Who cares what libs think? Boldly recover and use great traditional items and vesture of yore.

At the newish blog LAJ, Shawn Tribe has a good post about boldness in regard to some traditional vesture and other items of yore.

In the 60s Paul VI abolished quite a lot of good things. That was a mistake. However, with the rise of Summorum Pontificum, and with the slow but steady demise of the aging-hippy tyrants brainwashed in the halcyon days of Vatican II, some of our riches are returning to use.

Tribe mentions, among other things, the tufted fascia, buckled clerical shoes, the mantelletta, etc.

He touches on the ridicule heaped by libs on those who enjoy traditional things.

He doesn’t not avoid that there are some who get way too involved with the ecclesiastical gizmos and tat.

However, he also rightly observes that younger people who are discovering our rich traditions, the patrimony that was cruelly kept from them, don’t have the baggage still lugged about by the aging-hippies and their kind.  They like and want this old stuff.

Who cares what libs think?   They are always wrong.

Here is his peroration:

If there were advice to be given to clergy in the light of all this, it would seem to be this:

Don’t politicize these things of course but don’t shy away from them either. Stop feeling sheepish about them — you may as well feel sheepish about all Catholic traditions and teachings if so. There’s no need and it’s certainly not how many of your younger flock tend to look at these things, not to mention many others besides. Keep things in perspective of course, making the sacred liturgy your first priority, but be confident in our Catholic patrimony.

Will some mock? Yes, you can absolutely count on it. Christ didn’t shy away from mocking however. [NB] The reality is that ideologues and enemies will always find one way or another to mock and deride and if it is not one thing, then it’s another. If anything, acceding to their mockery only invites more derision, demonstrating weakness, and that doesn’t invite respect. You can also be assured, however, that many others, even those outside the Church, find these things of interest and appeal.

In short, we beg you, please stop ‘blinking.’ Instead, be bold and confident in our patrimony and start to lead the conversation again.

I agree.

A few notes.

It can be argued that the vesture used by prelates in 1962 can and should be used when they participate in Masses in the traditional Roman Rite.  I wrote a post about this: HERE.

Paul VI changed a bunch of things in 1969.  For example, he “abolished” the mantelletta, the sash with “fiochi” (I have those in black and in paonazza for when I’m MC in Pontifical Masses), the red tabarro, galero and plush hat, the colored stockings and shoe buckles for lesser prelates, the red pom on the birettas of prelates of honor, the mantellone for lesser prelates, etc.

Frankly, I think that suppression of articles of clothing is, how to put it… lana caprina.

Moreover, I think that in the context of the use of the 1962 liturgical books they can be used.  When in choir monsignors can and should dress as monsignors dressed in 1962.  Must they?  Are they obliged to?  No. I won’t go that far.

Another thing… shoe buckles.

Since we Unreconstructed Ossified Manualists like manuals, we consult Trimeloni, (US HERE – UK HERE).

In the section on “Ceremonies of Mass, ch. I, “The Read Mass”, I. “The Celebrant”-  “In the sacristy” (p. 397 – my translation):

Use the footwear that clerics of the place are used to wearing publicly and wear the cassock.

I can’t bring myself to wear flip flops, golf shoes or crocs.   Sorry.

But wait!  There’s more.

In a footnote:

D. 3268, 3. [Cf. Naifa, Costume of the Prelates of the Catholic Church, Balitmore, 1925: “According to the Roman ceremonial, all clerics and those who serve in church, as cantors, sacristans, etc., ought to wear shoes with buckles (It. fibbie).  The buckle is of shiny steel for members of the inferior clergy and servers, in silver for priests, monks and prelates belonging to religious orders.  Gold and gilded silver are reserved for secular prelates.”

That means that I really should have shoes with buckles.  Right?

If someone wants to get me clerical shoes with silver buckles – silver, mind you, not just polished silver colored metal – I’m open to using them.   Maybe we should start a fund at Gammarelli: “For Use By Fr. Z”.  (They really need to update and offer gift cards, etc.)

I don’t feel obliged to use buckles.

However, I think that Tribe is right.

Let’s use our traditional items, as they were properly used back when.

Let’s just do it.  After all, in this age of mercy where laws don’t have meaning and all can discern for themselves what their state is (I’ve discerned in the internal forum that I’m now an Internal Forum Monsignor)… who is anyone to judge?

So, maybe I could put the detachable silver buckles on my normal winter footwear for Mass.

