Then there are the Canons Regular of Premontre who, along with some Cistercian abbots, wore white birettas.
Austin's birettas and giving each other three Hail Marys for the sins we'd told each other.
I wonder, if the pastors put on their birettas some Sunday morning, how many more people would come to greet them as they worked the curb after Mass.
God forbid that those who want to move back to the past should view these thoughts on birettas as a plea to return to the joyless guilt of that era.
A recent communication from a faithful NCR subscriber sent me on a search for the lost biretta, the magical square cap with the three peaks on top that was once as much a symbol of priesthood as the portable purple stole.
The biretta represented ecclesiastical testosterone.
The biretta was never a liturgical garment, yet for an estimated 1,200 years it insinuated itself into the Catholic imagination.
The biretta evolved from the diverse form of head covering used by the clergy, particularly after hoods and cowls fell out of use among the nonmonastic clergy.
The doffing custom was just one of many institutional bylaws that governed the biretta.
In any case, the biretta went through at least eight styling before it went on the closet shelf just after Vatican II.
The aforementioned doctoral biretta began to take on the color of the faculty -- red for theology, blue for philosophy -- thus paving the way for the academic mortar board, a first cousin of the biretta.
By the time Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci (1551-1610) settled in China in 1583, the biretta was as official as a sailor's tattoo.