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Thomas Parker wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Some of my Catholic friends were asked if:
    • our Church
    • the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or
    • Canon law

    permit our Catholic priests to have long hair?

I read some comments on Catholic.com but I need a solid answer from you.

Thomas

  { Does the Church, Catechism, or Canon Law prohibit Catholic priests from having long hair? }

John replied:

Thomas,

Nothing like this would be in the Catechism which only deals with matters of faith and morals.

To the best of my knowledge there is presently no canon law that stipulates anything about hairstyles, facial hair, or anything like that though there may have been disciplines to that effect in the past.

Certain religious orders might have had or still have particular disciplines like shaving the tops of their scalps and so on . . . but this has absolutely zero to do with faith and morals. It's mainly symbolic stuff that various religious orders do to identify with or signify a certain thing.

That's about it.

John

Thomas replied:

Thanks John,

  • So there's nothing wrong with priests having long hair?

Thomas

John replied:

Thomas,

Unless they a breaking a particular discipline of a particular religious order, they can have hair of any length. There is nothing intrinsically sinful about a priest having long hair. It's not a moral question.

It can be a matter of obedience if a discipline is imposed for a particular reason. There are also local customs. Eastern Rite Catholic and Easter Orthodox priests, for example, almost always have beards. That's the way they've always done it . . . it's a custom. Diocesan priests usually only wear black, clerical shirts but the local bishop can also allow them to wear other colors as well.

None of this stuff matters a hill a beans to anyone's salvation.

John

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Thomas —

It depends on their superior i.e. their Bishop or Abbott, etc.

So some can; some can't.

Fr. Jonathan

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