Religion: Army in Black

At other major church gatherings in Rome, the scene would have been bright with signs of clerical identity—the scarlet of cardinals, the purple of bishops, the variously shaded sashes of the seminarians. But the 180 priest-delegates who assembled in Rome last week, though members of an order that is organized like an army, wore plain black cassocks without sign of rank. The austere tradition recalls St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556), who when he first took up a life of poverty insisted on wearing a woolen tunic, which earned him and his earliest followers in Spain the jeering nickname ensayalados, the men in...

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