With every day Pope Francis reigns, his style reveals more contrasts with his predecessor Benedict in ways that amount to an unspoken criticism of how the retired pontiff conducted his papacy.
The enthusiasm former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio has sparked among Catholics by approaching the job like a parish priest rather than a papal monarch points to a yearning for a leader the Church has not seen since the charismatic Pope John Paul II.
He showed his humbler style at his inaugural Mass on Tuesday, wearing simple white vestments, black lace-up shoes and a low modern mitre, or bishop’s hat. The vestments of the cardinals attending the Mass were more decorated than his.
By contrast, Benedict donned a shimmering golden chasuble, his voluminous outer robe, as well as red slip-on shoes and an old-fashioned ornate golden mitre for his first public liturgy on April 24, 2005.