Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cas-sock it to me!

Padre Pistolas: A real gun-totin', macho cassock wearing priest
Fr. Scott Thomas has invited some of his fellow priests to wear their cassocks tonight for the Chrism Mass. He's only invited a few of us, truth be told, because only a few of us have them. The idea is that we take some pride in the traditional garb of the priest and since this is a celebration (of sorts) of the priesthood, then why not?

I won't be wearing mine. Not that I'm against Fr. Scott's idea. It's a good one but I suspect that I'd get more critique from the other priests than our newest ordained. It would appear to some of the clergy as a confusing choice or a betrayal of the work our clergy and diocese has done in the area of equality and justice.

For a certain generation of priest, the clerical garb is a sign of arrogant clericalism. It evokes ideas of a self-important cleric who lords his status over others and seeks to take rather than to give. Instead, a more somber black suit and clerical shirt (sometimes a little dirty and worn to show how "really humble" the priest is) is in order. Or some would prefer a pair of Johnson-Murphy loafers, khaki Polo pants and a cotton golf-shirt with a corporate logo topped in a light golf sweater bearing the mark of a private country club to identify them as "just a guy". Just a guy who happens to live like an upper-middle class suburban male because people give him all that stuff free because he's...a priest.

Nope. Nothing clerical there.

Maybe next year!