Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Clergy shoes are baaaack...

Bring back the tradition! For 195 Euro you can get yourself these classic shoes from Signor Gammarelli on the Via Santa Chiara, 34.


Fr. Selvester said...

There is one, albeit tiny, problem. In one of his various instructions issued in between 1965 and 1970 Pope Paul VI actually and specifically forbade the use of the traditional shoes with buckles for the clergy of all ranks. It isn't simply a matter of deciding on one's own to wear them again and, unfortunately, the tailors of Rome are not prevented from making things by the Pope's commands/instructions. If they can sell it, they'll make it because their business is, literally, their own business. However, as to whether or not clergy buy and wear them is another matter because they DO have to pay attention to what the popes say. Hopefully, this will be overturned by the present Pope.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, Fr. Selvester, and as the picture proves, those clerics who use buckled shoes become totally invisible, so that they may escape from punishment for infringing the law.

Anonymous said...

It was for prelates, not for ordinary clergy.

Anonymous said...

I know of dozens of young priests who are disregarding Paul VI's rulings on clerical attire, and no one cares.
They visited Rome and wore the buckled shoes, the saturnos, the black capes, etc. that were very much frowned on by the rad liberal Paul VI and his crew who discarded anything and everything of Catholic tradition back in the mid 1960's to early 1970's.
I think it's a backlash against petty and mean-spirited rules which had a decidedly anti-Catholic tradition behind them.
Some of the young priests have mentioned seeing younger (late 40's early 50's) bishops disregarding Paul VI's "rules" against wearing mantellettas, purple episcopal saturnos, bishops purple gloves, white episcopal shoes at High Mass, etc. etc.
Apparently, alot of younger clergy have a great deal of resentment towards Paul VI and his "rules" regarding vesture, and have decided to cast them out the window.
Also, some of my young priest-friends have told me that the memory of the days of Paul VI in Rome, and the atmosphere of those times, is not thought of kindly by younger clergy in Rome. Paul VI is seen either as a victim of a rabid horde of "Huns" intent on destroying the Church, or on the other hand as a more sinister character who played a much more active role in the caos and destruction in the Church than he has been portrayed.
My feeling towards younger clergy, and clerical apparel shops disregarding Paul VI's rules regarding vesture and bringing back the classical attire is "BRAVO!!" iT'S ABOUT TIME!!

Anonymous said...

Purple episcopal saturnos? In Saturn, maybe.

PeterHWright said...

Some very interesting comments about clerical attire suppressed by Paul VI.

But there is no hard and fast rule for everything.

When was the mantelleta suppressed ? When was the saturno suppressed ? When was lace suppressed ?

O.K. We know what is meant by contra ius, but what about praeter legem, contrary custom, and immemorial custom ?

I think the Church might more usefully turn its attention to modern liturgical abuses, and not worry too much about buckled shoes making a comeback.

One year after Summorum Pontificum fully re-intergrated the old Missal into the life of the Church, it would be nice to see our clergy dressing properly.

Many thanks to J.P. for keeping us up to date on the Roman scene.

A fantastic blog !

Anonymous said...

Well, the mantelletta was never suppressed. Already during the last session of Vatican II all bishops were given the use of the previously restricted mozzetta (therefore eliminating the need for the mantelletta in bishops); then the domestic prelates turned into prelates of honor and lost the use of the mantelletta; but it remains the proper choir attire for protonotaries.

Fr. Selvester said...

No matter what anyone may think of the regulations made by Paul VI he was the Pope and his instructions can't simply be disregarded because we may not like them. If we want to say that we have respect for tradition then the tradition we should start with is obedience to legitimate authority whether we agree with it or not. Otherwise, the younger clergy disregarding the appropriate regulations regarding manner of dress are as bad as those on the other end of the spectrum who commit liturgical abuses in the name of being "progressive" and "relevant".

