Priestly garb question
#21
(08-31-2009, 09:16 PM)SLCFranciscan Wrote: A priest from my former NO parish is frequently out in public in his tennis shorts and a golf shirt.  I once saw him dining in a restaurant with a woman and he was attired like that.  I cannot for the life of me imagine any SSPX priest EVER doing such a thing.  (Either dressing like that OR doing out to dinner alone with one woman.)  But then, they know what it means to be a priest and they always remember who they are and whom they represent. :pray2:

Wouldn't happen with the FSSP either. I've never seen one of them out of their cassock and I can't even imagine one 'going out' with a woman alone!
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#22
(08-31-2009, 09:16 PM)SLCFranciscan Wrote: A priest from my former NO parish is frequently out in public in his tennis shorts and a golf shirt.  I once saw him dining in a restaurant with a woman and he was attired like that.  I cannot for the life of me imagine any SSPX priest EVER doing such a thing.  (Either dressing like that OR doing out to dinner alone with one woman.)  But then, they know what it means to be a priest and they always remember who they are and whom they represent. :pray2:
Thats crazy...and I would be seriously scandalized if I saw my SSPX priests behaving that way.
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#23
(08-31-2009, 09:16 PM)SLCFranciscan Wrote: A priest from my former NO parish is frequently out in public in his tennis shorts and a golf shirt.  I once saw him dining in a restaurant with a woman and he was attired like that.  I cannot for the life of me imagine any SSPX priest EVER doing such a thing.  (Either dressing like that OR doing out to dinner alone with one woman.)  But then, they know what it means to be a priest and they always remember who they are and whom they represent. :pray2:

Me thinks that statement boarders on calumny...You don't know exactly who the priest was with (it could have been a sister or relative) and you don't know why he was not in clericals.  If he was with a relative, then I can possibly see why he wasn't in the proper dress.  Let's face it, when in the presence of a priest, people act differently.  Although I'm not a cleric, I had to dress in a cassock for a Marian pilgrimage a few weeks ago, and people do stare.  Perhaps the priest didn't want things to be awkward.  Of course, I don't think this is a good reason to go without clericals, however, I also don't think we should be insinuating about so-and-so's potential immorality (especially a priest).  St. John Vianney or St. Francis had a quite to the effect "I'm blind and deaf to whatever they say about priests."  We should try to remember that.

In general, I think priestly garb had a massive fall-off after the sex abuse scandals broke (but I'm young by the account of most people on the board, so I could be wrong).  I know that since I told be I was a seminarian, the comments about being a pervert are quite common.  Of course, most people probably wouldn't say that directly to a priest, yet the thought probably comes to mind.  Since I don't where clericals yet, I enjoy some anonymity from these people.  However, a priest wouldn't, and he's conscious of that.

Always pray for your priests, so that they'll have courage and put their trust in the word of God instead of those of men.

Just my $.02...
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#24
(08-31-2009, 11:36 PM)MeaMaximaCulpa Wrote:
(08-31-2009, 09:16 PM)SLCFranciscan Wrote: A priest from my former NO parish is frequently out in public in his tennis shorts and a golf shirt.  I once saw him dining in a restaurant with a woman and he was attired like that.  I cannot for the life of me imagine any SSPX priest EVER doing such a thing.  (Either dressing like that OR doing out to dinner alone with one woman.)  But then, they know what it means to be a priest and they always remember who they are and whom they represent. :pray2:

Me thinks that statement boarders on calumny...

Where? At no point does MMC imply that there was anything wrong. He simply points out that the situation lends iyself to the wrong interpretation and I totally agree. What if a prot was in the restaurant that night and was invited to Mass the following Sunday by a Catholic friend?
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#25
The norms of clerical dress vary from country to country.  In the USA, the norm has typically been the clerical suit, due largely to the attempt over the years by the American Catholic leadership to be less overt in their "Catholic-ness" and appease the dominant WASP sensibilities (this goes back to the 1800s, when there was much more explicit opposition to the Catholic Church in the United States).  However, the USCCB does currently allow for the use of the cassock by secular priests at any time, although the dress of diocesan priests may be regulated by the local ordinary (i.e. he may enforce a rule in favor of clerical suits over cassocks or vice versa).

