The Danger of Wearing Dog Collars
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.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.
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.
"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.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor
PS: For something completely different, I have a post in the Episcopal Church and the Visual Arts Sketchbook.