“And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Revelation 17:4-5).
Photos of the cardinals gathered at the Vatican for the election of a new pope look like a sea of purple and scarlet. One photo shows cardinals wearing red caps and archbishops wearing purple ones. The colors of Rome’s ecclesiastical garments differ somewhat depending on the situation, but cardinals typically wear a cassock or long robe of scarlet wool or black wool adorned with red trimmings, a scarlet cappa magna (a cloak with a long train and hooded shoulder cape), scarlet hose, and a scarlet silk sash. Prior to Vatican II, they also wore a red cloak, red hat, and red shoes. Bishops are attired similarly, but they wear a purple cassock and a purple mantelleta, which is a sleeveless vest-like garment. Ordinary Catholic priests also wear purple and scarlet clothing on various occasions, such as Good Friday and Advent.
(Friday Church News Notes, March 15, 2013, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)