Poll: Should Seminarians Wear Clerical Clothing

That’s true, but there are plenty of ‘inactives’. It’s one of the costs of upholding a celibate priesthood, i’m afraid… It draws all the “eunuchs” that the Lord talks about, and not just those who become that way exclusively for the Kingdom.

But it’s probably inevitable. You cant totally guard against bad shepherds, or those who embark on a vocation for what they can get out of it, rather than what they can put in it.

Though this probably isnt the place for this discussion,

The nature of priesthood is such that it almost inevitably attracts those seeking it rather than necessarily called to it. Homosexuality is effectively a non-issue compared to say the 1960’s and I would venture that few, if any, people these days (at least in most Western countries) would see priesthood (and therein, celibacy) as an 'escape" or hiding place. Some are attracted by the idea of authority, while others still by the idea of financial security or simply the desire for someone to take care of them - a substitute mother if you will.

This is of course something which arises many other areas of life - for example, people join the military because they like guns or the uniform, or just want to escape from their personal problems (in which case the French Foreign Legion is the place to go).

That said, if a person’s attraction to the priesthood is based on the notion that they think they’d look good in a cassock they’re likely to be disappointed. Most (if not all) seminaries these days have a rigorous application and interview process including with a psychologist. even after admission, the seminary formation process would likely pick up on attitudes which point to desires other than to serve.

That’s because they were clerics. Now that seminarians don’t receive tonsure, they aren’t clerics.

I am a seminarian, and I voted no.

At my seminary, only Deacons (and priest obviously) are allowed to wear clericals. There’s one exception I guess, and that’s if one of the guys is MCing a Mass (outside of the Seminary), then they usually wear a cassock and surplus.

One of the underlying impressions that never gets spoken of with this question is motivation. The desire amongst some seminarians to wear clericals sometimes (not always, but I have seen it) goes with a latent (or even outright) clericalism. The attitude is usually something like “Look at us, we’re different than you”, even though when you are not ordained you really aren’t even finished your discernment yet and you are in the exact same state of life as any other layperson (not including consecrated religious, they are in a different state of life).

I’ve seen this myself amongst seminarians who like to think of themselves as belonging to some kind of non-existent “laity+” state of life. The priesthood itself is fundamentally a vocation of service to others, not of any sort of privilege (despite how much some people, including some seminarians, would like it to be).

Curly Cool raises an interesting point - while it’s important for seminarians to be recognised as such, in the sense of visibility, awareness and vocational promotion; they are at the same time seminarians and not priests. They are also not “mini-priests” or “priests-in-waiting” and it’s important that people understand this - seminary life is about formation: seminarians are “on the road” so to speak but the destination of each is still unknown.

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