Sometimes it is suggested that we should see a significance in the fact that the beloved Pope Emeritus, our Holy Father Benedict XVI, continues to wear 'papal white'.
A historical error is embedded in this proposal. For Popes to wear white simpliciter has a complicated history but, briefly, is a fairly recent innovation. Traditionally, the papal colour was red (with a dash of white undergarment). This is another reason why it was a pity when the newly elected Bergoglio declined to wear the traditional red papal overgarments offered him by Mgr Marini.
Benedict XVI as pope made his knowledge of this clear by changing the colour of the crosses on the papal Pallium from black to red. And also by resuming the wearing of red shoes. Similarly, and most significantly, he ceased to wear them when he abdicated. He now appears in brown shoes.
Because he is no longer Pope.
It is a shame that his successor has given up the traditional chromatic indications that he is Pope. Or rather, has decided that he believes "white means Pope". Such ruptures in continuity (and misunderstandings) diminish the power of all symbolism. But ...
There is only one Pope, and his name is Francis. And wearing white doesn't make a man a pope.
Incidentally, white cassocks must show the dirt, and need cleaning, very much more often than a black cassock would. A sympathy for all things ecological would suggest that Pope Francis should give up the wearing of a white cassock. Appearing as an ordinary priest in a black cassock would also be a real sign of humility. Patriarch Bartholomew is not ashamed to appear in black.
I wonder how old the custom is of the Patriarchs of Moskow and Romania wearing (some) white.