The use of cassocks by clergy who are members of religious orders or societies of apostolic life is a whole different matter, because their dress is regulated by their rules or constitutions.  For the FSSP, the use of the cassock is explicitly endorsed by their constitutions and is regarded as the official habit of the Fraternity.  Its use is referred to as a form of preaching and giving witness to the Gospel (to show that its wearer has died to the world).  The cassock is certainly more counter-cultural than the clerical suit, so this makes sense. 

Regarding its use in strenuous activities (such as manual labor of playing sports), the goal is not to recall a tradition that never existed (at least with the FSSP).  If it's being used purely as a matter of taste or to engage in a false nostalgia, I think that's a problem.  On the other hand, one must remember that the cassock, collar, and fascia are sacramentals.  There are prayers that the cleric says (or should say) when donning each item:   
- I don't remember the collar prayer by heart anymore, but the prayer refers to the collar as a yoke, which yokes the man to the Lord.
- The prayer for the cassock is taken from the tonsure ceremony.  It is the words that the bishop and tonsuratus recite as the hair is being cut.  It goes:
"Dominus pars hereditatis mei et calicis mei; tu es qui restitues hereditatem meam mihi."
Which means:
The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; you are He who will restore my inheritance to me."  So the cassock prayer is meant to remind the cleric of the sacrifice he made on the day of his tonsure (his death to the world) and to remind him of the reward which awaits him for faithful service.
- The fascia prayer is a prayer for chastity (as it girds a man's loins).  It goes:
"Praecinge me Domine cingulo puritatis et exstingue in lumbis meis humorem libidinis ut maneat in me virtus continentiae et castitatis."
Which, roughly translated, means:
"Gird me, Lord, with the cincture of purity and extinguish in my loins the humor of (or disposition to) lust, that the virtues of continence and chastity may remain in me."

So all of these pieces should be regarded as spiritual weapons (I know that is how they are regarded in the FSSP).  So, at least for the FSSP, wearing the traditional garb has nothing to do with fashion, and the seminarians are taught accordingly.  The cassock, collar, and fascia are regarded as protections against a spiritually hostile world, and having once been a member, I can tell you there is a lot of hostility out there for traditional clerics.  FSSP priests aren't trying to create a false nostalgia.  They are trying to assert their own spiritual identity in the Church and in the world and to protect themselves.
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#26
jovan Wrote:Where? At no point does MMC imply that there was anything wrong. He simply points out that the situation lends iyself to the wrong interpretation and I totally agree.

I think you were referring to SLCFranciscan's comment....

Anyway, as suggested in my first post on this thread, the awkwardness of seeing a man in clericals alone with a woman is precisely why clerical dress was imposed as a mandatory item in the first place. It may not be a fair assumption to think a man in clericals alone with a woman is engaging in unchaste dalliances (could be a relative, or even his wife, as married Latin-rite priests do actually exist), but much like a bright orange prison jumpsuit, that's what the uniform is there for.

rbjmartin Wrote:The norms of clerical dress vary from country to country.  In the USA, the norm has typically been the clerical suit, due largely to the attempt over the years by the American Catholic leadership to be less overt in their "Catholic-ness" and appease the dominant WASP sensibilities (this goes back to the 1800s, when there was much more explicit opposition to the Catholic Church in the United States).

