It’s an argument that has been going on for decades, and that’s been brewing on the internet since the Catholic Church adopted its current priest costume, which includes a black robe and black pants.
But the controversy is getting new life after an American blogger took to Twitter to ask a question about it: Should a priest wear a black vestment that includes a hood?
The argument has raged for years over whether a priest should wear a hood or not, with the Catholic church’s canon law and church teaching on the matter being the main factors in deciding the matter.
However, the current debate comes as the Catholic priesthood is grappling with the consequences of an outbreak of what the church’s doctrinal experts say are communicable diseases such as measles and the coronavirus.
The priest’s costume is a symbol of the church that is supposed to represent the priestly life, and it has a long history.
In 1615, a Jesuit priest in England wore a black veil and a vestment with a black skull, as the mask of his predecessor, Bishop Samuel de Montfort, who had died in 1632.
The Black Death epidemic killed a million people, and the church in Europe and the US took steps to prevent it in the 19th century, which meant that priests in the 1620s, 20s and 30s were required to wear hoods and black cloaks.
In response to the crisis in the early 20th century when the virus became endemic in Europe, the church developed a series of uniform rules for the use of masks in public, and priests wore black to represent their roles.
In recent years, however, the debate over priest costumes has heated up again.
A few months ago, a Catholic blogger in Germany, a country where the Catholic rite is not practiced, wrote about a debate over a priest’s hood.
He said that the costume of a priest in the US was a “troubling” one.
“It is an act of sacrilege,” the blogger wrote, adding that it “takes away the priest’s dignity and dignity of his ministry”.
The blogger also wrote that the current pope, Francis, is wearing the same hood as the late Pope John Paul II.
“In fact, I can’t find a photograph of Francis with a hood,” the Catholic blogger wrote.
“And if there is one, it is an extremely old one.”
But in recent weeks, the blog has been filled with comments from people questioning the legitimacy of the costume debate, saying that the mask is an important part of the role and it should not be changed.
“The Catholic Church does not impose a uniform on priests, nor should it,” the blog reads.
“We believe that the church can be a good place for everyone, and we welcome and welcome the opportunity to be a part of it.”
“A priest should not wear a mask that shows off his or her position, or even a hood that is not of his or hers.
I think it is a violation of his dignity and of the dignity of the profession that he or she is serving.”
But the blogger also argued that it is important to note that the pope’s costume was “not an official decision”.
“I do not think that the Pope, like a layman, should wear anything to represent himself,” the atheist blogger wrote on Twitter.
The Catholic church does not mandate the wearing of a mask for priests, and its canon law on the subject is quite clear.
The canon law states that priests can wear whatever “appropriate” masks and garb, but it also stipulates that the priest “must be fully aware of the fact that he is not allowed to wear masks that could offend the dignity or the sacredness of the person of the Pope.”
“It’s a matter of conscience,” the theologian and author of a book on priestly dress, Joaquin Díaz, told Al Jazeera.
“A priest has to be able to dress in a way that does not offend his dignity, which means that he can be respectful of other people, of the environment, of his own dignity.”
The head of the International Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said the pope was the first to wear a helmet, and he had worn one since the late 1960s.
But in a recent interview with the Vatican Radio, the cardinal also said that priests who wear masks in the presence of others should be treated as “scourgers” and “invisible” – a sentiment that has echoes of a Nazi salute.
“When the priests come in and they’re dressed like scourgers, they’re visible,” he said.
It’s the same as when a priest is wearing a helmet