#AmazonSynod -1st attack on the Priesthood: The Cassock

Throughout history, anti-Catholicism and anti-clericalism has specifically targeted the cassock for a great share of its fear and hatred.

In some places the cassock could get you killed.

Today as the Amazon Synod opens – during which we fully expect open attacks on the priesthood – the first thing the head of the meeting, Card. Baldisseri, announced is that the cassock is optional for the members.

The fools applauded.


I’m going to call my tailor here in Rome and have him make me an extra.  Pitch in.

I am no cassock fanatic.  Suits have their place.

But this is not just a meeting of the guys after work at the local pub.

Or, since its probably rigged from top to bottom, maybe it is.

Since outcomes are going to be predetermined, why not dispense with the cassock?  It’s symbolic of how serious the “walking together” really is.

To hell with decorum.  Why not come in highly symbolic flip-flops?  The Jesuits will be on board.


During his address to the Synod, Francis actually said this.   He said that he heard a light remark about someone bringing gifts to the altar with feathers on his head (never mind that it’s in St Peter’s, not a jungle) and that made him “sad”.

NOW Francis is “sad” if some makes fun of a headdress when HE did exactly that on more than one occasion.

Then he went on.

“[W]hat is the difference between this headdress, and the biretta used by officials of this dicastery?”

And those sycophantic bishops applauded.

I am NOT making this up.  Video with audio translation,  HERE.   Ooops, wrong video… HERE!

Those members were chosen for a reason.  It’s like the Supreme Pueblo’s Assembly.

If they don’t know the difference between a pagan headdress and a biretta, then there is little hope for them.

There are “issues” here, my friends.  “Issues” underlying this obsession to ridicule our heritage.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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This entry was posted in Liberals, Pò sì jiù, Synod, What are they REALLY saying?, You must be joking! and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. William says:

    They’re saving their rainbow flipflops for the #CancunSynod this spring break.

  2. Hidden One says:

    For how many years now have the episcopal conferences of the USA and Canada been meeting in clergy suits? I imagine that that practice is longstanding in many other episcopal conferences. The Synod is merely following suit.

  3. Thomas S says:

    Well, I know what I’m wearing tomorrow.

    What petty, silly men.

  4. dplentini says:

    Maybe we should start calling this the “Woodstock Synod” (#woodstocksynod). And, in that spirit, why not clothing optional? Here we are in Nature, with only what God and Gaia gave us!

  5. Ms. M-S says:

    Just think of all the wonderful progress in education that has come along with ditching school uniforms, all of the increase in vocations that has occurred with the pitching out of nun’s habits, all of the piety that has been encouraged along with the abandoning of wearing one’s Sunday best at Mass, and … Oh, never mind.

  6. acardnal says:

    And yet . . . Pope Francis wears a cassock! So what’s up with that?

  7. Ivan says:

    2nd attack on the Priesthood: The Biretta

    Listen him here: https://gloria.tv/video/nzFsuTkbnf8j4tu8mUu2fZbrL

  8. hilltop says:

    It’s easier to be SEEN to be walking together if one is not wearing a cassock….

  9. Ivan says:

    [21] And this was the occasion of deceiving human life: for men serving either their affection, or their kings, gave the incommunicable name to stones and wood. [22] And it was not enough for them to err about the knowledge of God, but whereas they lived in a great war of ignorance, they call so many and so great evils peace. [23] For either they sacrifice their own children, or use hidden sacrifices, or keep watches full of madness, [24] So that now they neither keep life, nor marriage undefiled, but one killeth another through envy, or grieveth him by adultery: [25] And all things are mingled together, blood, murder, theft and dissimulation, corruption and unfaithfulness, tumults and perjury, disquieting of the good,

    [26] Forgetfulness of God, defiling of souls, changing of nature, disorder in marriage, and the irregularity of adultery and uncleanness. [27] For the worship of abominable idols is the cause, and the beginning and end of all evil. [28] For either they are mad when they are merry: or they prophesy lies, or they live unjustly, or easily forswear themselves. [29] For whilst they trust in idols, which are without life, though they swear amiss, they look not to be hurt. [30] But for two things they shall be justly punished, because they have thought not well of God, giving heed to idols, and have sworn unjustly, in guile despising justice.

