When a Pope names Cardinals they “get the red hat”. These days the “red hat” is a Roman biretta in the cardinalatial red, porpora sacra. However, as old paintings and present ecclesiastical coats-of-arms demonstrate, the old red hat was the great flat-brimmed galero, adorned with ties having several rolls of tassles.
Cardinals are still, usually, given these big hats, which they hang from the ceiling of their cathedrals or their titular churches in Rome. The say goes that, when the last bit of a deceased cardinal’s hat finally drops to the floor due to the rot and dissolution of years, that’s when his soul is released from Purgatory. Optimistic, I’d say.
Catholic - Cathedral - St - Matthew - Washington
I have – I don’t know why – never been in the Catholic Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington DC. Hence, I don’t know one way...
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