Friday, March 6, 2015

Cassock Testimony! ¡Viva la Sotana! (Full Video)

What wrong have I done?
I do not find any reason to quit the cassock. I'm studying to be a priest and with my cassock I want to give witness to my belonging to Jesus Christ.

Blessed Rolando Rivi responding to members of his family who counselled him to get rid of the cassock, just before he was killed for wearing it.


The Importance and Obligatory Nature of Ecclesiastical Attire

61. In a secularised and basically materialistic society where the external signs of sacred and supernatural realities tend to disappear, deeply felt is the need for the priest – man of God, dispenser of his mysteries – to be recognisable in the eyes of the community by his attire as well, and this as an unequivocal sign of his dedication and identity as holder of a public ministry247. The priest must be recognisable above all through his conduct, but also by his attire, which renders visible to all the faithful, and to each person248, his identity and his belonging to God and to the Church. Clerical attire is the external sign of an interior reality: “Indeed, the priest no longer belongs to himself but, because of the sacramental seal he has received (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn. 1563, 1582), is the ‘property’ of God. The priest’s ‘belonging to Another’, must become recognisable to all, through a transparent witness. […] In the way of thinking, speaking, and judging events of the world, of serving and loving, of relating to people, also in his habits, the priest must draw prophetic power from his sacramental belonging”249. For this reason the priest, like the transitory deacon, must250

a) wear either the cassock “or suitable ecclesiastical dress, in accordance with the norms established by the Episcopal Conference and legitimate local customs”251; when other than the cassock, attire must be different from the way laypersons dress and consonant with the dignity and sanctity of the minister; the style and the colour are to be determined by the Conference of Bishops;

b) because of their incoherence with the spirit of this discipline, contrary practices are bereft of the rationality necessary for them to become legitimate customs252 and must be absolutely eliminated by the competent authority253. Outside of specific exceptional cases, the non use of ecclesiastical attire may manifest a weak sense of one’s identity as a pastor dedicated entirely to the service of the Church254. Moreover, in its form, colour 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.

247 JOHN PAUL II, Letter to the Cardinal Vicar of Rome (8 September 1982): Insegnamenti V/2 (1982), 847-849.
248 Cf. PAUL VI, Allocutions to the Clergy (17 February 1969; 17 February 1972; 10 February 1978): AAS 61 (1969), 190; 64 (1972), 223; 70 (1978), 191; JOHN PAUL II, Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday 1979 (8 April 1979), 7: l.c., 403- 405; Allocutions to the Clergy (9 November 1978; 19 April 1979): Insegnamenti I (1978), 116; II (1979), 929.
249 BENEDICT XVI, Address to the Participants at the Theological Conference Organised by the Congregation for the Clergy (12 March 2010): l.c., 241.
250 Cf. PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR LEGISLATIVE TEXTS, Clarifications regarding the Binding Nature of Article 66 of the Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests (22 October 1994): “Communicationes” 27 (1995), 192-194.
251 C.I.C., can. 284.
252 Cf. Ibid., can. 24, § 2.
253 Cf. PAUL VI, Motu Proprio Ecclesiae Sanctae, I, 25, § 2; SACRED CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS, Circular Letter to all the Pontifical Representatives Per venire incontro (27 January 1976): EV 5, 1162-1163; SACRED CONGREGATION FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION, Circular Letter The Document (6 January 1980): “L’Osservatore Romano” supplement, 12 April 1980.
254 Cf. PAUL VI, General Audience (17 September 1969); Allocution to the Clergy (1 March 1973): Insegnamenti VII (1969), 1065; XI (1973), 176.

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