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MOZZETTA

A nonliturgical cape made of silk or wool reaching to the elbows and closed with buttons in front. At the neck there is a small hood attached. It can be worn by the Pope and as a special privilege, by cardinals, bishops, and certain abbots. It signifies jurisdiction and is worn over the rochets. Its color is red, white, purple or black depending on the wearer's status. A similar cape is worn by members of some religious orders, e.g., Dominicans and Franciscans, as part of their monastic habit. (Etym. Italian mozzetta, a short cape with a small hood.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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