Cardinal critical of clerical attire


GRADUATE PRIESTS:CARDINAL TIMOTHY Dolan’s report was scathing about priest graduates at the Irish College and seminarians’ dress.

It stated that “some of the graduate priests are less than positive examples of priestly life, and are not attentive to even the minimum demands made upon them”.

They needed “a clear rule of life . . . The lack of vigilance and continued formation over these new priests is of concern”.

They were “not yet ready for the liberty given to a graduate priest. They, too, need to be bound by the clear expectations of the seminary”.

It was recommended that “increased attention and supervision be given these newly ordained priests”.

Where the dress of seminarians at the Irish College was concerned, the report found it “borders on the sloppy and excessively informal, and clerical attire seems rare”.

It recommended “a clear dress code be part of the rule of life, that formal attire (jacket and tie for those not yet near diaconate; jacket and clerical collar for those in candidacy and the deacons, on special occasions) be clear, and the laudable practice of cassock and surplice at Sunday Mass, for liturgical ministers, and at special liturgies, be maintained”.

His report also recommended that a practice, whereby “prior to the community Mass, the Blessed Sacrament is removed from the tabernacle, then restored at the conclusion of Mass”, be stopped. It was “a source of understandable confusion to the students”.

There was “no confessional in the chapel, or elsewhere . . . ” The cardinal recommended that “a confessional be erected, preferably in or near the chapel; and that an outside confessor be appointed to hear confessions at a set period at least once a week”.