“We order, therefore, that every priest shall wear the Roman collar not only when he exercises the sacred ministry, but at all times, so that he may be known by all to be a priest. We decree also that the usage of Rome be observed by all ecclesiastics – that is, of not wearing the hair either on the cheeks or as a beard.
And if any priest shall wear the clerical dress so changed – save in the rarest case to be approved by the Ordinary – that he cannot be known by all to be a priest belonging to the clergy of this Province, or so as to fall under the suspicion of the faithful or notoriously give them scandal, let them not be admitted to say Mass, nor in assisting at the divine offices, into the sanctuary.
Our forefathers, assembled in the Council of London in the year 1248, declared that to put off the clerical dress is a very grave and wanton abuse, by which God is said to be mocked, the honour of the Church obscured, the dignity of the clerical order degraded; Christ, when His soldiers wear other uniforms, is deserted; the honour and dignity of the Church is stained when the beholder cannot distinguish a cleric from a laic at a glance, and so the priest becomes a scandal and despised by all who are truly faithful.”
- Council of Trent