If the Catholic Church is wondering why more and more people are turning their backs to some of its “traditions,” it may look no further than this photograph released by the AP yesterday afternoon.

Here we see president Donald Trump dressed in his usual baggy suit with long tie, Pope Francis in his everyday traditional white cassock, and the two Trump women, Melania and Ivanka, in black long-sleeved dresses with black lace veils.

As soon as the photograph surfaced people were howling on social media, making fun of the two women for wearing “mafia funeral” garb to the Vatican.

Well, here’s the thing: While Saudi Arabia does not require that foreign women wear head covers, which is why Melania and Ivanka chose not to during their visit to that country, the Vatican dictates that women wear formal “mourning clothes” during papal visits.

There are exceptions, known as “privilege du blanc” where some Catholic women and royalty may wear white. Queen Elizabeth did not qualify for the privilege but broke protocol anyway and wore white to a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in 2006.

The Catholic Church likes to say that it has the ultimate respect for women, yet it continues to impose degrading and humiliating conventions on them, even those who don’t follow its faith. If being in the presence of the Pope is so transcendent, why wouldn’t men have to make the same reverential sacrifice? I think we all know the answer.