If you thought Pope Benedict XVI's ivory zucchetto, or skullcap, looked particularly sharp this morning during his speech at the United Nations, it may be because it is brand new.
I talked this morning to Vincentian Father David M. O'Connell , president of The Catholic University of America, and he said he did a traditional "zucchetto swap" with the pope yesterday before the meeting with Catholic educators.
He had to order one from Gamarelli's, the papal tailor, in Rome. As soon as the pope saw Father O'Connell holding it in his hand yesterday, he handed over the one that was on his head without missing a beat.
Father O'Connell's going to place the pope's zucchetto in a place of honor to commemorate the visit.
And Pope Benedict will be wearing his new one until the next swap....