    [31] For it is not the power of them, by whom they swear, but the just vengeance of sinners always punisheth the transgression of the unjust.

    Book of Wisdom
    Chapter 14

  10. Amerikaner says:

    This on the opening day so far. A whole month left…

  11. teomatteo says:

    The Clappers. I have watched them rise these last few years. “Didn’t Dante have them clap for eternity? Clap for nothing and everything… forever.

  12. roma247 says:

    The greatest irony of this is the fact that apparently they are demanding that the press corps dress with decorum, requiring dark suits and ties for the men and dark dresses for women.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  13. William says:

    “The Clappers. I have watched them rise these last few years. “Didn’t Dante have them clap for eternity? Clap for nothing and everything… forever.”

    Hell uses the clapper to adjust the heat. There is no down function.

  14. HvonBlumenthal says:

    Turkeys voting for Christmas….

  15. dplentini says:

    And yet . . . Pope Francis wears a cassock! So what’s up with that?

    That’s the game with the Modernists, make things look normal while gutting the actual institution under the guise of “plausible deniability”. The Holy Father won’t look any different, but the henchmen will do the dirty work; if there’s too much backlash, then motions will be made to “correct” the “over-exuberance” by 40 lashes with a wet noodle.

  16. Gab says:

    They sound like rebellious school children. I fear there is worse to come.

  17. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Father, I wonder about the bygone-ness of those “halcyon days” you’re always mentioning…

  18. Please don’t let anyone suggest in a Certain Person’s hearing that he not wear ‘the cassock’– you never know what might follow.

    And can anyone recall when any other Roman Pontiff has, omitting an invocation of the Patronage of the Mother of God at the conclusion of his allocution at the opening of a synod (am reading the text at the Holy See’s website– perhaps it’s erroneous), instead reminded every one to keep his sense of humor throughout the proceedings?

  19. Ariseyedead says:

    You wrote: “The fools applauded.”

    Was there also a buzzer to tell them when to stop?

  20. RLseven says:

    William– Wait. They’re going to hell [?!?]
    because they don’t want to or are ambivalent about wearing cassocks? Is that a mortal sin now? Wearing a cassock or habit isn’t what makes a priest/sister/brother/nun/monk holy– though I appreciate seeing these people in cassocks and habits. I know that being a faithful servant of God requires much more than a standard of dress.

    It’s not for everyone. Why judge?

    [WHY JUDGE? Absurd comment. This has to do with decorum. Do you understand NOTHING about decorum? Look it up. This isn’t a meeting of the K of C or a group of card playing buddies on a Friday night. This is a gathering of the Synod of Bishops. It is supposed to be a gather of serious people treating serious issues seriously. It’s in the Vatican City State, not the back room of Bud’s Diner. Standards are important. So long. While you are at it, look into the term “habitus“.]

  21. William says:

    “They’re going to hell because they don’t want to or are ambivalent about wearing cassocks? ”

    Wow, you might as well have accused me of saying I want the Yankees to win the World Series.

    My comment wasn’t even about cassocks. It was a joke about clapping that happened to be on a thread about cassocks.

    Don’t reach so far to be upset. You might slip and fall and hurt yourself.

  22. TonyO says:

    Wait. They’re going to hell because they don’t want to or are ambivalent about wearing cassocks? Is that a mortal sin now?

    To slightly tin-eared RLseven: the whole point of being the subject of “the death of a thousand cuts” is that while no one cut is fatal, the sum total together surely is. Modernism’s method is to surround Truth and the Church with not a thousand, but a million tiny knives and cut away at bit after bit. A tiny bit of reverence here, a tiny bit of nuanced distinction there. Each one is tiny – death cannot come from a tiny cut, right? But the WHOLE is not tiny: if unchecked, the method will surely cut away the entirety of the Church’s holy liturgy, of its sacred Doctrine that is the gift of the Holy Spirit. Sure, one day it’s the priest being unseemly hurried in the washing of the hands. Eventually, it is the priest literally flicking one finger through the water as the girl altar boy pours the water (I have seen this with my own eyes, on repeated occasions, it was not an accident. He couldn’t have been in contact with the water for more than a quarter second). Then you get priests who dispense with it altogether. First you have priests talking about “accompaniment” of those who are living in sin, and then calling for their “greater participation” in the Mass, and eventually you get bishops who demand of their priests that they refuse Communion to nobody, whether manifestly in the state of grave sin or not. Because the end goal of the modernists is all of a piece with their methods, you cannot wave away their methods of a million tiny cuts as being too insignificant to make note of and reject.

