About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and two children.
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"Since such is the nature of man that he cannot easily without external means be raised to meditation on divine things, on that account holy Mother Church has instituted certain rites, namely that certain things be pronounced in a subdued tone (canon and words of consecration) and others in a louder tone; she has likewise made use of ceremonies such as mystical blessings, lights, incense, vestments, and many other things of this kind in accordance with apostolic teaching and tradition, whereby both the majesty of so great a sacrifice might be commended, and the minds of the faithful excited by these visible signs of religion and piety to the contemplation of the most sublime matters which are hidden in this sacrifice."
— Council of Trent (Session XXII)

Pope John Paul II Wearing The Cappa Magna (As Cardinal Wojtyla)
published 25 August 2014 by Jeff Ostrowski

923 JP2 Cappa WAS SITTING IN A BANK. In walked four men dressed in suits with beautiful ties and handkerchiefs. They went down the corridor and began conducting business with clients. The attire of these men was totally appropriate. Can you imagine getting a loan from someone dressed in bermuda shorts and a Tank Top?

It makes me sad when priests wearing their proper “uniform” are subjected to mockery by progressive liturgists. Why don’t they leave our priests alone and instead criticize bankers wearing suits? Anyone who’s truly human understands perfectly why we dress up for certain events. Doing so is natural, fitting, and appropriate.

Priests should never be embarrassed to wear proper attire, any more than a soldier should be embarrassed to wear his uniform. By the way, my wife’s family members are all involved with the armed forces (Navy, Marines, and so on), so I’ve seen some really nice uniforms over the years. The most marvelous uniform I ever saw was the one worn by Prince Charles when he married Diana.

POPE SAINT JOHN PAUL II, like Pius XII, understood the seriousness of being a «Prince of the Church» and often wore the Cappa Magna (even as late as 1968). Here are some photographs showing John Paul II in proper attire:

I will not here address Cappaphobia — a malady afflicting those who haven’t used Google to learn the true history of the “Cappa Magna.” However, the words of Monsignor Patrick Brankin (who is mentioned by name in the Jogues Missal) are worthy of consideration:

HE CAPPA MAGNA does indeed represent the finery of the world: its power and prestige. That is why—after his entrance wearing it—the prelate is publicly stripped of this finery, and humbled before the congregation. Then, vestment by vestment, the bishop is clothed in the new man of which St. Paul speaks, including the baptismal alb, dalmatic of charity, stole of pardon, maniple of sorrow, and chasuble of mercy. When finally clothed in Christ, the prelate makes a second entrance into the church to begin the Eucharistic celebration in persona Christi, the visible head of the body (the Church).

It was a clear statement that the power and prestige of the world have no place at the altar, but it is expressed in a liturgical ritual or symbol, which, unfortunately, are often lacking in the contemporary rites and thus hard to grasp.   (source)

It’s worth considering that Judas Iscariot was the first person to object to having beautiful vestments at Mass (Jn 12:5).

To see more pictures of Karol Cardinal Wojtyla wearing the Cappa Magna, click here. To learn about “distinctive garb” for Catholic priests, click here. For the record, here’s Pope John XXIII wearing the Cappa Magna (courtesy of Orbis Catholicus):

920 John XXIII cappa magna