Monday 8 April 2013

Wearing the cassock - my human right

No surrender to the anti-cassock brigade.

I read today that The Equality and Human Rights Commission is suggesting that  ecologists could ask to be excused from duties that increase CO2 emissions, such as flying to business meetings, and that druids and pagans should be allowed to take time off work to go on pilgrimages and attend sacred rituals.  All well and good but I wonder how this applies to those Christians who have found themselves at a disadvantage when expressing their faith?  Apparently, the guidance, which also applies to Christians, Jews and Muslims and atheists, was produced as a result of a series of judgments by the European Court of Human Rights recently.
It states that bosses should "consider seriously" adapting the relevant work duties to suit their employees beliefs.  I hope that this will re-enforce the ability of those who work in healthcare to opt out of assisting at abortions - a legal right but my understanding is that this is not always so easily done in practice.  I note as well that the it doesn't apply where a "public service" is being provided - a nice little loop-hole waiting to be exploited  I think.

On a happier note, I take it to mean that the wearing of my cassock as a sign of my religious conviction and affiliation must now be respected - perhaps I can finally attend Mass at the Cathedral wearing my cassock with pride without being pointed at and laughed at in the sacristy, as happened on the last occasion I steeled myself to attend the Chrism Mass.  This new guidance will presumably mean that the Cathedral authorities would have to act to ban such discriminatory behavior on its premises. Perhaps a discrete sign at the door saying, "Cassock wearers welcome here" should be put up.  I see that head wear for Sikhs is also included in the  guidelines, so perhaps I can even take my biretta!


Lynda said...

Well done, Father. Ignore the bullying heretics. Your wearing of the proper clerical garb is a great example, encouragement, and inspiration to the Faithful and all men of goodwill.

Fr said...

It is a bit much when one made to feel like an odd outsider at the Chrism Mass.
I went to one about 15 years ago and decided that, as the bishop couldn't really be bothered to celebrate it properly in accordance with the Ceremoniale, then I wouldn't bother attending in future.

Genty said...

Unfortunately, I suspect that in this time of flux in the Catholic Church we ain't seen nuttin' yet.
I pray that the current Nuncio will be kept in place.

Unknown said...

As a regular volunteer at the Cathedral for the past 7 years, I have to say that I am rather disappointed that this happened whilst you were there Father. It seems such a sad situation in the Church today where clergy are treated as such for wearing the correct clerical gear

Jacobi said...

“without being pointed out and laughed at in the sacristy”

A very interesting insight Father.

We hear a lot about the shortage of priests these days, but I have long suspected that numbers is not the problem, but rather, quality. The reality is that during the last thirty years so many of our priests have either been badly formed or have turned from their sacred calling.
Yes, we do have a shortage of good priests i.e., men who, in chaste celibacy will live their lives as an icon of the eternal Priesthood of Christ.

Such men would not laugh at any symbol of the priesthood.

Let’s hope in the future we get good priests, even if they are very few in number. We’ll manage. After all, the Faith survived on just a handful of priests in penal times!

Jason said...

Father, may I introduce you to a young martyr who was killed because he insisted on wearing his cassock; his name is Rolando Rivi, and, please God, he will be beatified soon.

Long-Skirts said...


The power of the cassock
Is to lure
Like fishermen
To nets secure.

The power of the cassock
Ebony shine
A hull of hues
On deck Divine.

The power of the cassock
Anchors the man
Dead to the world
In his sea-span.

The power of the cassock
Weighted strength
Before the mast
It's linen length.

The power of the cassock
Sails your soul
To greater depths
From shallow shoal.

The power of the cassock
Captains' pure
The fishermen
Our land-locked cure.

Anonymous said...

God bless you Father for setting an example to those around you.


Kinga Grzeczynska said...

Fr Henry
I don't understand where the problem is??
On the Continent a catholic priest is seldom seen without his cassock or his collar.
It is in this Archdiocese that I have been to meetings where one really ponders if the speaker is a priest or a layperson.

Any person that laughs at you because you wear a cassock is a clear example of the unwanted behaviour seen in a priest. Take no notice of this childish behaviour. It will all be put right soon enough!
Kinga Grzeczynska

Anonymous said...

long live the wearers of the cassock in liverpool qrchdiocese. itsa shame some more priests dont wear the outward sign of their consecration!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Hello Father Henry!
Here in NYC, we faithful to the TLM expect our priests to wear a cassock. Our TLM cassock-wearing seminarians ride the subway as well!
It has become 2nd nature for parishioners to walk w Father to his destination. What a sight we are when we descend upon a restaurant for luncheon! Others cannot help but notice Father's blessing(given while standing)Good cheer abounds! I pray that parishioners will support your "right" and you, too, may wear your cassock daily. Your daughter in Christ~lili

RJ said...

Well done, Father. I would think that the religious habit or the cassock is a sacramental, of benefit to those who see it worn and to those who wear it. On that basis, it would be an act of charity to wear it.