On Saturday Benedict XVI will create six new cardinals, just nine months after last February’s consistory. Addressing the Synod’s bishops, the Pope explained the reasons for this “informed” choice of new cardinals, none of whom are European: this is a way for the Church to show its true universality after the batch of cardinals created during the last consistory, who were mainly Curia members or Italian.
The new cardinals are: James Harvey, the American head of the Papal Household; His Beatitude Bechara Boutros Raï, patriarch of the Maronite Church in Lebanon; His Beatitude Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, head of the Syro-Mankar Church in India; Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja; Archbishop Rubén Salazar Gómez of Bogota, Colombia and Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila in the Philippines.
Even though there are only six of them, Rome’s ecclesiastical tailors started work immediately on the vestments for the Church’s newly elected “princes”. When a bishop is created a cardinal, they stop wearing the violet coloured garments they donned previously and replace these with red coloured ones. Tailors prepare a list of all the garments and accessories cardinals will need. Those who wish to make a gift to a cardinal can consult this list.
Here are the current prices for items prepared by Rome’s most renowned tailor, Gammarelli, which has traditionally been the Pope’s tailor. The red mozzetta which cardinals wear with their choral vestments, costs about 200 Euro, but the price goes up if one chooses cord buttons – which are hand made and more sought after (they cost 20 Euro each) – instead of cloth buttons. The red cassock costs approximately 800 Euro, while the three-cornered hat without a bow, which is typical for cardinals, can cost between 80 and 120 Euro. The red and golden cord for the pectoral cross costs around 80 Euro: the price varies according to how elegant it is and the size of the bow on the back. The red fascia which is worn with the red cassock and the black cassock with red piping, costs about 200 Euro. A black cassock with red piping costs approximately 600 Euro, while the cardinal’s red zucchetto is priced at around 40 Euro. Finally, the red socks cost about 15 Euro for a pair.
Given that cardinals usually purchase two sets of each of these outfits, they can expect to spend around four to five thousand Euro to complete their wardrobe. The cardinal’s ring is a gift from the Pope.
Source: Vatican Insider/La Stampa