Pope Paul VI tries to address the repeated criticism of excessive pomp in the Roman Catholic Church by ordering cardinals and monsignors to drastically reduce their spending on ecclesiastical dress.
Among the most notable reforms instituted today by Pope Paul VI is abolishing the galero (red hat), red shoes, and buckles traditionally worn by Roman Catholic cardinals, as well as sashes, tassels, and the mantelletta (short red cape) which cardinals often wear. Bishops aren't left out of the reforms, losing their red capes, sashes, tassels, red shoes, and silver shoe buckles.
The purpose of the reforms, according to a letter from the Vatican secretariat of state, is to bring ecclesiastical dress into line with the "simplicity, practicality, and the spirit of humility and poverty" which the Second Vatican Council had promoted:
"This is well known to be a subject to which the modern mentality is particularly sensitive, one that demands the avoidance of possible extremes in one direction or the other, and an ability to bring correctness and decorum into harmony with simplicity, practicality, and the spirit of humility and poverty, which must always and preeminently shine forth in those who, by their investiture in ecclesiastical offices, have some special responsibility in the service of the People of God."