    Is there mortal sin in those who knowingly intend to destroy the beauty and tradition of the Catholic Church by those million cuts? Yes. Is there mortal sin in those willing fools who participate in the method without explicit knowledge of the end intended? Perhaps not – if their ignorance is not due to a grave fault of omission – but resistance to their uncharitable cuts is just as valid as if they knew the intended end.

  23. Hidden One says:

    I am not knowledgeable enough about traditional Amazonian attire: was the feather headdress worn in St. Peter’s an authentically pagan piece of headwear, or was it cultural headwear without an intrinsic religious meaning?

  24. Fr. Pius, OP says:

    From the 2013 Directory on the Life and Ministry of Priests: “[I]n its form, color and dignity the cassock is most opportune, because it clearly distinguishes priests from laymen and makes people understand the scared nature of their ministry, reminding the priest himself that forever and at each moment he is a priest ordained to serve, teach, guide, and sanctify souls mainly through the celebration of the sacraments and the preaching of the Word of God. Wearing ecclesiastical attire is also a safeguard for poverty and chastity.”

  25. pcharbel says:

    It’s time to bring back the term Robber Synod.

  26. Uxixu says:

    Cassock is the single best witness of the Catholic cleric. Way too many heretics wear the clerical shirt and the plastic tab collar should have an anathema on it. That said, as so many of the likes of Theodore McCarrick have shown, the cassock can come off too easily and the greater tradition by far goes to tonsure and should arguably be restored, as well.

  27. mo7 says:

    Ok someone beat me to the woodstock comment. The comparison is an easy one:
    ‘We are stardust
    We are golden
    And we’ve got to get ourselves
    Back to the garden’.
    Too bad they don’t know that the promise of bliss is fulfilled only through Our Lord Jesus and by the intercession of His Blessed Mother.

  28. PetersBarque says:

    Pope Francis forsakes his own sheep for the sake of massaging his own misguided conscience like every other socialist. And he surrounds himself with yes men who do his bidding like puppets on twisted string dancing to a warped tune.

  29. The Cobbler says:

    [W]hat is the difference between this headdress, and the biretta used by officials of this dicastery?

    Oo! Oo! I know! One of them represents a backwards, rigid religion – and the Pope won’t stand for such things!

  30. Kathleen10 says:

    They hate what faithful Catholics love. Things speed up toward the end. They are in full gear now.
    To the laity the cassock and the full habit speak. They say here is something not of this world, something connected to the supernatural. The cassock and the habit speak to discipline and prayer, a life lived for God. The laity live for God while living secular lives, the priest and religious live a life with a total commitment to God. It’s so mysterious, and it attracts, in a way a shirt and tie can’t ever, or a polyester jumpsuit.
    But that’s exactly what these men hate and fear. We want exactly the opposite thing. We no longer have anything in common with the pope and most of the hierarchy.

  31. Long-Skirts says:


    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
    Its 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.

  32. Benedict Joseph says:

    This is the way they work. Suberfuge. A taste of the main course. It is beneath contempt. Wait until we see the climax of this pow-wow.
    In any event, who knows what this crowd will come up with as appropriate vesture. Memories of sisters abandoning religious habits in the sixties for what? Extra large pants suits.
    May we look forward to white Bermuda shorts, an athletic tee topped with a white beanie?
    The lack of proper clerical comportment is indicative of a lack of common sense. Both of those will inevitably arrive at a demonstration of hideous taste. Oddly enough, given what we know today, the post-conciliar debacle made for terrible interior design and pitiful fashion.

