Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Liturgy and Sacraments
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Aug 24, '05, 5:37 pm
Sugabee43's Avatar
Sugabee43 Sugabee43 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: June 26, 2004
Posts: 136
Religion: Catholic
Question Dress Code for Clergy

Can anyone tell me the official document/book that states the proper dress code for priests? I'm positive I read it in an old issue of 'Catholic Answers', but I really don't want to sift through all of my back issues to find it!! It said something along the lines of priests being obligated to dress in their clerics when in public, regardless of being "on" or "off-duty". My mom's club was introduced to our new associate pastor today, and if I had seen him 2 minutes earlier, I never would have know he was a priest! Isn't that akin to my walking around without my wedding band on - a denial of his vows?

Much thanks, amigos!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Aug 24, '05, 6:16 pm
Deacon Ed Deacon Ed is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2004
Posts: 2,364
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Dress Code for Clergy

Canon 284 says: "Clerics are to wear suitable ecclesiastical garb according to the norms issued by the conference of bishops and according to legitimate custom." This is further defined in the 1994 Directory for the Life and Ministry of Priests. In general, this states that the attire of a cleric should be different from that of the laity. In the United States the bishops issued a statement to the effect that "a black suit and Roman collar are appropriate attire for priests, especially in the exercise of their ministry. The use of a cassock in church or at home is at the discretion of the cleric."

What the priest wears on vacation is not covered by this directive.

Since the topic is for "clergy" I'll be complete. Deacons of the Latin Rite not going on to the priesthood are, in general, exempt from the requirement of wearing a collar (in fact, are generally prohibited). On the other hand, Eastern deacons generally do wear a collar, at least when they are serving in their capacity as deacon whether at Liturgy or other parish function.

Deacon Ed
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Aug 24, '05, 7:01 pm
plato3 plato3 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: August 22, 2005
Posts: 440
Religion: Catholic
Smile Re: Dress Code for Clergy

A permanent deacon friend of mine moved to Virginia. He has a new bishop who wants him to wear the collar while ministering at the hospital, jail Etc. He feels kind of strange as the collar is not allowed here for permanent deacons.

___________________________
The learning and knowledge that we have is, at the most,but little, compared with that which we are ignorant.
(Plato)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Aug 24, '05, 7:20 pm
Joseph Bilodeau Joseph Bilodeau is offline
Regular Member
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2004
Posts: 972
Default Re: Dress Code for Clergy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugabee43
...Isn't that akin to my walking around without my wedding band on - a denial of his vows?...
Possibly the matter of priests' wearing non-clerical clothing is similar to a decision not to wear a wedding ring, but only in that neither should be presumed to constitute a denial of vows or promises.

There are many good reasons a man or woman might elect not to wear a wedding ring. In my case it was because I worked in a graphics arts plant for many years, where half the time we were not allowed to wear any jewelry on our hands or arms that might scratch the vacuum frames, and the other half of the time I wouldn't dare to wear it as I often had my hands in tanks of chemicals that would react in very ugly ways with gold and silver. Since then I have changed jobs, but I still don't wear my ring as it has just become so uncomfortable to do so.

Just as I would not be pleased if someone were to think that I was somehow trying to deny my wedding vows by not wearing my ring, I would try not to judge a priest who chooses to wear civillian clothes. He might have very good reasons to do so, not that it is my place to judge his reasons.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Aug 24, '05, 7:24 pm
Friar David, O.Carm Friar David, O.Carm is offline
Forum Master
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: June 8, 2004
Posts: 12,750
Religion: Byzantine Ruthenian "Traditional" Catholic
Default Re: Dress Code for Clergy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon Ed
Since the topic is for "clergy" I'll be complete. Deacons of the Latin Rite not going on to the priesthood are, in general, exempt from the requirement of wearing a collar (in fact, are generally prohibited). On the other hand, Eastern deacons generally do wear a collar, at least when they are serving in their capacity as deacon whether at Liturgy or other parish function.
Fr Deacon Ed,
I find this very troubling. Deacons, yes even Latin Deacons , are clergy. The Roman Collar is not something only a priest should wear, neither is a cassock. Heck, seminarians are entitled to wear both, that is if their bishops allow it.

I think this sort of thing is just another way to blur the lines between the clergy and the laity.

Sad, so sad.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Aug 24, '05, 7:33 pm
otm otm is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Posts: 3,140
Religion: Catholic, Roman Rite
Default Re: Dress Code for Clergy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon Ed
Since the topic is for "clergy" I'll be complete. Deacons of the Latin Rite not going on to the priesthood are, in general, exempt from the requirement of wearing a collar (in fact, are generally prohibited). On the other hand, Eastern deacons generally do wear a collar, at least when they are serving in their capacity as deacon whether at Liturgy or other parish function.

Deacon Ed
Could you be more specific about the prohibition? I have seen deacons in our diocese wear a collar at times. Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Aug 24, '05, 7:33 pm
CatholicCid CatholicCid is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 2005
Posts: 707
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Dress Code for Clergy

I saw my Priest three times outside of "uniform" this week... Though, the public he is in all know him as a Priest, if not, someone else told them...
Kinda shocking though as I've never seen a Priest without a collar... I thought there were leash laws
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Aug 24, '05, 7:36 pm
Brendan's Avatar
Brendan Brendan is offline
Forum Master
 
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Posts: 13,267
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Dress Code for Clergy

Quote:
Originally Posted by otm
Could you be more specific about the prohibition? I have seen deacons in our diocese wear a collar at times. Thanks.

