Clerical Shirt

We have a new parish priest and he wears a blue clerical shirt - something I have not seen before. Is there a distinction between the blue and black shirt in the U.S.?

Wierd thou, I thought all catholic clergy were to wear black.
brothers to priests wear black.

Yeah, it’s fashion and/or personal taste. I’ve seen RC clergy in those awful shirts in black, grey, white, navy, powder blue, royal blue, yellow, and pale green (and I think I’ve even seen dusky rose, but I’m not sure about that one). Much better to wear a rabat or an attachable collar. Those are always black and, IMO, have a “cleaner” and more appropriate look.

In some dioceses where deacons are allowed to wear the collar, I believe deacons’ clerical shirts are grey.

I also remember reading somewhere ??? that black is the only official color.

Having spent times in hot climates I can understand wanting/needing to where a lighter color.

Why are they “awful?” Because they are not black? :shrug:

Until I see a clerical collar, clerical blacks without a coat often look like some sort of blue collar uniform. This is especially true when the priest chooses a short sleeved shirt – something that I would NEVER do with either a clerical collar or a necktie.

I remember seeing Cardinal George Pell in a white dress clerical shirt and collar with a black suit. It looked MUCH “cleaner” and more elegant than all-black.

I don’t know about in the USA, but in Canada and many other countries of the world, blue is an actual colour whereas black is only a shade :p:p:p:p:p:p:p

It’s not the color, but rather the design, mainly the white plastic insert (which resembles a tongue-depressor). And yes, most of them are short-sleeved, which is another strike. I personally have always preferred a rabat (worn with a suit coat, and normally worn over a long-sleeved, collarless white shirt) or else an old-fashioned “clerical shirt” which is also collarless (and also long-sleeved) and worn with an attachable Roman (or Anglican) collar. As an aside, I’ve never seen an attachable Roman collar in white, but I seem to think they do exist, probably in the same warm climates where white cassocks are common.

For those of you who have never worn a clerical shirt or rabat:

either way: the blinking things are uncomfortable and do any of you realize that black material absorbs and holds heat?? If the person is wearing a short sleeve shirt or long sleeve, I’d think you would be happy that they are wearing a clerical shirt…I guess there’s no pleasing some people!

You mentioned color in your original posting.

Nothing wrong with the “white plastic inserts” you mention – and no, they do not look like tongue depressors. You clearly have your preferences – not that they are realistic, but you should try to add validity to them by attacking viable alternatives.

Yes, and I thought it was clear that the color doesn’t matter: They’re not my taste irrespective of the color.

That is a matter of opinion.

What “attack?” I merely expressed my preference. Which also happens to be the preference of several priests whom I know personally who habitually wear the rabat or attachable Roman collar. So yeah, it’s realistic.

To answer the OP’s question Canon 284 states: “Clerics are to wear suitable ecclesiastical garb according to the norms issued by the conference of bishops and according to legitimate local customs”.

The norms issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops states: “… a black suit and Roman collar …”. No mention of shirt colour is made.

Isn’t the character of the man inside the clerical shirt more important than colour of the clerical shirt, just my humble opinion.

great, now I can order my dayglo green zuchetto…

Solid or print? :smiley:

I’d save that for spring. I think dayglo red with glitter would be more seasonal.

I am going to hold out for the clerical cabana outfit.
I also want red shoes like the holy father has…

I shan’t tell you my grandmother’s opinion of red shoes.

I know that in the U.S it is the rule for clergyman to wear only the black shirt with a white collar as the correct vestmant. Although in other countries, such as Rome, France, UK, and Asian countries it is common to find clergyman wearing a variety of colours such as blue, grey, black etc… It is through custom and tradition in the U.S that black shirts with a white collar is the norml and rule of thumb.

If there are exceptions to this rule, then I am unaware of it. Unfortunately, I dont have my references at hand to quote it.

First, such shirts are not “vestments.” Second there is nothing that I know of that keeps a priest from wearing a white (or any other color in good taste) shirt that has a Roman collar. I see far more colored shirts with Roman collars today then I see black ones.

Is this priest a member of a religious order? I know the Brothers of Hope (not sure if they have any priests) have a light blue clerical shirt and they’re in the U.S.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit