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When i mentioned in an earlier post that virtually everyone in Rome has a uniform and/or title, including most of the laity, i was not kidding. (Though, about the “Almost Reverend” i was kidding. Mostly.)
The Heralds of the Gospel are one of the many new lay movements in the church, not a religious order but an “international association of pontifical right” (like Cursillo, or the Militia Immaculata). They have a very distinctive “habit”, which i first encountered on the steps of the Angelicum. I undertand, too, that “habit” is reserved for members of religious orders -and by some accounts, really even more restricted to members of monastic orders only- but the distinctive “uniform” for other forms of religious, consecrated, ecclesiastical or lay life are generally refered to only as “unusual garb”.
We also found some official clerical sandals by Birkenstock at one of the ecclesiastical shopping centers. Fairly reasonably priced, too. Just in case you’re in the market…
Last, but not least, i am told that the Caribinieri (ubiquitus military police) uniforms are designed by Armani. I have seen the officers driving department-issue BMW’s too. Carl: forget the US Border Patrol, come to Italy!