Filipino soldiers before being deployed to a UN peace-keeping mission
A Filipino security guard using a laser scanner to check a pupil's body temperature.
See what's in common?
When these men and women are performing the functions of their 'office', they wear the distinctive garb of their function. You do not expect a plain clothes man to carry an assault rifle in the middle of the street and not be alarmed? Of course, if an ordinary policeman or military man walks down the street, carrying his service firearm, you won't be worried at all. Why? Because he is doing his duty. WE KNOW WHO HE IS. Not his name or his personal background. BUT WHO HE IS IN THE EYES OF THE PUBLIC.
Now, this is how Muslims, cleric or not do it.
This is how Buddhist monks do it.
Now this is how some Catholic priests do it.
Fr. JBoy Gonzales of the famous "Kape't Pandasal" TV program.
What would make you think that he is a priest?
The Splendor of the Church blog, while visiting UP Diliman.
All these priests are witnessing to the call of their ordination.
Who do you think is witnessing it more?
Is it an external form of "Pharisaism"? Or is it an external expression of an inner reality?
What the heart professes, the body expresses.
Or if you want to go legal about this...
The symbolism of the cassock is as follows; The Roman collar symbolizes obedience; the Sash or cincture around that waist, chastity; and the color black, poverty. Moreover, black is a color of mourning arid death for the priest, the symbolism is dying to oneself to rise and serve the Lord as well as giving witness of the Kingdom yet to come.
The Code of Canon Law still requires "clerics are to wear suitable ecclesiastical garb in accord with the norms issued by the conference of bishops and in accord with legitimate local custom" (No. 284). In our very secular world, the wearing of clerical garb continues to be a visible sign of belief and of the consecration of one's life to the service of the Lord and His Church.
Unless some do not want to wear their visible sign of belief and of their consecration?
Thanks to Fr. William Saunders, "Why Priests Wear Black"