You may remember seeing photos of Pope Benedict, wearing the traditional papal winter hat:
That didn’t go over so well, I guess, and the practice was abandoned. People were talking about how he looked like Santa Claus, etc. It didn’t help that he wore it a few days before Christmas, probably.
(In any case, it’s the sort of thing that some people simply can’t resist doing, sort of like those who find it necessary to say to the priest on the two days a year when he wears rose vestments, “Oh Father, you look pretty in pink!”. Gag.)
Anyway, so now we have the papal scarf. This one is probably here to stay, as it is not nearly as controversial. Though believe me, some are upset about it.
Those two images are from this past Wednesday. Temperatures have already been pretty close to freezing here in Rome, and when there is an outdoor papal audience, that means being outside in those low temps for 4-6 hours, depending on how early you get there to wait in line. In the past they would have moved the audience indoors by now; we’ll see how much longer Pope Francis keeps them outside in the cold!