Silver buckles might spiff up my cadillacs.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, ACTION ITEM!, Be The Maquis, Brick by Brick, Decorum, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The future and our choices and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Sportsfan says:

    In a footnote: :-)

  2. Elizabeth D says:

    It’s great to discern with wisdom what is timeless noble simplicity and what is an artifact of a particular time and place that does look a little bit silly in our context.

  3. Pingback: MONDAY CATHOLICA EDITION – Big Pulpit

  4. Filipino Catholic says:

    Silver tarnishes in the presence of sulfurous airs such as that one would find in the mouth of a volcano, or in a traffic-choked street. Those buckles will need cleaning on a regular basis, especially after being in the vicinity of (or even just passing by) liberal-minded atmospheres.

  5. Gabriel Syme says:

    It is interesting to read that clergy “ought to wear buckled shoes”.

    In 2014, Fr Jean-Marie Charles-Roux died in London aged 99. A former soldier, he was an eccentric and brilliant character.

    His Catholic Herald obituary noted that he wore buckled shoes. When they were worn out, he could not find new ones to buy and so he attached the old buckles to new shoes using superglue. Until now I had no idea why he was determined to have buckled shoes.

    He would celebrate the latin mass with his eyes shut, knowing it by heart and would intentionally bump into his servers – thus using them as a guide to his whereabouts (given he had his eyes shut).

    His obituary also noted that, one one occasion, the server left the altar briefly which resulted in Father falling down the altar steps.

    RIP Fr Charles-Roux.


  6. ServusChristi says:

    Shortly after I came here, I’ve been praying everyday for a worldwide pandemic revival of the TLM, not just in my diocese. This may be wishful thinking on my part, but there’s so much animosity towards the TLM where I live that it may be a generation before this attitude goes away. They love to attack the Latin, how they can’t understand and chanting the gospel without a reread in the vernacular deprived Catholics in the Middle Ages of the scriptures. Just so many attacks I can’t keep up with all of their objections.

    [That’s the lib MO: like chimps, keep throwing feces. You can see the same thing going on in US politics right now. Pres. Trump says something controversial (for example his comment about certain countries), and libs go bananas, uttering one stupidity after another in an endless stream over all the lib aligned networks for the sole purpose of blocking literally anything the president might be doing. Something similar goes on in the church against tradition. It resembles an nearly instinctual, lower brain stem reaction to danger: tradition is their undoing. So, screech, run around, and throw feces.]

  7. padredana says:

    Where can one obtain these “detachable” buckles? I’ve never seen them anywhere that I have shopped for clerical attire (and thats ALOT of places.)

  8. tominrichmond says:

    My thought is that where something was abolished, it could be let go, unless it held some symbolic signification as a vestment. I may be wrong, but stockings and shoe buckles sound like a 19th century dress code that could be reasonably jettisoned, since (again, I may be wrong) there is no symbolism in the shoe buckle or stocking (or some of these other items) as there is with the “core” vestments, maniple, stole, chasuble, alb, etc.
    Not every simplification is a bad thing.

  9. NH Knight says:

    Fr Z. you have touched on many points near and dear to me in this article. First and foremost we need to be on the offense with regards to the TLM. We need to publicize it like our lives depend on it. Use social media and everything else to lay the true beauty of Catholicism right in everyone face. Evangelizing through beauty.
    Let the “who am I to say” crowd reveal their true hypocrisy and lovingly point that out to them. One of the responses I often receive, mostly from Catholics, is why on earth would you use a different language for worship??? We all need to develop a very clear and reasoned response to this question. I have been working on mine for several weeks. I think this topic is worthy of a separate posting/discussion lead by Fr. Z.
    Topic of Paul VI needs to be researched and discussed. I recently read a blog posting on Giovanni Battista Montini (Paul VI) which included an excerpt from a book. If a quarter of what this book said is true then the fact that he is being canonized takes on a whole new ( and troubling) meaning. According to what I read Montini was “the” architect behind Vatican II.
    God bless you Fr. Z and keep up the good work you are doing for our Church.

  10. NH Knight says:

    response to comment by ServusChristi – you are not alone in praying for a total and complete return to the TLM. We are in a spiritual battle and we are fighting for the bride of Christ. What we need to keep in mind is that we have the most powerful spiritual weapon to call upon. On our own, no way never going to happen. With a deeper understanding of the Holy Mass, the power of prayer and the intercession of the communion of saints we can move mountains.

  11. JabbaPapa says:

    But there remains value in some certain of the more genuine forms of non-traditional Catholicism, and today we have lost one of the truly great and greatly effective campaigners for peace in Ireland between Christians — she and her band played for Popes Saint John Paul II and Francis at the Holy See.

