

Hardly anyone knows about papal headgear as well as the collector Dieter Philippi

By Michael Hollenbach

The headgear of the bishops, cardinals and popes each have their own meanings. (AP)

When Pope Benedict XVI. will come to Germany in September, then there will be a lot to read and hear about the clothes and shoes of the man in white. Connoisseurs like Dieter Philippi see theological statements even in the smallest details of the Pope's outfit.

Dieter Philippi is a regular customer of the traditional Roman tailoring company Gammarelli, which has been dressing the respective popes since 1792. Dieter Philippi's passion is the skullcap, the miter, the Saturno and the biretta, the headgear of Christian clergymen. At Gammarelli he had a special, 12 centimeter high Augustinian biret made for him.

"I had it made for me in black silk with a moiré effect, so moiré is this shimmering effect. What is only found in cardinals and apostolic nuncios."

Dieter Philippi is a lover of details. You can also feel that when he carefully strokes the pompons, the pompons on the biretta:

"Even if you touch it, it really crumbles. These are hundredth millimeter silk threads that make it possible for the pompom to stand up straight and not collapse."

The papal tailor Gammarelli also has small birettes on offer, which even Pope Benedict could not resist as a kind of clerical joke:

"Small miniature birette, five by five by three centimeters, for the bookcase or as a small souvenir. Cardinal Ratzinger had that on the piano, he had such a small teddy bear, and on top of the teddy bear was this small miniature biret, which the teddy bear had on the head. And I saw it in the apartment of another priest who had it as a stopper on the whiskey bottle. "

The Pope in a suit and tie, a cardinal in jeans and a cotton shirt, a bishop in corduroy trousers and tank tops - hardly imaginable. Clerical clothing is more feminine and, above all, completely unfashionable. The Mannheim fashion psychologist Carlo Michael Sommer:

"So such official attire is usually a bit behind the times. It cannot be fashionable. Because then it is not subject to the times and apparently comes from a prehistoric age that gets its legitimation from a very old time, and basically also the everyday definitions is relieved. That removes them a bit and makes their superordinate function clear. "

In the past few decades there have been attempts to adapt clerical clothing to current fashion:

"They also commissioned fashion designers. It turned out that this is very difficult when you come into everyday life, into today's fashion, then this function cannot always be taken so seriously."

The trend is going in the other direction anyway. Young priests, especially from the USA, are again consciously wearing cassocks, the ankle-length robes of Catholic clergymen. You also want to identify yourself as a cleric in everyday life. This is particularly pronounced in very conservative orders such as the Pius Brotherhood. For the fashion psychologist Carlo Michael Sommer it is quite understandable that a kind of retro cult is noticeable in the Vatican and among priests:

"If we look at the situation of the Christian religions in the western world today, a certain secularization can be observed insofar as the church is increasingly approaching the modern world. The problem is that then the identity of the Catholic Church is always being softened a bit . And at the moment when this softening takes place, it is relatively likely that some of the functionaries will say: We have to preserve our identity and then make it clear to the outside world, for example by wearing the clothes. "

"What I need ... a pair of socks .. I need purple and red ..." "

Dieter Philippi buys a few more items of clothing from the papal tailor. The socks in the clerical colors of priest black, bishop's violet, cardinal red and papal white are particularly popular with tourists, says junior boss Stefano Gammarelli. Of course, nobody will buy their carnival costume here in the noble tailoring shop.

"Some things everyone can buy, some not. The things for the Pope, nobody else is allowed to buy them."

Gammarelli dresses Pope Benedict - as he already measured with John Paul II:

"There is a little difference between the old Pope and this Pope. But basically it's more or less the same. This Pope is a little more conservative."

Therefore, many media registered particularly attentively that Benedict XVI. put the Camauro on in December 2005:

"The camauro is a red velvet hat trimmed with ermine fur. From the Middle Ages, around the 12th century until the 19th century, it was the official headgear of the popes outside of the liturgy. With the Napoleonic era, the camauro went out of fashion and after the term of office Leos XIII out of use. "

"The Pope only said: 'That was cold, it was a Wednesday afternoon, it was freezing cold, I was afraid of catching a cold and that's why I wore this Camauro, this red velvet hat, but only because it was cold and not, because I wanted to send a signal. '"

Says Dieter Philippi. But the Camauro was not an isolated incident. Benedict also took the Easter mozetta out of the papal wardrobe:

"A Mozetta is a shoulder collar that reaches to the elbow, sometimes with a small hood for higher clergymen of the Catholic Church. The Mozetta is worn over the choir shirt."

