A reader writes:
I'm Presbyterian. When I was a boy, our church faced a scandal. Glossing over the details: pastor sleeps with secretary, church fires pastor, church hires new pastor.
I thought a lot about our church's scandal when I worked Residence Life at a Catholic College.
There was the priest who had a habit of coming to the dorms late at night. Often, he was just there to berate students, but he sometimes wanted to go back to the private areas. When he turned up at my security desk, I always had the guys call me so that I could escort Father around, in a sign of respect, you see. Finally, I had to ask my director (also a layperson): why the college didn't just fire him? You would have thought I had spit on a crucifix.
He's appointed by the Bishop, you see. It's that respect for the clothing and not the man wearing it that I could never understand.