A Modern History of Gothic Vestments

Fig. 1 – Detail from the ‘Mass of St. Gregory’ by Südniederländischer Meister circa 1500, featuring lavish depictions of Gothic vestments. (Image source)

Gothic Vestments: A Modern History, 1838-1957

This illustrated article explores the modern history of so-called ‘Gothic’ style vestments in the Roman Catholic Church between 1838 and 1957. The research focus is primarily on English-speaking lands, but does include some survey and reference to developments in other European countries.

This article originally began as a short Twitter thread. I was later asked by New Liturgical Movement to turn the thread into an article, and so after additional research this greatly expanded piece was eventually posted as a series of articles on their website (parts one, two, and three). The complete unified piece is given below and has been updated with additional edits and material. Due to the length, a hyperlinked table of contents has been provided.

Table of Contents


I recently saw a question about the modern history of ‘Gothic’ style vestments in the Roman Catholic Church. How and when were they re-introduced? At what point were they fully authorized in widespread use? 

I am not an expert on vestments and have never studied their history. I was only casually familiar with what I would call the ‘common’ narrative: that Gothic style vestments were illicitly adopted by some members of the Liturgical Movement in the early 1900s, forbidden as an abuse by Roman authorities, and only authorized in 1957 after which they became increasingly popular. 

I was curious. Was this an accurate account or was there more to the story? I decided to explore historic Catholic newspapers and other contemporary material to see what I could find. 


The modern history of Gothic vestments largely begins with Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852), at least for English-speaking lands. Pugin was a convert to Catholicism and an extraordinarily prolific ecclesiastical designer and architect. It is impossible to overstate his role or influence in launching the Gothic Revival movement. 

Fig. 1 – Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, by John Rogers Herbert, 1845 (source)

Bishop Thomas Walsh, Vicar Apostolic of Midland District, was a strong supporter of Pugin and “gave him almost a free hand in attempting to revive the old Gothic vestments of pre-Reformation days, besides encouraging him to build and restore churches in the Gothic style.”[1] This revival was not limited to England, however. On the Continent at this time other figures were likewise involved in efforts to revive the use of Gothic vestments including Dom Prosper Gueranger, Abbot of monastery of Solesmes, and Canon Fanz Bock of the Cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle.[2]

Pugin’s efforts were quite successful and Gothic vestments were widely adopted by English clergy in these years. One notable public use of these vestments was at the opening of St. Mary’s College, Oscott in 1838 which was attended by several bishops and over 100 priests.

Fig. 2 – Portrait engraving of Bishop Thomas Walsh in Gothic vestments. Source: Durham Palace Green Library PCW MS 54, public domain.

But not all members of the English clergy were enthusiastic about these trends. Some, like Bishop Augustine Baines, opposed Pugin’s vision for vestments, church ornamentation, the restoration of Gregorian Chant, and other parts of the ‘English Catholic Revival’. Baines forbade his clergy to wear Pugin’s vestments and complained to Rome about them.[3]

In 1839, Bishop Walsh received a letter from the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith which expressed displeasure with what Walsh was permitting in his diocese. The letter also referred directly and dismissively to Pugin as “an architect converted from heresy” who was behind these innovations. Pugin corresponded about this with his friend and fellow convert Ambrose Phillipps De Lisle. De Lisle later wrote to another shared acquaintance and patron–John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury:

“… that the College of Propaganda is to regulate even the minutest details of our ecclesiastical dress, is to assume for a foreign congregation a degree of power that has never yet been claimed by any Pope, no nor even by any General Council of the Church.

“An uniformity of vestments or even of rites and Liturgies has never yet been enforced in any period of the Church […] Italy has her Chasubles very different in many respects fm. those of France, of Germany, and of modern England […] ; it is therefore idle to say that the restoration of the old English Chasuble hurts the uniformity of the Church, seeing that no such uniformity exists : it is equally idle to say that it infringes upon the rubricks ; when the rubricks were composed most assuredly the modern form of vestments existed not, and therefore if either offended against them, it wd. be the latter, not our glorious old English form. […]

“No, deeply do I deplore this lamentable business : its consequences if persisted in, will be most disastrous, the very idea of them fills me with horror and alarm.”[4]

Despite the 1839 letter from Cardinal Franzoni to Bishop Walsh, and the initial despair of Pugin and De Lisle, no formal restrictions to the use of Gothic vestments were issued from Rome and the spread of their use continued to spread throughout England and in France, Belgium, and Germany. 


