Style and the Priesthood

A Canadian priest keeps warm outside.

Oh well, at least coprohagia and coprophilia were given a wide berth during this morning's homily. We must be thankful for small mercies...

“About rigidity and worldliness, it was some time ago that an elderly monsignor of the curia came to me, who works, a normal man, a good man, in love with Jesus – and he told me that he had gone to buy a couple of shirts at Euroclero [the clerical clothing store] and saw a young fellow - he thinks he had not more than 25 years, or a young priest or about to become a priest - before the mirror, with a cape, large, wide, velvet, with a silver chain. He then took the Saturno, he put it on and looked himself over. A rigid and worldly one. And that priest – he is wise, that monsignor, very wise - was able to overcome the pain, with a line of healthy humor and added: ‘And it is said that the Church does not allow women priests!’. Thus, does the work that the priest does when he becomes a functionary ends in the ridiculous, always.”~ Pope Francis, 9th December 2016

May I suggest a campaign to fit our parish priests out with a nice warm clerical coat, preferably made with a decent, warmth-enhancing material in these cold winter months and a stylish, warm saturno. It's not all about looking good. Sometimes its about keeping warm. It also goes without saying that personally, while trying on an item of clothes, which you are going to spend good money on, it is always advisable to look in a mirror, not necessarily out of vanity, but perhaps just to check whether the clothes fit you and, indeed, suit you.


'It's just a saturno. It can do you no harm.'
There is a place for style in the Catholic Church.
As a certain TV series is currently demonstrating.

Priests take certain vows to which they are bound.
No priest takes vows not to look great.

'It's not about me. It's about the liturgy.'


I just want to cry. My priest friends are SO SPLENDID- what does His Holiness really fear?
and as a friend of mine once said: God has good taste!!!!
Romulus said…
The moral of the story, I am pretty sure, is to stop shopping at Euroclero with sour older priests formed by the "spirit of Vatican II", and get to Barbiconi or Gamarelli.
Rashomon said…
Another possibility ... the young priest, visiting Rome for the first time, was trying on the cape, knowing that he could never afford anything in the over-priced gift shop, wondering how anyone would find space in their suitcases for such an enormous article of clothing. Likewise, the wide brimmed cap reminds him of the cowboy hats worn by John Wayne. Maybe he could use it in an upcoming school play. As he glanced in a nearby mirror, the young man saw an elderly man, possibly a priest, in Bermuda shorts and a tee-shirt, clutching two pink clerical shirts and a rainbow stole. The older man, smelling of a two martini lunch, was staring angrily at him, as he yelled something sarcastic about women.
In the final part of the homily the Pope then brought three “icons” of “mediator-priests and not intermediaries.” The first is the great Polycarp, who “does not negotiate his vocation and is brave all the way to the pyre, and when the fire is around him, the faithful who were there, they smelled the aroma of bread.”
“This,” he said, is how a mediator makes his end: as a piece of bread for his faithful.”

So all the non-rigid priests are to become toast, to be eaten by the faithful once they die? Yuck! I think I'll avoid them and stick to the rigid types. They don't believe in cannibalism.
Fr Simon Henry said…
EuroClero is known for being at the less expensive end of the clerical outfitters in Rome!
Anonymous said…
I'm not a fan of the priest as dandy mentality, but there are plenty of ways for that to be embraced by middle-aged careerists who power dress like Swiss bankers, or young trendies who try to look and behave like London hipsters, as much as by traditionalist types with capes and gaiters or whatever. But I notice the thinly veiled implication in these remarks that all those so called "rigid" types are homosexual and the distinct tone of homophobia in the snide joke about women priests. I thought we were not supposed to judge about all that now as long as a man is seeking God. I suppose for some ageing modernists it makes it easier to justify your theological position to yourself if you dismiss everyone who opposes you as a bunch of periwigged poofs. It saves having to actually respond to reasoned criticism.
Andrew said…
"I thought we were not supposed to judge about all that now as long as a man is seeking God."

Pope Francis has become the "accuser of our brethren" - and like the accuser, he "accused them before our God day and night". (Rev. 12:10)

Slightly off topic, but maybe not, I discovered yesterday that Pope John Paul II refused to baptise at least two Jewish children when he was a priest in Poland. Apparently this isn't calumny. It is stated on his wikipedia page that JP2 said:

".....the child should be raised in the Jewish faith of his birth parents and nation, not as a Catholic."


We think Francis is bad, but how does a priest who refuses to carry out the Great Commission ever become Pope?

Crazy times.....
Andrew, there are circumstances when a priest can refuse to Baptize a Jewish child. For example, if, say, a grandmother is bringing the child in without the consent of the parents, or if the priest knows the child will be raised as a Jew - and there may be other circumstances. So don't be too quick to call out JPII. He did many, many evil things during his long, long papacy, but this refusal may not have been one of them.
Pelerin said…
During the Second World War many Priests in France forged Baptismal certificates for Jewish children in order to save their lives. I don't think they ever actually baptised them but they played their part in saving them from the horrors of the Concentration Camps and in doing so risked their own lives.

What's happened to the other Saturnos you featured yesterday?
John Vasc said…
A couple for the Little Book of Insults:
Intermediary! Go-Between! Pyre-Avoider! Mirror-Addicted Sartorial Saturnist! Clerical Crypto-Cross-Dresser! Dark-eyed child-shunner!

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