Men and clerical garb


Sir, – We’re lucky to live in an era when we can wear whatever we like: clothes that are fashionable, awful, gender appropriate, gender totally inappropriate. Everything is acceptable.

I have been following the Roman Catholic Amazon synod, recently playing at the Vatican. I was mesmerised. Hundreds and hundreds of men (mostly white) in frocks, swooping and swaying and weaving and bowing, all beautifully garbed in colourful, hand-finished frocks. And the leaders! Oh, my goodness! Stunning frocks and capes, hand-embroidered in pure gold thread. What a spectacle!

It does occur to me, however, that all this archaic pageantry is singularly inappropriate for an organisation planning to embed with the indigenous population of Amazonia, in order to protect them and improve their lives. That population certainly needs protection, help, education and human rights. I appreciate that the church wants to ensure that this is combined with pastoral care. That’s their raison d’être after all.

But they must realize that Amazonia is not just fertile ground for proselytising; it is probably the most vital part of our earth and requires all the physical and ecological help the church, with its vast wealth, can provide.

Meanwhile, the Vatican show rolls on, with a full agenda, impressively presented and beautifully choreographed. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.