When he visited England, Pope Benedict wore a stole of Pope Leo XIII; at the time, some Clever People saw this as a Cunning Sign of the Pope's devotion to that all-important document, for some people the very heart and centre of their Catholic Faith, Apostolicae curae.
I found (and find) it very hard to believe that Dr Ratzinger would have shared the sort of sniggering adolescent nastiness exemplified in such a hermeneutic. I consider it much more likely that the nice old Bavarian gentleman had in mind the fact that it was Papa Pecci who had raised Blessed John Henry to the dignity of Cardinal, thus giving him dignity and status after the previous less-than-happy decade.
He, too, may be aware of Newman's fond sense that Leo's gesture was that of one Christian who had been out of favour during the previous pontificate towards another such. He may even have heard that Leo XIII, at his first consistory, honoured with the Cardinal's Hat two others who had been on the losing side at Vatican I: Haynald and Fuerstenberg (and later Meignan and Foulon). Indeed, at the Council Cardinal Pecci had himself at times taken a rather independent line. It is not surprising that as pope he should have rebalanced the ship.
Most striking was Pope Leo's strong and vigorously expressed admiration for Kenrick, Archbishop of S Louis, who at the Council had been not just an inopportunist but had positively believed that the doctrine of Papal Infallibility was not part of the depositum fidei.
I would be delighted to hear that PF had followed his predecessor by taking that stole out of retirement, and using it at the imminent canonisation.
I would be even more over-the-moon if PF then followed the example of Papa Pecci, and elevated to the Purple a cohort of admirable men who have appeared to be out of favour during the ultrahyperueberpapalism of the last few years. That would be a practical way ... not just words and hot air ... of indicating real admiration for Newman (and for Leo XIII). Go to the Peripheries!
Chaput and Vigano would be a good start to such a list. Ad multos annos!!