Protestant clergy sporting the Roman Collar


This is open for Catholics and non-Catholics. I’ve always been amazed why some Protestant sects wear the Roman Collar. Is it that they’re trying to be Catholic, but afraid to embrace it? I’m just not getting it here.

Any thoughts?

In Pax Christi


Oh man, I was watching something on the History Channel about UFOs and this man in a Roman collar was saying all sorts of nutty stuff–turns out he wasn’t Catholic, but you’d never know unless you saw the subtitle that appeared on the screen for a few seconds (he was some independent presbyterian something-or-other)–I was cringing big time until I saw he wasn’t Catholic.


How about when females sport it? That’s even crazier to me. It doesn’t look right…sort of like a female wearing a necktie (unless its part of a uniform of some kind)


It is tradition and certainly not restricted to Catholics. Anglicans, Lutherans, some Methodists and Presbyterians, etc.

These days it is becoming less common as polo shirts become the norm among non denominational types who react very negatively to the concept of clergy collars.

Rev North


yeah, I saw that flipping through the channels. Confused me a bit.

The previous pastors (and current one) at my Lutheran church did/do the same thing.


Right, I understand it is a tradition. What I don’t understand is why these folks, most of whom are fairly adamant about rejecting certain Catholic teachings, but accepting others. This is hypothetical: Logically, if something were “wrong” with one part of Catholicism, why wouldn’t it be wrong with every part? Isn’t that the logic and reason for most Christians outside of the Church? That’s the vibe I’ve been getting

In Pax Christi


It is part of a uniform.


When I was Episcopalian the clergy would almost always wear the clerical collar (this was back before they started ordaining women). I always assumed it was because they were priests.


Is it part of a uniform that a woman would be required to wear?


This is one funny thread.

I guess I will wait until the Eastern Orthodox posters here bite on this, if they even do check out this section of CAF ever.


I see a guy in blacks with a roman collar and I say “Hello Father!” and usually proceed to ask what Parish they are at and other chit chat.

I can’t tell you how many times I have been told, “No, I’m a reverend” and I just kind of look at them funny and say “…ok…?”

On a side note- I saw a deacon where greys with a roman once… where does that come from?


Well, if it had been an Episcopal priest, and you had, instead, called him “Reverend”, he would have corrected you, because they are “Fathers”. :slight_smile:

Except for confusing the clergy of one church with the clergy of another because they wear similar clothes, is it really such a big deal that some priests and ministers of other faiths dress the way they do?


At what point in history did Roman Catholic clergy begin wearing the collars? It certainly bears a strong resemblance to the “preaching bands” or “Geneva bands” worn by clerics in the 17th century, which were in turn similar to such bands worn by lawyers and academics.


If she is a priest or deacon, yes, potentially, depending on the denomination.


I’m fine with Orthodox clergy wearing it, but Protestants, it just seems so out of place, because it is out of place. It’s incredibly difficult for them (Protestants) to claim apostolic succession.

In Pax Christi


If I am not a police officer, yet wear the uniform, could I still have authority even if I did not get my uniform from the employer for such work?


This may be a suprise to you, it was for me.:shrug:

The terms “Roman collar” or “Roman shirt” refer to style, not origin. Clergy shirts are Protestant in origin. The Roman Catholic Church did not adopt them as streetwear for clergy until the 19th century.


I did not know this, and it puts a different spin on the matter


Then I wouldn’t have too much of a problem with it in that case. Its sort of like seeing female cops wearing ties. I’m not bothered by that. But if a woman showed up to the office in a necktie, that would be strange looking


And if someone who was not a member of some form of Christian clergy showed up wearing a clerical collar, I would figure it must be Halloween :slight_smile: . The collar goes with the position, rather than the sex of the person in the position.

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