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Pope Francis looking very Roman

Many have been noting how Pope Francis has emphasized from day one his role as the Bishop of ROME. Another storyline has focused on his preference for simpler vestments and regalia, and this has been seen as a break with tradition.

But the photo captured here, during his recent trip to Lampedusa, shows that Francis may be going for the most traditional Roman look of all -- that of an ancient Roman pontifex. When he pulls his pellegrina up over his head like that, presumably to block the sun, the classicist in me sees an ancient Roman priest (e.g., click gallery below for a photo of the Augusto di via Labicana statue).

Thanks to the BBC for a great photo.

About the Author

Michael Peppard is associate professor of theology at Fordham University, author of The World's Oldest Church and The Son of God in the Roman World, and on Twitter @MichaelPeppard.



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Like most Romans/Italians, Francesco is just showing his very practical side:  When it is hot and sunny, shade your bald pate while still striving to be stylish.

I think that Peppard is just reacting to the obvious change and difference with Francesco's most immediate predecessor who favored a papal retro look and style while asscessorizing with Prada and Gucci.

Nice. Next step is to drop this whole "bloodless sacrifice" thing, and get back to basics.

As a follically challenged man like Francis, I appreciate his being practical in his use of his religious garb (kind of calls to mind the original intent of all the garb and liturgical appointments that some have chosen to reclaim to "restore sanctity and devotion" in the Church).  Having been deceived by the sun once and spent the night w/ my head in a buck of ice, I can relate to the pope's blocking of those dangerous rays.  Just glad he did not grab his predecessor's "Santa hat."    Perhaps, he should keep a stack of hats w/ him.  

I am glad he is paying attention, and taking steps to counteract, what the sun can do to human skin. If you live in a place like Florida you learn it, either from friends or the hard way. From friends is better.

Whatever happened to that big wide-brimmed hat that looked like it was for cotton pickers that John XXIII used to wear?

Abe Rosenzweig,

The "bloodless sacrifice" is the source and summit of the Catholic faith.  

We need an instauratio  on this comment thread...


But you know what that means, right?


Blood Sacrifice! Throw yo hoods up!

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