The Pope is reportedly urging that priests should “urgently rediscover the need to be ‘present, identifiable and recognizable for their faith, their personal virtues and their attire.’ ” Now granted I am Lutheran and not Roman Catholic, but I applaud this move and think it should be adopted by clergy across Christendom. There seems to be good sense in, if not dressing professionally, than at least dressing the part. So many clergy eschew the traditional vestments as well as the simple but distinctive clergy shirt. Personally, I think short sleeve clergy shirts are downright casual and never wear them with a suit or for worship services.
Pope urges priests to wear smarter outfits
Priests need to return to wearing smarter outfits that mark them out as clergy, says Pope
Richard Owen in Rome
March 19, 2009
Pope Benedict XVI, who is noted for his revival of strikingly colourful traditional papal vestments, has urged Catholic priests to shun casual or scruffy attire and return to wearing smart outfits which clearly mark them out as clergy.
The Pope, who is currently visiting Cameroon and Angola, has announced a special “year of the priest” beginning on June 19. Addressing the Congregation for the Clergy before setting out of Africa he said that to encourage ”spiritual perfection” among clerics, priests should “urgently rediscover the need to be ”present, identifiable and recognizable for their faith, their personal virtues and their attire”.
A spokesman for Bardiconi, an ecclesiastical outfitters in Rome, said ”With the new Pope we had already noted a certain return to the classic look and a drop in sales of casual clothes”. He told La Repubblica that sales of cassocks have been going up at Easter and Christmas, adding that a good cassock or soutane should last a priest ”up to 20 years”.
Another outfitters for clergy, Mastranzo, said ”Around 30 per cent of priests dress in a scruffy manner and don’t even pay attention to the colour of their clothes.’ It said 40 per cent opted for a simple outfit of black trousers, jacket and shirt with a dog collar, and only 30 per cent wore old fashioned ankle-length cassocks with a tri-crested biretta hat. Continue reading