WHY such a long cape--never have seen this?

I’m sure it is but why so long? I’ve seen the regular red floor length capes but never down the aisle like that.

I think some people go for the pomp.

To me it seems kinda shallow.

I’m the judgey sort who would roll my eyes at a bride with a veil and train that long.

1 Like

That’s him alright.
Wondered when someone got around to posting that.

1 Like

It’s called a cappa magna but what the rules are governing where and when it is to be worn, I have no idea. It’s only ever Cardinal Burke who is photographed wearing one, or at least I don’t remember ever seeing pix of anyone else wearing a cappa magna.


1 Like

Why a long cape?

Why not?

Exactly my Ent tree friend!
(10 characters)

1 Like

It looks a bit impractical. :flushed:


Amazing that people think musicians should not show off, but a garment for the clergy that is clearly WAYYYYYY over the top is fine.
Go figure.


I find it strange that because our clothing choices today are so pedestrian, so casual, and so judgmentalized, we get to decide for all time what is ‘OK’ and what isn’t.

At the same time that we encourage wonderful individual us to wear absolutely anything we choose at any time whatsoever–modesty be damned, dignity be damned, respect be damned–and where we shrill outrage at those who dare to judge someone based on clothing– a few neoPuritan types have brainwashed perfectly intelligent people into thinking that Catholic priests, and Catholic priests alone, may NOT wear what they choose. . .unless what they choose dovetails with what they, in their joyless, stripped down, cheap and dreary misunderstanding of what is ‘appropriate’ for God have decided is ‘right’.

Tiedye vestments? Great! Show’s he’s open and multicultural!
Cheap sweats? Shows he’s ‘one of the people’!
Cheap suits? HE’s not one of those showy people taking bread from the mouths of the poor!

But. . .
Roman collar? He’s an ELITIST! He wants to be treated like somebody special, not like a 'regular guy!"
Vestments that were not just ‘regular wear’ but which were thoroughly appropriate, with deep and nuanced liturgical meaning which not only elevated the mind of the priest toward God, but elevated that of the people as well. . .understandings that had been part of our Jewish heritage before our own. . .misunderstandings of which led in other ways to the Iconoclastic heresy in the first millennium and the Reformation in the second. . .
OH NOES! We can’t POSSIBLY have a priest looking as though he is representing not “Christ the humble MAN who just happens to be passing around bread and wine at a MEAL”, but Christ the Saviour and King to whom we, the undutiful subjects, owe humble and fearful obedience. . .even though 99% of the time even our Cardinals today, including Cardinal Burke, are wearing garb so plain that they would have been assumed in earlier times to have been shipwrecked or wandering in dangerous lands and having to make due with ‘humble garb’. . . but we cannot stand, it seems, anything other than dreary faux egalitarianism today, more’s the pity.

Just because a priest–or a Cardinal for that matter–is supposed to smell like a sheep doesn’t mean he has to LOOK like one all the time. And despite all the talk about the ‘humble shepherd’, we tend to forget that like Christ, a priest is not ‘just’ the shepherd but, ‘in persona Christi’, is also supposed to be a king as well. In representing Christ, he is not limited to just being ‘one of the guys’.

But again, after 4 decades or so of brainwashing by the ‘Simple plain is the ONLY way’ bleaters, it’s not surprising that so many do a Pavlovian frothing at the mouth on seeing something that is NOT simple and plain. Not surprising, but still sad. Very sad. How narrow-minded, rigid, and judgmental this has become. . .how intolerant, smug, and self-righteous–and to top it off, it’s done in the name of God, like, "I’m pleasing God and you’re not’.

There is a place for the simple and a place for the not-simple. Why are people trying to make only the first 'allowed?"


We should not make light of clerical garb. It was one thing that Martin Luther commented against:

907 Avoid excessive pomp

908 We serve God with hearts, Not with vestments: The fear of God is the worship of God. This worship does not consist of vestments or other external pomp but in the disposition of the heart…

When we mock the princes of the Church we are no better than Luther.

I did not mock. I only asked. I’ve never seen it before on any Catholic clergy and I was just wondering if it had special significance.


Well, I think a person, regardless of his ranking in the church who wears something clearly designed to call attention to his rank…is violating all of those points about humility.
Are they proper to his rank? Questionable, not even the Pope dresses so ostentatiously.

No one is mocking.
It just doesn’t look right.

Jesus only wore simple clothing. He was highest ranking priest of all time!

Getting all wound up about this Cardinal’s clothing just shows how divisive these things can be.
I don’t believe for a second that the OP was being critical.


Luther was right about some things. Even the Church recognizes that.
He just went about it in the wrong way.

I do not say MOCK, but make light of.

1 Like

THANK YOU Casilda. That last explanation was very interesting and humbling. Now I know the reason and purpose for it. I greatly appreciate you sharing that. God Bless.

1 Like

I think it is appropriate for clergy to wear capes and such during Mass. It is a magnificent celebration of God’s greatness. Outside of Mass, I like priests to wear humble clothing. It all depends on the circumstances.

1 Like

The ‘pomp’ of a cape that takes several people to carry i just really not in my wheelhouse. To me it seems very selfish and focused on the celebrant and not the sacrifice.

If you’re responding to me, I never said the OP was being critical. Other people have posted, and others have been, well, let’s just say, ‘judgmental’ and leave it at that, shall we?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.