The famous Spanish exorcist, Father Jose Antonio Fortea, said it is important that priests wear their clerical garb as a sign of consecration to God and service to the faithful.
“We don’t go about recognizable because we like it,” Fr. Fortea told EWTN News June 5. “We do so because it is an act of service to the faithful, it is a sign of consecration, it helps us.”
During a visit to Trujillo, Peru where he participated in local Corpus Christi celebrations, Fr. Fortea commended the “exemplary priests of this area” for dressing in a manner that made them easily identifiable.
He acknowledged that priests who did not develop the habit of wearing proper clerical garb during their time in seminary would have a hard time adopting it later. In recent years, he noted, “this has been improving.”
Although he recognized that the bishops' conference of each country has the authority to determine the best way for priests to dress, Fr. Fortea stressed that priests should dress in such a way that makes them easily identifiable in public.
The Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy also has weighed-in on the matter in its “Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests.” It says that “a cleric's failure to use this proper ecclesiastical attire could manifest a weak sense of his identity as one consecrated to God.”
Fr. Fortea is an exorcist in the Diocese of Alcala de Henares in Madrid. He is an internationally noted speaker and author of several books about on exorcism and demons.