...and the explanation why I love them so much10.: It is medieval
If you consider that historically/culturally the middle ages ended in the early/mid 16th century (at the latest) and the cappa magna as we know it today was introduced in 1464 and never officially abolished afterwards, 30 feet of scarlet watered silk are as medieval as a Corpus Christi Procession. 9.: It is expensive
So are the computers that certain people use to operate blogs in which they ridicule friendly, generous and Catholic Bishops and Cardinals, who were caught wearing the Cappa Magna. So the “sell the unnecessary stuff and donate the money to some good cause”-mantras only seem to hit home so much, don’t they, guys? At least Pell or Burke don’t insult people with gruesomely ignorant weblogs. Then again, they don’t have to. They got a life and probably way more attention than they want sometimes. 8.: It is unbiblical
I don’t think I even have to comment on that, do I? 7.: It is pure splendor
Exactly! 6.: It is self-aggrandizing
And it is therefore in stark contrast to the aforementioned self-righteous snipers who with childish slander and blatant sarcasm unjustly judge those they don’t understand, and consider themselves the self-anointed future of pure and clean Catholic Christianity. 5.: It is out of touch with the people
Yep. I had the opportunity to witness the “Out-of-Touchness” of Cardinal Pell in Germany. Man, was I mad when I saw the smiles on the faces of the Juventutem youngsters, as they greeted the Cardinal, who was leaving the church in his Cappa Magna. And what does this arrogant, haughty prince of the church do? He dares to shake hands and exchange some pleasant and humorous words with these kids. Booh! Shame on you, George! 4.: It is ridiculous
When in a teenager’s autograph-book someone writes “beauty is only in the eye of the beholder” everyone is down on their knees, shedding tears because of so much insight and truth. When men who are at peace with their faith, men who do not have to go down into the cellar if they want to laugh, men who do not have to take a poll before they decide what to wear, when those men demonstrate their love for Christ and his Church by adding a little more style and beauty, and this expression of joy is seen as ridiculous, then the defect is supposed to be with the wearer of the garment? Yeah, right! And even if you argue (as I would) that it is not beauty, but only preference, that is in the eye of the beholder: Well, if you’d rather prefer no Cappa, don’t use one and don’t go to a place where one is used. 3.: Is is a sign of triumphalism
If you believe that this feeling of triumph is in no way related to what happened 2000 years ago but only means: “Hey, I can dress way nicer and occupy way more space than you losers!” the problem, again, seems to be pretty much on your side. 2.: It is for fussy youngsters that cannot stop living in a past they didn’t even know
The fussy youngsters that seemed to have quite enjoyed Cardinal Pell entering the Church in the Cappa Magna also were the kids who knew the Latin Vespers by heart, who sang with loud and beautiful voices, who behaved with utter dignity and who were altogether a totally pleasant crowd to be with. In my lifetime I have spent way too much time with people who will gladly use any argument against what they think is too much splendor or too much pride or just too much. The only memories I have of those people are bitter faces, a lack of a sense of humor and an ostentatious holier-than-thou attitude. So, please, give me fussy anytime. These kids know what they are doing and why they are doing it. 1.: It is effeminate/unmanly/queer
Of course this has to be #1! In an age where art refuses to depict reality, and where pure beauty is seen as evil, where else would you go, if you see an elderly, maybe even overweight and rosy-cheeked man wearing lace and watered silk? Back into your closet? Rather not. Someone might find you there while you are not officially protesting against all things presumably gay. So cock the gun and fire away. As long as you do not find yourself at the receiving end of the prejudice, you’re fine. And as long as you point the finger and keep on yelling, you might escape the uneasy silence that will force you to think about the real reasons behind the uncomfortable feeling you get, whenever you see a prelate in Cappa Magna.
This is only a warm up. I will describe my experiences with the “Pro-Cappa” and the “Con-Cappa” crowds in a slightly longer essay later. Those of you who already feel sick: Better stay away. It won’t get more pleasant. Those of you who want more: Stay tuned! Those of you who grumble ‘Who is this a-hole and why does he think anybody is interested in his two cents?’: I don’t have the foggiest.