I was reading Father Peter M.J. Stravinskas‘ The Catholic Answer Book a few weeks ago and on page 173 I was surprised to read that all religious are required to wear their religious garb as a symbol of their vow of poverty.
I looked up and found in Canon Law that Father Stravinskas is absolutely and clearly correct on this:
Canon 669 §1 As a sign of their consecration and as a witness to poverty, religious are to wear the habit of their institute, determined in accordance with the institute’s own law.
§2 Religious of a clerical institute who do not have a special habit are to wear clerical dress, in accordance with canon 284.
In fact the Holy See, specifically the Sacred Congregation for Religious, routinely reject religious constitutions that do not have this requirement.
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf and Fr. Dwight Longenecker have been waging cyberwarfare in out clericing the other. Well I’d like to introduce Fr. James Ramsey. Real priests don’t wear cappa’s! ;~)
Fr. James Ramsey, pastor of Our Lady of Walsingham (OLW) in Houston, Texas, is shown in his priestly attire prior to celebrating his first Mass. Fr. Ramsey is shown wearing his cassock, or soutane, and a black cappello romano hat, or saturno (since it kind of looks like Saturn with her rings), with black lining. The cappello is not worn during Mass, only for a practical matter in very sunny Houston. Keep in mind this is picture was taken on the first Sunday of A.D. 2009, where it was 50 degrees outside!