    Pray for Dolores O’Riordan, Catholic worker for peace.


  12. ServusChristi says:

    Thanks Father Z and NH Knight for the kind comments. One thing I forgot to mention is that these people are Catholics, some of whom lived before the Novus Ordo Missae, and a Catholic nun was the one who brought up the middle ages argument, it just took me aback.

  13. jschicago says:


    How much do you think the shoes would cost? €195? I couldn’t find any shoes on the site, but found that price in an article from doing a search, but the article was from about 10 years ago: http://orbiscatholicus.blogspot.com/2008/07/clergy-shoes-are-baaaack.html?m=1

    [I have no idea. I’ve never thought about getting a pair.]

  14. fishonthehill says:

    So true…. “they will mock”! As one who often wears the cassock (which I do not view as traditional garb… just my everyday wear), I show up at a neighboring parish to celebrate a funeral; I encounter the pastor and he mockingly asks “why do you wear that thing?” Tired of hearing it from so many of a certain generation I just looked at him and said, “Father I don’t disparage your wearing of a stained shirt so just cut the BS.” He was silent! Sometimes you just have to be bold!

    [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]

  15. David says:

    Fr. — Do you have any idea how the cappa magna avoided being abolished? One might have thought it number one on the hit list of ‘Ut sive sollicite’.

    [Well… it was shortened little by little. Otherwise, I really don’t have a clue.]

  16. aiello01 says:

    Recovering New Testament Christianity would be more useful.

    [It wasn’t “lost”. It’s with us now. We live it now. This is a false road. Christianity by definition is New Testament, if lived.]

  17. NH Knight says:

    hey aiello01 you mean the Holy Eucharist, right? New Testament Christianity is the Holy Eucharist. You know that right? If that is not crystal clear to you yet Scott Hahn ( former evangelical pastor) speaks on this very topic. Search YouTube for his talk called “Consuming the Word”. If you can’t find it let me know I have a copy and will upload to my channel.

  18. Fr. Kelly says:

    RE: the Cappa Magna Quite a bit has been written about it in recent years, since it has begun to be seen in use on several occasions by notable prelates such as Karol Wojtyla, Cardinal Burke, Cardinal[Bishop] Slattery among others. This use has stirred up a small tempest in places such as Cruxnews among more “progressively monded” catholics who have noticed it. In response to attacks on Cardinal Slattery Msgr Brankin wrote a wonderful short account of it which was quoted on CCwatershed in 2014 http://www.ccwatershed.org/blog/2014/mar/24/what-did-pope-john-paul-think-cappa-magna/
    Peter Kwasniewski wrote a wonderful analysis of the CM’s display of the way grace builds on nature on the New Liturgical Movement just about a year ago: http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2016/01/the-cappa-magna-in-light-of-nature.html#.WmDXnHlG3cs

    All of the beautiful images shown in those articles seem to be of the foreshortened and simpified version which survived valde solliciti in 1952 and ut sive sollicite in 1969. I wonder what the more ample versions looked like?

    A story is famously told of an American Cardinal who took note of the fact that Pius XII was only limiting the use of new Cappae Magnae and upholding the right of a Cardinal to continue to use what he had. It is said that he gave particular instructions to his staff to ensure that his cappa Magna stayed in good repair so that he could continue to use it.

  19. Uxixu says:

    I found a bunch of pictures of Los Angeles glory days from the 1920’s to 1940’s under Archbishop John J Cantwell. One in particular showed him kneeling at the altar at the ordination of a dozen deacons to the priesthood and I was puzzled since I saw a train splayed out behind him on the altar steps… what was it? Wasn’t the Cappa since that’s removed when he’s vested (and they are quite beautiful ample Roman aka “Borromeo” vestments complete with the pallium… found it in Clerical Dress and Insignia of the Roman Catholic Church” (1948) by Rev Henry McCloud with the Imprimatur of Bishop Thomas Molloy of Brooklyn… was a “choir cassock,” aka “church cassock” of course and it would have been purple for Abp. Cantwell (the pictures are all black and white).

    Found the consecration of Bp. Thomas McGucken, Archbishop Cantwell at the glorious episcopal throne and integrated canopy hand carved with California wood for Bp. Thomas Conaty (canopy chopped off in 1975 and turned into a “presider’s chair” when they wreckovated St. Vibiana’s removing the altar rail, separating the altar from the reredros, etc)

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