Clergy tailors welcome new batch of cardinals

Business subdued

When Pope Francis appoints 19 new cardinals later this month, the Vatican will be bathed in a sea of red. They will not be the only ones celebrating. The Pope's low-key approach to clothes and material symbols has affected their business, reports NCR Online.

- Religion News Service/NCR

The newly appointed 'princes of the church' will don their scarlet robes and signature silk hats for the first time, as other well-dressed members of the College of Cardinals look on.

While the new Pope has adopted a more austere approach to what he wears, the Vatican's leading tailor and other outfitters are expecting a notable spike in business when the world's cardinals gather in Rome to welcome new members to their ranks.

Annibale Gammarelli and six generations of his family have dressed the popes since 1798, and their store is an historic landmark, in the heart of Rome, just behind the Pantheon.

Before former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected a year ago, the renowned tailors had prepared white woolen cassocks in three sizes - small, medium and large - so the new pope could immediately greet the faithful on the balcony of St Peter's in the recognizable papal white.

The Gammarellis are also the tailor of choice for thousands of priests, bishops and cardinals from around the world.

'Several of the new cardinals have already come to see us to order their outfits for the ceremony,' said Annibale's nephew, Lorenzo Gammarelli.

The consistory, which is the first of Francis' papacy, has created a flurry of activity within the wood-paneled walls of the tiny store at what is normally a quiet time of year. 'Increased demand? We hope so,' Lorenzo Gammarelli said with a smile.

FULL STORY Rome's clergy tailors find a subdued mood under low-key Pope Francis (NCR Online)

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