Modern Christianity is a vibrant force, filled with edicts, papal bulls and the waffle that comes mostly from the Protestants. Despite claims to the contrary it is mostly a growing religion (but, like many middle-aged gents, is putting on weight in the wrong regions) and, like all things that push the envelope, has its ups and downs. Roman Catholicism, reeling from the discovery that the Pope’s renal system proved to be fallible (Congratulations, Bishop Jamie, on a sentence well parsed) has set out to show that the modern cleric can be cool and calm.
Not just that, but in any hat.
Hats are important; as Pope I have at least four good hats and a collection of sundry headpieces to fill out the rest of the week. Admittedly, most of my hats are of the ‘about town’ variety, with a few that fall into the ‘going out’ category (as well as one that probably fits into the type ‘oppressing the natives and stealing their booty’). Yet it is hard to compete with the Cardinals in the ‘other’ Church. They have hats of all shapes and sizes (and that’s ignoring those wacky Patriarchs with their super-cool Orthodoxy caps).
But, best of all, some of those Cardinals wear Aviators.
A Cardinal, resplendent in red, wearing Avaitors looks just like a crazed fantasy of the modern cleric ‘ready for action.’ You can imagine that, in a moment of crisis, he would almost lackadaisically pull out Glock from beneath his robes to administer Church Justice before pulling back the hem of his robes and revealing a scooter, on which he would chase evil through the streets of Rome. Possibly, nay, essentially, he would have theme music (preferably a classical composition rescored by Joby Talbot). Then, once sanctity was restored he would return back to the Holy See to party the night away…
The hat, you must understand, doth maketh the man.
Neo-Catholicism needs an analogue for such men of action. We have no uncommon hats, no motorscooters or Glocks, and only one of our number has a pair of Aviators. Currently Neo-Catholicism’s greatest attributes are lethargy and a fanatical attachment to the sofa (currently residing in London). I am intent on thinking of choosing someone to change this. Someone with hats.
Or a really good pair of shades.
You may now make you final approach. Over and out.