I was discussing this with a fellow priest, different diocese, his bishop has been quite enthusiastic about it, and yes it is a good thing. My contribution so far is that I have promised to pray daily with Fr John for an end to abortion legislation.
Well, this fellow priest, let us call him Fr X (signifying anonymous not Xavier) has decided to decrease his carbon footprint, so he has decided to turn the heating in his presbytery down. It is a drafty pile. Eventually he got round to the confession part of the conversation and told me he has started wearing a biretta and cassock in the house.
I like the idea of diocesan justice and peace groups encouraging the clergy with slogans like “wear a biretta, its Green”, I suppose veils should be encouraged for sisters. Fr X pointed out that cassocks and some form of “house hat” are from a time when people lived in unheated or at least underheated houses. When I was a child before double-glazing, we never had heating upstairs. The cost of heating, both the finacial but also the ecological cost is very significant in our Victorian buildings. There was a time a of course when bishops wore at least five layers of clothing on the sanctuary just to keep warm, and made elderly priests canons so they could wear fur for the same reason. I wonder whether Fr X will persuade his own bishop to both dress up and keep warm himself, and to transform Fr X to Canon X to enable him to keep warmer and encourage his ecologically minded dress habits.
Lace albs, like string vests, create pockets of heat close to the body.
What a great idea!
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