That's my understanding of how things were in Great Britain as well. All the pictures I've seen of Monsignor Ronald Knox, for example, have him in a clerical suit.

rbjmartin Wrote:Regarding its use in strenuous activities (such as manual labor of playing sports), the goal is not to recall a tradition that never existed (at least with the FSSP).  If it's being used purely as a matter of taste or to engage in a false nostalgia, I think that's a problem.  On the other hand, one must remember that the cassock, collar, and fascia are sacramentals.  There are prayers that the cleric says (or should say) when donning each item:   

Those are interesting prayers. I think that attitude of each garment being almost like a vestment makes a lot of sense for the Fraternity or other clerical societies. Nevertheless, the cassock and collar as we know it today developed out of a culture of fashion among secular clergy. Unlike vestments, which don't change much over the centuries, there are probably at least 7 different styles of clerical collars that have existed between the 1700's and today. The original collars come from secular fashion, when it was cool to have your collar spread over your waistcoat or outer coat.

(Example of secular collar: William Shakespeare)

[Image: 200px-Shakespeare.jpg]

(Same idea in clerical form: Jules Cardinal Mazarin)

[Image: Mazarin-mignard.jpg]
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#27
(09-01-2009, 05:44 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: Nevertheless, the cassock and collar as we know it today developed out of a culture of fashion among secular clergy. Unlike vestments, which don't change much over the centuries, there are probably at least 7 different styles of clerical collars that have existed between the 1700's and today. The original collars come from secular fashion, when it was cool to have your collar spread over your waistcoat or outer coat.

That may, indeed, be the case with regard to the origins of the collar.  But the cassock, arguably, has origins in the dress of the Roman patrician class, who wore ankle-length robes.  Patrician status continued into the post-Empire period in some Roman-occupied areas of Western Europe, and as the clerical state grew in prestige, the ankle-length garb, as a sign of prestige, was likely assigned to them.  So I think there is a strong argument to be made that use of the cassock or some other ankle-length garment has been a part of clerical dress since the days of the late Roman Empire.

Regardless of the time period, you're right that clerical dress originates in secular attire, which is fine.  It's just another example of the Church "baptizing" something secular and spiritualizing it (as with many sacramentals).  I just wish more priests regarded their proper dress with the reverence it deserves.
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#28
Which reminds me of a joke:

Two Irishmen were sitting at a pub having beer and watching the brothel across the street.They saw a Baptist minister walk into the brothel, and one of them said, "Aye, 'tis a shame to see a man of the cloth goin' bad."

Then they saw a rabbi enter the brothel, and the other Irishman said, "Aye, 'tis a shame to see that the Jews are fallin' victim to temptation as well."
Then they see a Catholic priest enter the brothel, and one of the Irishmen said, "What a terrible pity...one of the girls must be dying."
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#29
(09-01-2009, 11:28 PM)SoCalLocal Wrote: Which reminds me of a joke:

Two Irishmen were sitting at a pub having beer and watching the brothel across the street.They saw a Baptist minister walk into the brothel, and one of them said, "Aye, 'tis a shame to see a man of the cloth goin' bad."

Then they saw a rabbi enter the brothel, and the other Irishman said, "Aye, 'tis a shame to see that the Jews are fallin' victim to temptation as well."
Then they see a Catholic priest enter the brothel, and one of the Irishmen said, "What a terrible pity...one of the girls must be dying."

'Catholic' is redundant! :)
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#30
(09-01-2009, 05:44 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote:
rbjmartin Wrote:The norms of clerical dress vary from country to country.  In the USA, the norm has typically been the clerical suit, due largely to the attempt over the years by the American Catholic leadership to be less overt in their "Catholic-ness" and appease the dominant WASP sensibilities (this goes back to the 1800s, when there was much more explicit opposition to the Catholic Church in the United States).

That's my understanding of how things were in Great Britain as well. All the pictures I've seen of Monsignor Ronald Knox, for example, have him in a clerical suit.

Well, unless the law has changed recently, it is still technically against the law in Britain for a Catholic priest to appear on the streets in a cassock. It is true that it hasn't actually been enforved in probably a century, but I think it may have something to do with the prevailing fashion im Msgr Knox's time! :)
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