Guest blogger Mantilla Amontillado is the founder of Veritas Vestments. She holds a degree in Ecclesiastical Haberdashery from Salamanca University. She has done the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella three times on horseback and is engaged to the famous matador, Senor Augusto Torquemada.
What you say Hon? What do I think of Pope Francis never wearing nice clothes? Eh. I’ve already said what I think here where I write it for Padre. I think when you’re the pope you should dress like the pope you know? Padre Bergoglio. Maybe he want to be poor in Argentina and live in a little apartment and wash his own socks in the sink and eat nothing but frijoles and ride on the subway to work, but now he’s the pope. He’s not Padre Bergoglio anymore. Don’t cry for me Argentina? No need to hon. I crying pretty much myself.
Let me tell you something hon. Look at all these people who say, “Oh Pope Francis, he so poor and humble isn’t that fantastico! Oh Pope Francis he don’t wear those fancy clothes like Papa Benedict so he very humble.” Hon. Listen. You ever look at the people who say this? They are never going around wearing bad and cheap clothes. No. It is always the rich people who think its so wonderful that Pope Francis rides on the bus and sleeps in Casa Santa Martha. Do they want to live in a cheap hotel room and eat frijoles and get their clothes from a Goodwill dumpster? I don’t think so hon. These people think poverty is wonderful as long as it is somebody else like the Holy Father who is poor.
But you go ask a poor person if he want the pope to wear cheap vestments and ride in a jeep. No. They want the pope to be splendid because he is the pope and they know he is the steward of the King of Kings. They want him to look like the king’s steward. Maybe he wants to sleep on the floor and eat granola. That’s his business, but the poor people don’t want him to look poor.
So I got to stop complaining, but I tell you the truth hon, my business Veritas Vestments is not doing so good. Before I used to get priests and monsignore coming in to ask for nice vestments made from good materials–brocades and this stuff which is good quality, but not cheap you know what I mean hon? Now they come in with some old polyester tablecloth that maybe the housekeeper give them because it got gravy stains on it and they say, “Mantilla, maybe you can just cut this up and make me a chasuble.” You know what I mean? So I take the tablecloth and I look at them and say, “Oh, look Padre, here is a nice gravy stain. Maybe I can put that in the center and you can get a little felt tip pen and draw on it and maybe make a picture of Jesus. That will be real cheap and won’t cost you nothing like maybe some embroidery would.” One priest come in with some old green curtains and say, “Mantilla maybe you can make me some vestment from these curtains.” I say, “Padre, do you think I am looking like Maria from Sound of Music? I’m not going to make you no vestments from those curtains. A nice pair of lederhosen maybe, but no vestments.”
Anyway hon, maybe things are turning around a little. You maybe see our Queen Sophia at the canonization of Holy Father Juan Pablo on Sunday? She look magnifico. Maybe not many people know, but the only woman who can wear white dress to see the pope is a reigning Catholic queen. Not many of them around anymore, but Queen Sophia was not only there in a nice white dress, but the Queen of Belgium and Duchess of Lichtenstein and hon! Queen Sophia was wearing a mantilla to make mantilla very happy!
I think maybe Queen Sophia is the number one fan of Mantilla the Hon, and I tell you something. She will maybe get people to start wearing proper hats again. You know what I mean hon? Nobody talk about hats. They think maybe a hat is only for keeping a head warm. They would not like it if I said a car is only for getting someplace eh hon? No. They want their car to be nice and good looking and maybe a little bit flashy sometime and say something about who they are. Same thing with hats hon. You should wear your hat with a little bit of pride you know hon?
It like my fiancé Augusto. When he is matador he wear that little black hat to go out and fight El Toro. Same thing when you go out to fight the devil hon. You better wear the right hat if you want him to respect you. If you are a priest and you want to fight the devil, what is he going to think if you turn up wearing a baseball cap? Not much. He just laugh at you.
This is what I tell the priest when they come in and don’t even know what a biretta is hon.Can you believe it? They think the biretta is out of date and nobody wants to wear it. That is because nobody believe in the devil anymore. I tell you hon. Once they start believing in the devil they will start wearing good hats again. You know what I mean?
The problem is maybe these modern priests will only believe in the devil after they are already with him in the furnace. Then it will be too late to get a biretta. Then they be wearing coals on their heads piled on by devils. Some kind of hat for them then. You know what I mean hon?