  33. This partly falls in the category of “a falling tide lowers all boats.” All I have to do today to draw jeers is to wear a dress shirt and a tie someplace. I was walking back to my car in a parking lot on a Saturday night dressed the way I practically always am– in a dress shirt and tie. “Just get off work?” someone shouted from a group hanging around the parking lot. I once got some people on the boardwalk at Jones Beach annoyed by walking past in a dress shirt and tie. “What’s with the tie?” one of them said. I am thinking that looking halfway decent is considered offensive these days because it challenges people to do better than the gutter-level “standards” that pass for normal these days. If one looks nice, he must be uncomfortable (actually, I am usually quite comfortable in dress clothes, and why does comfort have to trump everything else) or oppressed by a tyrannical boss, insane, or something even worse. These are the sorts of folks staging this synod– 1960’s refugees who never grew up.

  34. Semper Gumby says:

    Interesting rogue regime angle.

  35. Cincinnati Priest 2 says:

    Meanwhile, back at the seminary in Cincinnati, most of the young men preparing to be priests wear the cassock when given the choice. And most of the newly ordained men wear them frequently as well. I suspect the same is true of many other dioceses.. The good news is that the A.S.S. (Amazon Synod Silliness) is not affecting the grass roots too much.

  36. lifelong Catholic says:

    Cannot we expect that Jorge ‘Francis’ Bergoglio will soon do away with the white papal cassock since it is “traditional”?

  37. hilltop says:

    I paraphrase my comment from an earlier Fr Z post:
    The feather head dress is contra Laudato Si for the number of rainforest birds that needed to be slaughtered for priestess head dresses would be scandalous !
    It’s the woolen biretta that is sustainable!

  38. hilltop says:

    Perhaps the Alb will be next?

  39. mysticalrose says:

    Long-skirts!! It’s been forever. Great poem!

  40. fmsb78 says:

    The old hippies from Vatican II are dying out and they know the young generation of priests / seminarians are not interested in their nonsense and that’s why they’ve been getting more and more radical.

    That’s why they attack the cassock because young priests wear it with zeal and devotion and that’s why they attack the private Masses and force concelebration, because a huge number of these Masses, if not all, are TLM.

    Viva Cristo Rey!

  41. JamesF-J says:

    New cassock just received in time to go to Rome (thank you North East Church Supplies!), biretta folded flat and packed – all I need now is a Saturno to cover my bald spot – any recommendations Father, apart from Gammarelli or Borgo?

  42. Grant M says:

    Andrew Saucci: Don’t worry- with the imminent return of the ’20’s in less than three months time, we may yet see a revival of the good old 20’s custom of promenading along the boardwalk in one’s best attire.

  43. acardnal says:

    Casual Fridays is now out of control.

  44. chuckharold says:

    My, My, My. Aren’t we in a twist! One writer made a comment about wearing a Yankee shirt. Now that is bad form, much worse than a priest or bishop not wearing a cassock, by far. I remember the days when priests wore cassocks, even in the rectory, mostly, I presume, to hide the Yankee tee shirt. A group of bishops sitting in a meeting wearing black suits has a high degree of decorum. You don’t wear your best bib-and-tucker to the bar or the KC meeting, you wear it to important meetings. Some times I think we get tradition and Tradition mixed up. Now, about the feathers: this is a synod about the Amazon. That is what they wear down there, even to church. Francis is right this time.

    [Your default US references reveals that you know nothing of Rome.]

  45. Theophilus says:

    So Druidism is back in vogue, and rather than routing it out, we’re joining?

  46. Geoffrey says:

    ‘Cannot we expect that Jorge ‘Francis’ Bergoglio will soon do away with the white papal cassock since it is “traditional”?’

    I remember hearing once that someone had presented Pope St. Paul VI with a “modern” papal outfit (think the black clerical suit, but all-white!). He found it offensive and refused to wear it. Deo gratias.

  47. I won’t presume to guess at the Holy Father’s thinking on the choice of his own clothing. However, I think it exceedingly likely that if the pope were to appear in public in a business suit — especially a white one — it would occasion a lot of unwelcome commentary.

  48. robtbrown says:

    St. Isaac Jogues said that the cassock is a sign of celibacy

  49. edm says:

    Possible papal alternative: The cool “clergyman”


  50. Grant M says:

    Yes, a white suit for the Pope would elicit too many unkind comments about John Travolta and Colonel Sanders…

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