In my diocese there are a small number of seminarians who wish to wear their cassock after their first year of study at the seminary. They have approached the bishop and rector about doing so, but both have refused to grant them permission, saying that can only do so after their ordination and that they must wear civilian clothing, much to their distress. I was wondering if either the bishop and/or rector (or both?) have the authority to do this?
Also, in another diocese in my country my priest friend, who has recently started celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass, wishes to wear the cassock but his bishop has refused to allow him to do so, saying he can wear a clerical shirt but anything more than that is ‘over the top’ and would cause him to draw attention to himself. Can a local bishop refuse to allow one of the priests in his diocese to wear a cassock? [No.]
It matters not a whit if a bishop or a rector has the authority to ban cassocks for seminarians.
The only thing that matters is that they can throw you out of the seminary just because they didn’t like their corn flakes that morning.
Seminarians! LISTEN UP!
If your rector or bishop has a “cassock problem” for seminarians, fine. Let them be as dim and dopey as they choose to be.
Smile. Be cordial. Obey. Wear civvies. Check off the days on your calendar.
These liberal ideologues are doomed. The Biological Solution is as work. You also have The Bux Protocol in your quivver.
When they pass you along for ordination, they are ordaining their own destruction.
Bide your time.
For priests, however, …
Bishops do not have the authority to ban, by particular law, the use of the cassock.
As the Directory for Priests indicates, the cassock is the norm for clerical garb. Furthermore, can. 284 says that clerics “are to wear suitable ecclesiastical garb according to the norms issued by the conference of bishops and according to legitimate local customs.” In these USA, the bishops conference issued particular norms, which state:
“The National Conference of Catholic Bishops, in accord with the prescriptions of canon 284, hereby decrees that without prejudice to the provisions of canon 288 (which states that permanent deacons are are exempt from these norms, unless particular law established otherwise), clerics are to dress in conformity with their sacred calling. [That rules out Carmen Miranda fruit hats, but it cannot rule out the cassock.]
In liturgical rites, clerics shall wear the vesture prescribed in the proper liturgical books. Outside liturgical functions, a black suit and Roman collar are the usual attire for priests. The use of the cassock is at the discretion of the cleric.“
“The use of the cassock is at the discretion of the cleric.”
These norms from the US bishops were given the recognitio of the Congregation for Bishops in 1999. Therefore, in these USA priests wear cassocks at their own discretion. A local bishop cannot, of his own authority, issue contradictory norms. He can advise, cajole, plead, threaten or bribe. He cannot mandate anything to the contrary without explicit approval from the Holy See.
Once, however, the use of the cassock in these USA was not permitted to priests as regular street clothes. This comes from the time of the Councils of Baltimore and the anti-Catholicism of those days. Priests used the cassock in the parish, etc., the frock coat on the street. In these USA it is still not quite yet the custom, I think, to use the cassock as street clothes. Some younger priests are doing this. Fine.
But a bishop can’t tell a priest not to wear a cassock. Of course if they bishop does and priest wear the cassock anyway, the petty and vindictive bishop has a thousand ways to hurt the priest.