Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


The Danger of Wearing Dog Collars

Wearing a clergy collar in public has gotten me respect I may or may not deserve and abuse I may or may not deserve. It's natural that as a collar marks one for better or worse as a "God person" so to speak, then people will transfer positive and negative feelings about God and about other clergy to the person in the collar. That goes with the job and is true of pastors who don't wear collars once people find out they are a pastor.

Wearing a collar has never gotten me robbed. But according to the Associated Press article which follows, I would have faced a 70% chance of my collar bringing violence if I was a Vicar in England in the late 90s:
Catholic and Anglican vicars should remove their clerical collars while off-duty to avoid being singled out for attack, a church safety group said Sunday.

Criminals often target clergymen because they are perceived to have money. The stiff white neck pieces - nicknamed "dog collars," also can attract those bearing a "grudge against God," said Nick Tolson, who heads National Churchwatch.

My friend, david's take on getting collared"They've got to be aware that when they're on their own, they're at high risk," Tolson said. "What we're saying is that when clergy are off duty - say when they're shopping at (the supermarket) - they should slip off the dog collar and put it in their pocket."

Britain does not routinely monitor violence against clergy. But a 2001 University of London study found that seven in 10 clergy had experienced some form of violence between 1997 and 1999, and more than one in 10 reported being assaulted, according to Tolson.
It's so far out of my experience that I have trouble finding the story true. This article seems appropriate enough to read and reflect on as I head to St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Tifton, Georgia where I will meet today and tomorrow with persons in the process of discerning a call to serve as deacons and priests in The Episcopal Church. The meeting is part of my regular service on the Diocese of Georgia Commission on Ministry, of which I have been a part for six years.

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

PS: For something completely different, I have a post in the Episcopal Church and the Visual Arts Sketchbook.



  • At 10/12/2007 7:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Will you be wearing your "dog collar" on the way to Tifton? That's a terrible term.

    When I run into one of my priest friends out and about, and they have their collar on, I feel honored in their presence. Not that don't feel honored in their presence without the collar, but it just seems more "divine" somehow with the collar.

    Have a safe trip to Tifton! Please try and stay clear of "collar abusers!"


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