In these latter days of the liturgical year when we turn to consider the primacy of Christ's kingship over worldly authority, and the urgency of proclaiming His Truth to the world, it seems appropriate to reflect once again, as is the calling of the Ordinariate, on the proclamation of our identity as Catholics and our fidelity to the Lord. In a small but not insignificant gesture, the Holy See's Secretary of State, Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, has renewed calls for the clergy to wear the cassock as a sign of service to the Church but also of the dignity with which they are entrusted by virtue of their ordination.
Most Reverend Eminence/Excellency,
I wish to recall to your attention the importance of the discipline concerning the daily use of ecclesiastical (cassock or clerical) and religious dress, as determined by the norms on this matter and according to the reasons illustrated and explicated in his day by Blessed John Paul II in the Letter to the Cardinal Vicar of Rome, dated September 8, 1982.
At a time in which everyone is specially called to renew his awareness of and consistency with his own identity, at venerable behest I come to ask Your Eminence/Excellency kindly to guarantee the observance of the above on the part of all ecclesiastics and religious in service with this Dicastery/Tribunal/Office/Vicariate, recalling the duty of wearing regularly and with dignity the proper habit, in every season, partly in obedience to the duty of exemplarity that is incumbent above all upon those who render service to the successor of Peter.
The very example of those who, sealed with episcopal dignity, are faithful to the daily use of the cassock proper to them, during office hours, becomes an explicit encouragement for all, including for bishops and for those who visit the Roman Curia and Vatican City.
On this occasion, moreover, partly in order to avoid uncertainty and to guarantee due uniformity, it should be recalled that the use of the abito piano is required for participation at any event at which the Holy Father is present, as also for the Plenary and Ordinary Assemblies, the Interdicasterial Meetings, the reception of ad limina visits and the various official engagements of the Holy See.
Grateful for the cooperation, I gladly take this opportunity to confirm my distinct and heartfelt respects for Your Most Reverend Eminence/Excellency
Most devoted in the Lord
+ Tarcisio Card. Bertone
Secretary of State
All around we see the weakening of identities, whether religious, social, or otherwise, in the pursuit of a false respect and relativist sentiment. It has been a mission of our Holy Father during his pontificate to reject the erosion of Catholic identity by promoting causes which remind us of our heritage and the Faith which lies at its heart. From the publication of Summorum Pontificum, restoring the celebration of Holy Mass according to the pre-Concilior form, to the creation of Ordinariates promoting Anglican patrimony grounded in a faithful understanding of the Catholic Faith, to the reestablishment of Fridays as days of abstinence from meat, the Church is recovering a confidence in how she presents herself to the world which cannot but lead to a deepening of orthodox faith and a renewed vigour in evangelisation.