I still wear my clerical collar most of the time.
But many if not most priests have stopped wearing it regularly.
Most members of the oriestsbtrade union, the ACP – Association of Catholic Priests have stopped wearing it.
Most of them ate pictured these days wearing horrible old charity shop types of jumpers and shirts.
They think it makes them “kool” and non clerical.
I wear my collar for two important reasons:
1. To be a witness to the Christian faith and my ministry in it.
2. To be a very visible approach for anyone who needs to talk or my help.
The nonsense the ACP & Co talk about tge collar being barrier is just that – nonsense.
Barriers are created between people through behaviour and attitudes.
For 45 years now I have ministered in various places and among a great variety of people.
I have never found my collar to be a barrier.
I particularly wear my collar on my travels around the world.
I have had the most wonderfully friendly and pastoral encounters with people who approached me precisely because I was visibly a priest.
I have happily been drawn into emergency and tragic situations as a result of being a priest.
When thumbing a lift was a very common thing in Ireland in the past I always gave lifts and had great conversations with hitch hikers and heard many a Confession in the car.
NAME CALLING IN STREET
Yes, since the abuse crisis has arisen I have been named called and verbally abused especially in Dublin.
On these occasions I stopped and engaged in conversations with my abusers.
I accepted their anger at the abuse and was quite happy to ve the conduit for that justified anger.
Abd tgen tgey allowed ne to pointbout to tgem that 90% of priests do not abuse chikdren.
I also acknowledge with them that the RCC is very corrupt.
The RCC and many priests and bishops have scandalised decent people and we have to own and process that.
Priests going around hiding in jumpers and gansies do not address the problem.
Priests running “we feel sorry for ourselves” courses and workshops for priests does not address the problem either.
Priests are not the real victims.
Men, women and children fiffled with and raped by priests are the real victims.
Reverend Gentlemen, wear your collars and take the flack involved and grow a pair !!!
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