And another eye-catcher: the Ferula.

"The ferula is an insignia reserved for the Pope in the Roman Catholic Church. It is a staff with a cross at the top."

Under the new master of ceremonies Guido Marini, Benedict XVI. a new staff with a much larger gold cross on it. For the Münster liturgy scholar Clemens Richter, Pope Benedict's new weakness for the old clothes and symbols is also an expression of a backward-looking understanding of the church.

"He left the ferula of his predecessors John Paul II and Paul VI and got himself a new bishop's staff, which is exactly based on a model from Pius IX, that is from the 19th century. And things like that have a special symbolic power. You don't take something from the 19th century if I don't have a special access to it, then the re-admission of the Tridentine mass fits in. These are all steps back to the time before the council. ""

The red shoes of the Pope also cause public discussions again and again. For a long time it was rumored that the Pope wore Prada. But Dieter Philippi assures:

"The shoes are made by Adriano Stefanelli, a 65-year-old shoemaker from Novarra near Milan, and who even after half a year of talking around made me a pair of shoes." "

Dieter Philippi has been collecting clerical headgear across all religions for 13 years. A testimony to his passion is a four kilo heavy and more than 700 page thick volume about headgear in faith, religion and spirituality. A magnum opus of the passion for collecting.

"It is certainly the case that one can approach a religion through the object, i.e. through a pectoral cross, a ring or a hat, and that fascinated me to first acquire the object and then to read about the object, to browse literature and then to see what facets this religion has. "

He bought most of the headgear in the Eternal City. But sometimes he has to fly halfway around the world to get the object of desire - for example a hat from the Hasidic Jews:

"The Schtreimel in New York, where I got my turn through a rabbi in New York, it's a fur hat, it looks something like the wheel of a Vespa scooter, about the size of twelve or 13 centimeters up, and you couldn't order it on the Internet at all, which I couldn't understand, then I really went to New York and went to a shepherd who sold me this Schtreimel, who asked me five times why I did want to have that to make sure that I don't want to wear it as a barrel night disguise at the carnival. "

Dieter Philippi's collection also includes the Galero, such as the one worn by Raymond Leo Burke, a cardinal from Wisconsin.

"He is a full supplier, and has had the Cappa Magna, a train up to eight meters long made of red silk, an extremely expensive item of clothing, as well as the Galero, that cardinal's hat with the 18 tassels, the status hat of a cardinal, and also uses it at ceremonies. "

"The cappa magna is a coat with a hood and a train. It is worn by cardinals and bishops. The cardinals' cappa is red and purple during fasting and mourning."

"The hat is then carried by a man in front of the cardinal as a sign of cardinal dignity and this cappa magna, this long train, also as an insignia of cardinal dignity, and it has to be held at the back by someone so that it does not drag across the floor . That already has a processional character, that is a clear sign of a pre-conciliar time. You can't see it any other way. "

David Berger sees it that way too. The Cologne native knows the clerical clique in Rome. For years the theologian was editor-in-chief of the conservative magazine "Theologisches" and professor of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas - until he came out as a homosexual last year:

"I was sometimes a guest at such gatherings of traditional priests. There you talk about the liturgical vestments, what great offers there are, but also about certain offices that you can get, because you can then, for example, purple socks and You are allowed to wear buttons, and you are excited that the Holy Father is putting the Camauro back on, that the Cappa Magna is being used again by the bishops, that is, what has been abolished since Paul VI, is coming again and the enthusiasm is unanimous And there are some who freak out and spend a fortune on such garments, the Brussels lace can't be long enough, and the brocade can't be thick enough, because that's so great, so every travesty artist dies of envy when she does see what they can pull off. "

And be able to attract. The Vatican augurs are now watching with excitement which item of clothing Pope Benedict will bring out of the wardrobe of church history next.

"There is also content behind it. This is also such a monarchist self-image that they say: watch out, that thing about democracy was a little slip that happened to us at the council, but now a different wind is blowing. And once you do once it shows aesthetically, it is easier to swallow, because it doesn't look really bad either. "

This is also the opinion of Dieter Philippi, collector of more than 550 clerical hats and caps. In the realm of Catholicism he actually has everything in headgear - the Pope has only one advantage over him:

"There is only one piece that is missing from the collection, that is the tiara, but that will forever remain wishful thinking because making a tiara today goes well into the hundreds of thousands if you then put in sapphire, rubies, emeralds."

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