Sunday, July 16, 2006

Inappropriate for a priest

Twice now I have seen clergy with earrings. Each time I have had to struggle with an urge to imitate Clint Eastwood in Heartbreak Ridge. (For those of you who are not familiar with this glorious B movie from the 80s, Eastwood plays a Marine Gunnery sergeant who at one point rips an earring out of the ear of one of his subordinants.) Why do I have this reaction? Because an earring is highly inappropriate for a clergyman. While it does not necessarily have the homosexual connotations that it once did, that kind of ornamentation has no place on the body of one consecrated to the total service of God. I have similar opinions about rings and other jewelry. It speaks of vanity. (Bet you can guess what I think of tattoos.)

What else should clergy avoid?

1-Habitual wearing of lay clothing. (I knew a priest in grad school that was referred to as 'Father Powertie'.) There are appropriate times for civies such as exercise or yardwork, but certainly not while ministering.
2-High cost clothing. Good quality is one thing, Brooks Brothers is another.
3-Expensive autos.
4-Living in ones own pad. Though I know some diocese encourage it, living outside of a Rectory is not a good idea.
5-Date like situations. If you want to take the secretary to lunch, invite someone else along. Don't encourage scandal.
6-Dancing. I don't care if she is your mother, priests ought not to dance.
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