An internal circular signed by Cardinal Bertone invites all clerics working in the Holy See to wear cassocks

Interesting. Obviously, this is internal to the Vatican so it probably has little implication for the Universal Church. Will that change? Time will tell I suppose.

I am curious to know how those consecrated religious who’s founder directed their sons or daughters not to wear the habit or other distinctive religious attire will fall under this initiative. The document says that religious are “invited” to wear the habit, not that they are “directed” to, which is certainly different.

In addition, considering the directions after Vatican II for religious to return to their roots, I can hardly see mandating those communities who are not supposed to be in the habit, to wear one at the Vatican.


Well, I don’t know if it will have little implication. It seems to me one more element showing that things are moving in a certain direction. See, even in the news article:

after the Second Vatican Council, the cassock ended up in a box in the loft …] But for some years now, there has been a significant countertrend, among young priests in particular

And which would these communities be? Are there many of these? As far as I know, the majority of religious orders have very specific habits that they are supposed to wear. If a religious order has a rule approved by Holy Church, which specifies not to wear any distinctive attire, then obviously these instructions don’t apply to them.

Yes there are congregations, societies and orders which do not wear habits, but who are supposed to blend in with the people around them.

Understandable. After all, the poor friars of St. Francis looked just like the people they were ministering to. But that’s not all of them: the clergy and many congregations have specific habits for excellent reasons.

The internal circular is apparently not an original document. It is an exhortation to follow an existing circular authorized by John Paul sometime in the early 1980s.

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