The answer to the question about the mantelletta is that it was abolished for Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, P.A.s Supernumerary and Prelates of Honor on March 31, 1969 in the document "Ut Sive". Those for whom it is retained are listed in that document as well.

Also, these provisions and instructions for prelates also apply to lesser clergy. There is NO WAY that shoes with buckles would have been abolished for Cardinals and Bishops and retained for simple priests.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Selvester... and what about painting BXVI's coat of arms with a tiara, as you do? Come on, don't be so tight and let the boys enjoy their buckles.

Anonymous said...

Or adding a nice red ribbon inside the black galero of a priest's arms, when the lining should be black... ahem! Let the boys wear their buckles...

petty said...

Selvester, they were abolished for prelates by name so as to get at Siri of Genova (and not for ordinary clergy).

Anonymous said...

The abolishment of various historical elements of liturgical and clerical dress was done solo for malicious and mean spiritness by Paul VI and his liberal cadre of radical progressivists/ecumenists who had an ax to grind against Catholic tradition and those prelates who loved it (Cardinals Siri, Ottaviani, Bacci, and many others).
By issuing an instruction, Paul VI not only got back at the few traditionalists who wanted to keep the beautiful traditions of clerical dress, but at generations that followed. There was/is no logical reason for keeping these rules which were done for no reason other than to supress "Catholicity" at a time when it was seen to be more important to be ecumenical and "updated" and discard everything of the "Old Church".
Thank God for the young priests in Rome, (even young bishops), who are on their own discarding these ridiculous and totally malicious and vindictive rules of Paul VI and his cadre of footsoldiers who ran roughshod over Catholic tradition of the entire 15 years of his reign....and all thru that of John Paul II as well.
John Paul II had absolutely no interest whatsoever in things liturgical or regarding vesture. He was see as too "macho" for any interest in things of that nature. He preferred to let things stands as they are, and continue to slide.
But Benedict XVI has a true Catholic spirit both regarding liturgy and dress. He is probably inclined to bring back even more, but is hesitant due to the remaining aged liberals who would throw collective "hissy-fits" for weeks. I read that some radical Monsignori of the Paul VI/John Paul II era still in office and now in their 70's still have photos of Paul VI enshirned in places of honor on their desks, while he is largely reviled by the younger clerics.
With regards to Fr. Selvester on obedience....it is far better to be obedient to Catholic tradition (liturgy, vesture, piety, observance), than to the whims and an agenda of a Pope that would step so far off the road of Catholic tradition.

Anonymous said...

There is no regulations concerning the colouring of the interior of a priest's hat on a coat of arms. There is also no prohibition for using the triregno on a papal coat of arms. But, Fr. Sylvester makes the good point that there is a regulation saying buckles on shoes are not to be used. It sounds like a bit of a hard line to take to me but at least he can point to an actual source to back up his opinion.

Anonymous said...


1) just an example concerning the galero of a chaplain of HH:"di panno nero foderato di seta paonazza o cremisi". The color of the lining does matter;

2) "Il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI ha deciso di non mettere più la tiara nel suo stemma ufficiale personale, ma di porre solo una semplice mitra, che non è quindi sormontata da una piccola sfera e da una croce come lo era la tiara." This is in the very Vatican webpage.

My point being that Father Selvester protests too much.

Anonymous said...

Furthermore, it is not correct to say with Fr. Selvester that Paul VI "actually and specifically forbade the use of the traditional shoes with buckles for the clergy of all ranks." The instruction of March 28, 1969 refers to prelates only. And anyway, the meaning is obvious: buckled shoes are no longer obligatory. I would rather complain about a priest wearing Teva sandals (oh, but it is not forbidden) like the poor guy on the pic below, than one wearing buckled shoes. Gimme a break! :P

Fr. Selvester said...

"Fr. Selvester... and what about painting BXVI's coat of arms with a tiara, as you do?"

