Are priests allowed to have facial hair? If so, why are most clean-shaven?
Yes, priests are allowed to have facial hair, as does Catholic Answers’ staff apologist and chaplain Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P. As for why many priests are clean-shaven, that is a personal grooming decision that every man (including every priest) makes for himself. However, it can be noted that the fashion of late-twentieth and early-twenty-first-century America and many Western countries is for men to be clean-shaven. Had we lived in previous centuries, we may have known more men who chose to maintain facial hair.