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biretta, kalot en stola van een kardinaal

2.10 What do all the colours mean? Who’s who?

The Church today

The many colours of the Church demonstrate that there are numerous ways in which people can serve God. The pope wears a white robe, also known as a cassock. Cardinals – the closest collaborators of the pope – wear red cassocks.

Bishops wear black cassocks with purple piping and a purple sash. Priests wear a simple black cassock. In daily life all prelates and clerics often wear a black suit with roman collar. Religious fathers, brothers and sisters can be recognised by their habit: each religious order has a different colour or colour combination.

> Read more in the book

The pope wears white, cardinals red, bishops purple, priests and deacons black. Religious often wear habits of distinctive colors.

The Wisdom of the Church

What are the degrees of the sacrament of Holy Orders?

The sacrament of Holy Orders has three degrees: bishop (episcopate), priest (presbyterate), deacon (diaconate). [Youcat 251]

This is what the Popes say

In the presence and ministry of the bishops, of priests and of deacons we can recognize the true face of the Church: it is the Hierarchical Holy Mother Church… it is not about having a position of prestige, an honorific charge. The Bishop is not an honorary role. It is a service!  Jesus wanted it this way. [Pope Francis, General Audience, 5 Nov. 2014]