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.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    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

    Immigrants suspected of deadly assault on bus driver in France

    BayonneFour "youths" that boarded a bus in Bayonne, France, without tickets and without masks violently attacked a bus driver on Sunday. The driver was left brain dead. Yet another sad story totally ignored by the system media that illustrates the impoverishment of French society as a result of "diversity".

    New French Justice Minister wants Le Pen’s party banned

    ParisThe big surprise of the new French administration after a reshuffle, is the appointment of the very mediatic lawyer at the Ministry of Justice, Éric Dupond-Moretti.

    Turkey’s intervention in Libya: Erdogan sends ministers, lobbies for murderers

    TripoliThese days Turkey is vying for the title of top thug in both Europe and Northern Africa. Apart from the “spy scandal” with France, Turkey has been meddling directly in the Libyan conflict in a profoundly comprehensive and controversial way, deepening existing tensions.

    US intensifies pressure on Germany over Nord Stream 2

    BerlinThe US is disrupting free trade and has imposed extraterritorial sanctions to try to stop the flow of energy on the world market, says Dr. Bruno Bandulet, former editor at German daily Die Welt.

    Germany’s female leaders disband elite special forces unit

    BerlinThe German government - Chancellor Angela Merkel, Defense Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer and Agnieszka Brugger, a Green MP on the Parliament’s Defense Committee - has moved to disband an elite soldier unit.

    Polish presidential elections: ‘We don’t like either…’

    WarsawJanusz Korwin-Mikke is one of the most controversial elder statesman, former member of the European Parliament and a politician in Poland. FWM spoke with him exclusively about the presidential elections being held in his country.

    Vox party rally to defend Colombus statue in Barcelona

    BarcelonaSome 150 Vox party supporters gathered on Saturday to protect the statue of Christopher Columbus in Barcelona.

    Big win for Marine Le Pen’s party in municipal second round

    The National Rally (RN), led by Marine Le Pen has won the municipalities of Perpignan, Moissac and Bruay-la-Buissière. Le Pen hailed “a real victory” for the party across the country.

    Ankara’s project: The total destruction of Libya

    TripoliTensions caused by the Libyan conflict have hardened not just between two parties in the country – the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA) – but between foreign powers as well.

    Eric Zemmour: BLM riots show convergence of Antifa and migrants

    ParisIn an interview on CNews, the popular French commentator Eric Zemmour discussed the Black Lives Matter riots. He pointed out that despite being staged in such widely differing countries, they all have the same modus operandi.

    Go to archive