Fr. Jim Tucker, a priest in Northern Virginia, noticed something about B16: his pallium. It's an ancient design, probably more common with the first millennium of Christianity than subsequent eras. I also noticed something about the Pope's vestments from Sunday's ceremony.
Look at this image:
I saw this image, and I couldn't help but think that there is something ancient about it. It reminded me of the Gothic sculptures of seated bishops -- usually bishop saints like Ambrose, Augustine, etc -- that adorn cathedral facades.
I use the word "ancient" because the word generates more respect in our world than words like "old" or "medieval." And, I think that our postmodern age is so far removed from the civilization of medieval Europe that it appears as exotic as Nineveh or Crete.
As my Three Readers know, my heart lingers in the Middle Ages. I've never been to Europe for enjoyment, and so all of my experience with medieval art comes from American museums. Some of these museums, granted, have incredible collections of medieval art -- The Cloisters, The Walters, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, etc. -- but I can't remember where I have seen sculptures of seated (or enthroned) bishops. I've torn through my coffee table books and museum guides. I've Googled Augustine and Ambrose and others, and I get close, but the images are not the same. I can't find one image of an enthroned bishop, but they do exist. Right?
Regardless, if Fr. Tucker is right, then it says something wondrous about Pope Benedict XVI. The pleasure of this Papacy will be in the details.