Roman Collar Question


In my archdiocese, seminarians (both minor and major) own cassocks and roman collars for liturgical celebrations and use outside of the liturgy (daywear, etc).

Is it appropriate for seminarians to wear the collar while they are “out in the world” (for lack of a better phrase), I.e., off the seminary grounds, walking around the town, etc.


It is already something when priests wear the cassock and collar outside of seminary. When seminarians do it is short of heavenly, but I dont know the canonic regulations regarding the collar which may be reserved until they have minor orders (FSSP) or in general when they become deacons (just a supposition).

God bless your archdiocese.


I don’t know the answer to that question, either. I do wish more priests and religious would wear their collars and habits in public. I think it makes a really strong statement.

Padre Pio was said to have the ability to read hearts, and on occasion, he would come across priests who were not dressed in their religious attire. He would always know, anyway, and tell the priests not to come “in disguise” next time, not to be ashamed of their calling!

I have talked to some people who said some religious have stopped wearing their religious attire in public out of fear of not being understood or accepted by modern society, thinking this would somehow make it easier on society?

In the one church I went to that was in violation on a number of grounds…with us voting to take the creed out of mass, having no kneelers, no holy wáter, almost no confession. We had only secular music, liturgical dance. The priest went by his first name rather than “Father”, and we prayed to mother and father God.

Anyway, along with all of that, I recall that besides our being dressed in shorts and immodest attire, virtually all of us, the priest would almost never wear his priestly garb. I can’t remember ever seeing that sister, in church or out, wear hers. I have come to see people not wearing their religious attire as part of this same problem.

I think there has been an overall erosion of customs and traditions, and near as I can tell, it seems to have a negative effect of moving us farther away from the Church and God.

I hope it’d be okay for you to wear a collar, and I wish more would join you! If you can’t right now, I hope you will be one of those who will wear a collar in public!


It is up to the ordinary to regulate clerical dress in his diocese or religious community.


In short, if the local Bishop says it is OK, then it is OK, and who are we to question his decision?


It’s up for the bishop to decide.

Before the suppression of the tonsure, when the clerical state was conferred at the beginning of a seminarian’s education, he was required to appear as a cleric (e.g.: cassock or clerics). Since we no longer confer the clerical state, there is some confusion about this. There is no universal standard. Some bishops’ conferences have standards, while sometimes it is decided by the individual diocese.

There is some confusion about the use of the conferral of “Candidacy,” being a replacement for the conferral of the clerical state. This was not its original purpose, but it is the Ordinary’s decision as whether or not to use this as a standard.

I heard of the policy of a South American country (I can’t recall which), which seemed reasonable: all seminarians wear a black cassock with a blue fascia (sash-belt) while at the seminary, or in a parish, but not otherwise. The blue fascia distinguishes them from a priest (who normally wears a black fascia), but still allows them to be identifiable. If the seminarians are on personal business, or off Church property, they dress as any young man might.


This topic has come up various times on other threads. It is the decision of the ordinary. There is a sub-topic related to this concerning the donning of clerical grab by permanent deacons as well. I stand with you and others who believe all clerics and religious should be admonished to dress in appropriate clerical garb outside of the parish when not working in secular jobs (permanent deacons) or participating in sports. The idea for not imposing it because it might “confuse” the laity is silly. How can seminarians walk around in clerical garb and not an ordained cleric like a permanent deacon, particularly when transitional deacons are obligated everywhere to dress as clergy? :eek:


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