In the Roman Catholic Church, cardinals wear red hats. Does the hat have a special name? What is it if there's one?

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It is called a biretta or beretta
Thanks, Abbie. You always provide prompt answers.

As of the definition given: biretta - a square cap worn by Roman Catholic priests

1. I thought that the caps that Roman Catholic priests wear were round-shaped. Was I wrong?

2. Does the Pope also wear a biretta (the white one)? What's its name if it's not a biretta? Is it round or sqaure? Is it always white? Does the Pope always wear it? Or it all depends on the situations?

3. Do candinals always wear red birettas? Or it all depends on the situations?
Same questions to priests, bishops.

Last but not the least. Please let me know if my writings exist any problems. That's how I learn.

Thanks a lot.

Note: Birettas are worn especially by Roman Catholic clergy and are black for priests, purple for bishops, and red for cardinals
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The hat the Pope wears is called a mitre. Cardinals and bishops may also wear a mitre, but theirs is less luxurious than the Pope's.

here you will find pictures of mitres.

This site will show a picture of a biretta. the black one on the top line is the Roman Catholic one.


The Pope always wears white, though though the colour of the fannon (the little cape he wears) changes colour according to the religious calendar.

Last but not the least. Please let me know if my writings exist any problems. That's how I learn.

"Last but not least, please let me know if there are any mistakes in my writing" Emotion: smile

Hi Abbie,
Thanks for sharing and the correction. I appreciate it.

mitre/miter : I think that's what you meant. See the picture below.
In the picture, what does the Pope hold on his hand?

The one that I was questioning is the little white hat the Pope wears on his head, not the whitle cape he wears. Do we have a special name for it. See the picture below.
Someone wonders why the shallow white hat never gets blown away as he travels outside, especially at the windy airport? What do you think?

I can't find the word 'fannon' in dictionary. Was that a typo?

You are right. The Pope doesn't always wear white robe. See the picture below.


In the picture the Pope is holding a Papal or archiepiscopal cross, so called because only Popes and Archbishops carry it. It is usually made of silver or silver gilt.

The small round cap is called a berettino, calotte, or subbiretum when it is worn under the biretta. It is called a submitrale when it is worn under the mitre.

I have no idea why the mitre doesn't blow away. maybe it has some form of ribbon or tie to ensure it is held closely to the head. I have seen the mitre being held down by hand on a very windy day. As for the white cap, Jews wear a very similar cap, and they usually fix it with hair grips!

The pope in the final picture will be wearing his white robes beneath the green one.

Sorry - I mispelled fanon (only one 'n')

This is simply the small cape the Pope wears round his shoulders. You can see it quite clearly in the picture in the second row down, far right. It is being blown about in the wind.

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Does it have a meaning?
What? The colour or the hat?

The colour simply denotes rank within the church hierarchy, so that in a crowd of priests you can tell who's who. This is why the pope always wears white. He is the only person in the church hierarchy to be drssed totally in white all the time.
The Pope never wears a biretta. In the past, in place of a biretta, the popes wore a soft red velvet cap lined in fur called a camauro. John *** tried to revive it but it really fell into disuse in the 19th century.

The bodies of Blessed John ***, Blessed Pius IX and St. Pius X are on display in vestments wearing the camauro.
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