Same here.

It my experience that the prohibition Deacon Ed meantions is more the exception that the rule. I see it mostly in CA and the a few East Coast states, but very little elsewhere.

The large majority of the dioceses seem to leave it up to the preference of the deacon himself.
__________________
Brendan
________________________________________ _______
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Aug 24, '05, 8:10 pm
SeekerJen SeekerJen is offline
 
Join Date: July 12, 2004
Posts: 5,132
Default Re: Dress Code for Clergy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan
The large majority of the dioceses seem to leave it up to the preference of the deacon himself.
I've only ever seen our permanent deacon in his clerical collar.

I have seen both of our priests in regular clothing, although only in casual (and usually unexpected) situations. Once was when a priest came through the church in his sweatsuit and slippers to put a fresh candle in the red tabernacle lamp- if we hadn't been there for evening choir rehearsal we'd never have seen him. Another time was when our pastor remembered about our St. Vincent de Paul clothing drive while he was watching a Red Wings game in the rectory. He came running out in his jeans and T-shirt to drop off his donations before the truck left.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old Aug 24, '05, 8:15 pm
Deacon Ed Deacon Ed is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2004
Posts: 2,364
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Dress Code for Clergy

The last time I asked the people at USCCB I was told that the "majority" of bishops did not allow their deacons to wear a collar. There are dioceses where the deacon wears a collar while he is ministering.

As a bi-ritual deacon I do have permission to wear one -- but only when I am serving the Melkites. This led to an interesting problem several years ago. I was at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress serving as a Melkite deacon at a booth sponsored by the Eastern Catholic Pastoral Association. I happened to go to lunch with a friend and walked by the new chancellor of our diocese, a nun whom I have known for years. She apparently took exception to my wearing a collar and raised a stink. It was quickly resolved (she was unaware that I was bi-ritual and had permission). My only issue was that if she had asked me I'd have told her -- but she decided I was flaunting the rules.

The decision to permit a deacon to wear or not wear a collar is, according to canon law, actually up to the deacon -- but since he requires faculties from the bishop, and since he made a promise of obedience to the bishop -- we tend to do what they ask.

And yes, David, it does blur the line. It is simply another sign that the bishops and priests are still coming to grips with the reality of a restored permanent diaconate.

Deacon Ed
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old Aug 24, '05, 8:23 pm
flamingsword flamingsword is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: June 12, 2005
Posts: 110
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Dress Code for Clergy

I know in my diocese that permanent deacons are not allowed to wear a collar. The reason that is always stated is that the deacons are often mistaken for priests and don't like having to explain themselves all the time. There has been fair amount of talk to have deacons wear the collar, but with a grey shirt or some other identifying mark to seperate them from the priests.

Personally what is wrong with a deacon being mistaken for a priest, all he has to say is sorry I am a deacon and the discussion is over 90% of the time. The other 10% leads to a great chance to evangelize and/or catechize.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old Aug 24, '05, 8:25 pm
flamingsword flamingsword is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: June 12, 2005
Posts: 110
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Dress Code for Clergy

Another intersting point is that the late John Paul II, asked that all priests, deacons, and seminarians wear their clerics out in public while in Rome. As a result you see the Roman collar nearly everywhere you go in the morning.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old Aug 24, '05, 9:10 pm
Sugabee43's Avatar
Sugabee43 Sugabee43 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: June 26, 2004
Posts: 136
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Dress Code for Clergy

I grew up around clergy, in that my father was an Episcopalian priest (very traditional, btw; my parents are now Orthodox!), and he was always very careful to wear his clerics in public, especially at church functions - even casual ones, such as barbeques. Obviously, he didn't wear the collar when mowing the lawn, but he made a point to always be seen in clerical garb. I guess that's the point of view from which I see it. No offense meant to anyone not wearing a wedding ring for specific reasons (although I think comfort level alone might be one to reconsider. It took me awhile to get used to mine, as well).

It is my opinion, also, that it blurs the lines between clergy and laity, and it's very disconcerting. Maybe the comparison of collars to wedding rings was incorrect, but it still smacks of denial of sacramental vows to me. Pray for our priests, everyone!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old Aug 24, '05, 9:21 pm
Mike Dye Mike Dye is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 18, 2004
Posts: 3,677
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Dress Code for Clergy

I am not sure but I believe that deacons can wear the collar and I know that priests can, but sad as it is, I believe with all the bad press the clergy has been given lately many don't want to go out in clergical garb......Really Sad!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old Aug 25, '05, 5:13 am
harinkj harinkj is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: August 7, 2005
Posts: 554
Religion: Roman Catholic
Smile Re: Dress Code for Clergy

Years ago at the Catholic elementary school I attended, the young priest who taught PE (physical education) to the boys during recess would not wear a collar. He did wear a black shirt and black slacks, I think.

- Kathie

Last edited by harinkj; Aug 25, '05 at 5:15 am. Reason: spelling
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Liturgy and Sacraments

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8481Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: SueZee
5154CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: UpUpAndAway
4429Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: daughterstm
4037OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: eschator83
3864SOLITUDE
Last by: Prairie Rose
3764Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: DesertSister62
3334Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel
3288Poems and Reflections
Last by: tonyg
3227Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: Rifester
3118For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: SueZee



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 3:32 am.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.