LET IT aLL sTART hERE
For Catholics who care...
I had to do more than just "casually" comment on our men in black.
Church clerics, for centuries have been required to wear distinctive clothing to identify them as ordained clergy. The Synod of Braga,
A.D. 572, ordered Priests to wear different clothes when they went out.
In the Middle ages, the dress of the clergy began to be regulated by Canon Law. There is a long history surrounding the question of "costume" where Priests are concerned and I urge you, for your own edification, to read more about it.
To get to the gist of the matter: Pope Benedict XIII, in 1725, forbade clerics to wear civilian attire. I have not found any evidence that regulations have been "officially" changed. (If you are aware of any, please share them here at: www.letitallstarthere.com.)
For the United States, the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore (1884) promulgated regulations for clerical attire as follows: "...We enjoin upon our priests as a matter of strict precept, that both at home and abroad, and whether they are residing in their own diocese or outside of it, they should wear the Roman collar."
There are reasons why men wear uniforms for a particular position they hold. The postman wears a uniform. The police officer wears a uniform. The train conductor wears a uniform. All are civil servants. Surely, it is as important for "a servant of God" to be identified as just that. Priest are required to dress appropriately. They have been ordained. "Being ordained, or ordination, is a sacrament; that is a special blessing from God which makes an inner change in the man. Another word for this sacrament is ‘Holy Orders’. When a man receives Holy Orders, he is configured to Christ, which means that when he carries out his ministerial work he is acting in the power of Christ, and not in his own power. We call this a special grace of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit could be described as God’s power, energy and wisdom. In the most profound way possible, ordination creates a new man, one who, if living his vocation (calling) faithfully, can say with St. Paul: ‘It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.’ (Galatians 2:20). He is changed not because of what he can do, but because of what he has become. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) describes Holy Orders as ‘The sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time…’ ." (CCC 1536). (The Papal Visit.org)
Sorry. There is no winggle room here. If one choose to be "configured to Christ", then this blogger believes that he ought to keep his commitment and act accordingly.
Oh and as a reminder: "The color black indicates poverty. Moreover, black is a color of mourning and death for the Priest, the symbolism is dying to oneself to rise and serve the Lord as well as giving witness of the Kingdom yet to come. Black is associated with sorrow but in the case of priestly robe this colour has another symbolic meaning. A black cassock is to remind a Priest that he ‘dies to the world’ every day and immerses in eternity. Blackness also symbolises giving up bright colours and thus giving up what the world brings, its glittering, honours and entertainment. Further, the colour black is the symbol of authority. A judge sitting on the judgment chamber wears black. An advocate who pleads in the court wears black robe. In the same manner, wearing the black robs during the services is a mark of the spiritual authority of Priests. In our very secular world, the wearing of clerical garb continues to be a visible sign of belief and of the consecration of one’s life to the service of the Lord and His Church." (Catholic Educatoin.org)