Skip to Content

Stock photo from Pixabay

Young French priests want return of the cassock

It has not been compulsory since 1962, but the traditional dress is increasingly worn by young Catholic priests, eager to "fully assume" their identity.

Published: July 8, 2019, 10:42 am

    At a time when many young women choose to wear the veil to express their membership in the Ummah, or the Muslim community, Catholic priests are also experiencing a strengthening of their sense of ecclesiastical belonging.

    The cassock has been linked to Catholic fundamentalists. Photo: Pixabay

    Also, young priests opt more for the wearing of the cassock, not only in the church but also in public, reported Le Parisien.

    The priests, whose number has halved since 1995, have found a solution to remain visible in the French secular landscape: wearing their cassocks outside the church. On Sunday, July 7, a few hundred French priests, of the 11 000 present in France, have chosen to wear the Catholic religious dress deemed most traditionalist, even ostentatious.

    In an effort to promote priestly identity, the Vatican Secretary of State under Pope Benedict XVI had issued a letter in 2012 asking clerics and religious at the Vatican to dress as befits their identity as priests conformed to Christ. But Pope Francis has warned of the dangers of “rigid religiosity” and “fundamentalism”.

     

    It is a sartorial choice that does not reflect strict religious convictions, says Parisian priest Simon Chouanard, 44, of the parish of the Cœur-Eucharistique-de-Jésus in Paris, who describes himself as “a perfectly ordinary priest” and “not traditional”.

    After almost disappearing, the black dress had become the distinctive sign of the most fundamentalist priests. These have however now been joined by young priests eager to “fully assume” their “identity,” said Brigitte Hamon, manufacturer of liturgical clothing.

    She sold 160 cassocks in 2018, against 110 ten years ago. The French religious historian Jean-François Colosimo, sees it as “a restoration of the verticality of the priesthood,” a renunciation of their secularization or “the mark of a border between the Church and the world”.

    Stéphane Duteurtre, superior of the Séminaire de Paris, confirmed the trend. He mentioned “about twenty priests generally under 40 years old out of a total of 450” who now wear the cassock.

    “In a secular society, we need more signs, to clearly show who we are. The ecclesiastical cloth helps to say who I am, helps me to be the one I am called to be,” he explained to the Paris daily. However, the cassock can be “very controversial” among older clerics, who fought to get rid of it.

    “It’s a question of generation,” says Father Stanislas Briard, 28, who was ordained in 2016. “If you want to live, you have to be visible”. The religious cloth is also, according to him, a formidable “tool for evangelization”.

    “It’s a very simple way to connect with people. We are stopped in the street. We can have a very deep exchange, a request for confession in the middle of a supermarket … ” he rejoiced. Moreover, “anticlerical insults” are rare, says Simon Chouanard.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    US threatens Serbia with sanctions over S-400 purchase

    BelgradeWashington is threatening Serbia with sanctions to stop the country from buying Russia's advanced S-400 air defense missile systems.

    Leftwing Italian daily inflates number of anti-Semitic attacks

    RomeA report on the issue is clear: The data used by a newspaper on the hot topic refer to 2018, not to 2019 and 197 anti-Semitism episodes per year, not 200 per day.

    Chisinau Forum: Arnaud Develay on the Rule of Law in the age of Imperial Collapse

    ChisinauThe Chisinau Forum aims to bring together those who feel compelled to preserve the flickering light of sovereignty and national independence in their respective countries, says Arnaud Develay, an international lawyer at the Washington and Paris bar.

    Le Pen denounces march against Islamophobia ‘with Islamists’

    ParisAccording to the president of the National Rally, the personalities who associated with the march against Islamophobia, including Jean-Luc Mélenchon, carry "a very heavy responsibility" and will have to "respond to it when the election comes".

    French Senator warns of globalist-engineered ‘Great Replacement’

    ParisAs a result of a mass migration agenda engineered by anti-Western elites, the French people are being replaced, warned Senator Stéphane Ravier.

    Migrants in Bosnian town ‘are everywhere’

    In the Bosnian border town of Bihać, the situation has become dramatic. Bihać is a transit station for migrants on their way to Central Europe, mostly to Germany.

    Italian Interior Minister reveals Libyan stranglehold on illegal immigration

    RomeThe Italian government's memorandum with Libya has shaken up the political debate, mainly because it has revealed the extent of Libyan leverage on Italy.

    Chanteloup-Les-Vignes: scenes of urban violence directed at France

    YvelinesAn immigrant justified the urban violence in Chanteloup-Les-Vignes, saying it was the right way to attack French authority.

    German migration researcher expects immigrant share of 40 percent

    According to the Berlin migration researcher Herbert Brücker, the proportion of citizens with foreign roots in Germany will rise to over 40 by the year 2040.

    Denmark greenlights Nordstream 2

    CopenhagenDenmark has greenlighted the Nord Stream 2 section southeast of the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, allowing Russian gas to flow to Germany’s Baltic coast, bypassing the traditional route via Ukraine.

    Go to archive