I am worried.
Given that Pope Francis has declared war on clerical new cars, I am concerned that other things will soon be in his cross-hairs.
For example, what could be more worrisome to the poor than the sight of cuff links on the clerical sleeves of those shirts beneath clerical garb?
In anticipation of the incipient Franciscan War on Garb, I formed a Plan about which I can now make some off the cuff remarks.
I have shirts which – I confess it – are made for the offending links. They are even Roman. But, hey, I was in Rome for a long time and we didn’t yet know that “gemelli” are bad things.
Once upon a time, I used to go to thrift stores and buy seconds, those cast off, rejected, anawim of dress shirts for men, remove the collar, stitch up the collar band, and sew my own button hole into the back for the stud to hold the clerical collar in place. A lot cheaper than shirts from clerical shops, I can assure you. Yikes.
So, if then why not now?
I went to one of those stores where you get stuff cheaper and bought – from your donations – a couple regular men’s white dress shirts without the offending cuffs for links. Some call them “French cuffs”, though I don’t know why. It seems to be an American term.
I took them to a nice Vietnamese lady with a little tailoring shop along with one of my evil Roman shirts so that she could copy the collar onto the less evil anawim shirts possessed of the barrel cuffs.
Today I picked them up!
She got them just right.
First, the evil link shirt so you can see the model.
Now, las camisas que no tienen los gemelos malos. Sorry, I am starting to do that more and more.
One of the new shirts, with its button-down collar excised and the button hole added in the outer part of the band of the collar, a space allowing for the insertion of the stud.
So, camisas sin gemellos for under my cassock or my suit.
HA! Take that Pope Francis! I’m way ahead of you.
Seriously, there are ways to get around the cost of clerical clothing and the shirts will be far more comfortable as well.
And for the record, I have absolutely no intention avoiding cuff links.
For the enemies of decorous clerical garb I will only say, “I have cuff links and I’m not afraid to use them!”