This news comes from the Philippines:
A Catholic bishop today called on all clergy to observe the Church’s dress code, especially when they appear in public “as an integral part of priestly decorum.”
Bishop Leonardo Medroso of Tagbilaran, a canon lawyer, said ecclesiastical garb is not the external sign of the priesthood but an indicator of the “spiritual and priestly life” of the person concerned.
Some “shrink” from wearing the proper attire, he noted, preferring to go around in public in ordinary clothes.
This does not mean they are necessarily ashamed of their identity as priests or that they have a weak sense of their clerical identity, he said.
“Rather, they do not like to get attention from people, who because of the attire, afford them privileged treatment, or to be looked down on or given suspicious glances,” Bishop Medroso said.
“They prefer to be left alone, free and unperturbed,” he added.
The real purpose of priestly attire, according to the bishop, is to serve as public testimony that the one wearing ecclesiastical dress is an ordained minister.
That is why, Bishop Medroso says, “the Church is insistent that her ordained ministers wear the ecclesiastical garb.”
He seems to be directing his remarks to priests, but could the bishop also be referring to deacons?