That is a lie. I have never painted a version of the Pope's coat of arms with a tiara. I point out the excellent work of artists who have but none of the artwork is mine. So, your first lie.

"Or adding a nice red ribbon inside the black galero of a priest's arms, when the lining should be black..."

Again, not my artwork but that of a man called Alex Kurov. So, your second lie. Besides, while there are instructions about how the actual hat (saturno) of the various ranks of clergy should be made there are no heraldic regulations about how the lining of a galero ( a hat no longer even used) may be depicted. This is another instance of apples and oranges: the regulations for actual hats don't apply to heraldic art.

While the Vatican website (not a papal document or decree) speaks of the Pope leaving the tiara off his personal arms it does not say it is abolished. In fact, the quote from the Vatican website was written by Cardinal di Montezemolo to describe HIS artwork. The Secretariat of State of the Holy See issued a letter shortly after the Pope's election affirming that the tiara and keys remain the official emblems of the papacy. In addition, regardless of di Montezemolo's appologia the Pope's own actions indicate that he clearly did not intend to eliminate the tiara from heraldry as can be seen by the numerous examples where he has allowed his arms to be depicted with the tiara...even on his own vestments!

My protests are not excessive. They are simply unpopular because it doesn't go along with the "fun stuff" in this instance. In fact, I think the shoes with buckles are harmless and a nice nod to tradition. But, ignoring the rules in the name of observing tradition is just as bad as ignoring the rules in favor of "progress" and "the spirit of the Council" on the opposite end.

However, trying to argue by applying the rules for vestments to heraldry in an attempt to shame me is just mean-spirited and inappropriate.

Anonymous said...

Fr Selvester is a great guy, I have been at a formal dinner with him, but he is an American. People from the USA (whom I respect a defenders of the Western way of life) are, even if members of the Catholic Church, the products of a democratic and protestant culture, that means, in essence, that they think rules are there to be kept. Europeans are different, look at the driving, the smoking, the graffiti, they think rules are there to be ignored (making them keeps people in work, you can't say no to that) unless they make sense. So Americans keep the rules, it's in their cultural nature, Europeans ignore them, that's culture too.
So at the end of the day American Catholics like Father are good honourable and loyal, and Catholics from Europe are, well, Catholics from Europe and on this sort of matter they won't agree because the grammar they are using about 'rules' is culture based and different. OK?

Anonymous said...

Fr. Selvester writes: there are no heraldic regulations about the lining of a galero.
Moroni writes:
-i prelati della romana Chiesa.... nero foderato di seta paonazza o cremisi
-i Patriarchi... sopra i loro armeggi il cappello di color verde, foderato di porpora con dieci nappe.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Selvester writes: Paul VI actually and specifically forbade the use of the traditional shoes with buckles for the clergy of all ranks.
Paul VI writes for prelates specifically, and then adds: Concerning the dress and titles of canons, holders of benefices and parish priests, suitable norms will be issued by the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy, following the criteria of simplification contained in the present document.
The SCC never wrote anything on the matter.

Anonymous said...

Should we then conclude that Fr. Selvester lies? Of course not. He interprets the regulations, so do I. No attempt to shame him, I hold him in high regard and I like his posts (and prayed for his father when he died), but this time I disagree with him. Just that. Cheers!

DelvinM said...

Where in fact do you get these shoes from?

Anonymous said...

where in fact do you get these shoes from?

danhesko said...

It reminds me of a true story from the 70s. A religious sister told me when they did away with the modified habit, they were told 'we no longer will wear a uniformed habit, you can wear anything you want'. Next morning this sister changed into her pre vat II habit, the bottom line was, she could wear anything she wanted, except that. How silly. God bless that sister she wore the old habit till the day she died. Law or no law, I really don't think any bishop or pope would care what kind of shoes a priest would wear.
In my years I have been at Concelebrations where priests wore cowboy boots, sneakers, sandles even bed room slippers. I'll say a mea culpa for a silver buckle.