Dress Code

From the Amazonia synod, the story has broken that B16-preferred cassocks are now optional, and that clerical synod attendees may dress in clerical suits. I was surprised at the attention on social media. On facebook, my comment was, “Can’t hardly wait for Casual Friday.”

The usual suspects (like here) see another chink in the Everlasting Supreme Catholic Church under the headline, “Feathers Yes But Cassocks Are Not Welcome.”

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, 79, the Synod’s general secretary, announced at the beginning of the “Amazon”-Synod on October 7 to the delegates that “we may [= should] show up in ‘clergyman'” – rather than in cassocks. “Clergyman” denotes a clerical shirt, worn with trousers, originally used by Protestant preachers.

Oh the pain. An option, like celibacy. As for the Protestant comment, I wonder if the people at gloria.tv realize that liturgical dress of chasuble and stole were originally worn by pagans.

On that title, “dress code,” there is one. The code is how one identifies with one’s cadre, Paul, Apollos, Cephas, Christ, or whomever. What one wears has lost any association with monasticism, orders, liturgy, or formality. It’s like people wearing the garb of their favorite sports team: it’s how one identifies in a bar or on the street or at the tailgate.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to Dress Code

  1. John Donaghy says:

    I think the “clergyman” – presumably the Roman collar – was first worn in England by Catholic priests, not Protestants. I may be wrong. A detachable collar was, according to some sources, was invented by a Protestant clergyman. But it is called a ROMAN collar.

    This may also be the case of a bad translation from the Spanish “cleriman.” I’ve never heard the Roman collar being called a “clergyman.”

  2. Brendan Kelleher svd says:

    The “Roman collar” was introduced to England by the Rosminians, who are said to have “invented” it. From there it traveled to Ireland and then the US.
    Bishops from my own community, SVD – Society of the Divine Word, who work in hotter climes in the past have often had problems when attending events at the Vatican. Even if they owned the full episcopal set it would be extra luggage, so at our Generalate they kept full sets in small, medium and large sizes. During the last two General Chapters when the Capitulars had their Papal Audiences the Pope was greeted by a veritable rainbow of colours, and examples of traditional dress from across the globe.

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