In June 1841, the new Cathedral of St. Chad in Birmingham–commissioned by Walsh and designed by Pugin–was opened in an extraordinarily grand ceremony attended by thirteen bishops from around the world (two from Scotland, one from the United States, and one from Australia) including Bishop Baines.[5] For this Mass, Bishop Nicholas Wiseman and the celebrating ministers wore a set of gold Gothic vestments which had been designed by Pugin.[6]

Fig. 3 – Illustration of the original interior of the Cathedral of St. Chad in Birmingham. Source: Robert Kirkup Dent, “Old and New Birmingham: A History of the Town and Its People” (Birmingham: Houghton and Hammond, 1880), page 458. Source: Archive.org, public domain.

In the decades which followed, Wiseman would be appointed as the first Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and become the driving force for trends within the newly re-established Catholic Church in England. He would continue to use Gothic vestments regularly.[7]

After the re-establishment of the Catholic Hierarchy and the First Provincial Synod of Westminster in 1852, now-Cardinal Wiseman traveled to Rome to submit the synodal decrees for Vatican approval. So widespread was the use of Gothic vestments at this time, it was rumored in the secular press that Rome intervened to edit the decrees in an attempt to regulate or ban them.

Fig. 4 – Dumfries and Galloway Standard and Advertiser, November 2, 1853, page 2. Source: Newspapers.com, public domain.

 I have not been able to confirm if Roman authorities did actually intervene in this matter, but the rumor that they did so survived for decades.[8] In any case, the final approved Synodal decrees made only passing mention of vestments in extremely mild language: “That uniformity may prevail in these things, we must strive to shape our sacred vestments according to the pattern of the Roman Church.”[9]


Interest in–and use of–Gothic vestments in these years continued to reach new highs. After attending the 1841 opening of St. Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham, Archbishop of Sydney John Polding became “quite taken” by Gothic Revival architecture and vestments and with his use and support they spread throughout Australia over the following decades.[10] Bishop of Hobart (Tasmania) Robert Willson was a friend of Pugin and greatly admired his work. Willson ordered vestments by Pugin from England for himself to wear and as gifts to priests in his diocese, some of which survive to this day.[11]

Fig. 5 – Bishop of Hobart Robert Willson wearing Pugin-designed Gothic vestments, by John Rogers Herbert, 1854 (source)

In June 1859, Bishop Johann Georg Müller of Münster, Germany (who had authorized the restoration of Gothic style for the preceding ten years) wrote a letter to Rome about the matter. In response, the papal master of ceremonies Johannes Corazza toured Germany and Switzerland with then-bishop and papal almoner Gustav Adolf zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst to view the vestments and discuss the matter with the priests and laity. 

Afterwards, Corazza composed a lengthy report (which was privately transmitted but not published) in which he gave his private opinion that the Sacred Congregation of Rites should intervene and discontinue the use of Gothic vestments.[12] Corazza’s response is said to have been “radical and immoderate,” met with considerable pushback from bishops across Germany, France, Belgium, and Switzerland.[13] Rome took no immediate action and the use of Gothic vestments continued and spread.

Fig. 6 – Cardinal Costantin Patrizi Naro Montoro, 1877 (source)

Four years later, the Vatican finally decided to intervene. On August 21, 1863, Cardinal Costantino Patrizi Naro of the Sacred Congregation of Rites wrote a circular letter to the bishops of England, France, Germany, and Belgium regarding a decision on Gothic vestments: “… as long as the present discipline lasts, nothing may be changed without consulting the Holy See[.]”

Patrizi also invited the bishops to respond and give their opinions as to why it would be beneficial to switch to Gothic vestments: “[a]s, however, the Congregation of Sacred Rites thinks that the reasons which led to the change in question may be of some weight, having referred the matter to his Holiness Pope Pius IX, it has been decided cordially to invite your lordship, in so far as these changes may have taken place in your diocese, to explain the reasons which led to them.”[14]


Despite the 1863 letter from the Sacred Congregation of Rites, the use of Gothic vestments did not seem to be much impacted in the years which followed. Records demonstrate the widespread and uncontroversial use of Gothic vestments around the globe during these years, including:

  • In 1870, a magnificent set of Gothic vestments worth approximately $50,000 in modern valuation was given to Bishop Richard Roskell of Nottingham for use in the cathedral.[15]

  • In 1873, Archbishop of Sydney John Polding wore “rich” Gothic vestments as he ordained Christopher Reynolds as Bishop of Adelaide in a large ceremony attended by at least four other Australian bishops.[16]

  • The 1867, 1879, 1883, and 1885 retail catalogs of Benziger Brothers, the premier Catholic publishing house and church goods retail in the United States, offered Gothic-style vestments.[17]

  • At his ordination by 1887, newly-consecrated Bishop of Wilcannia John Dunne wore “a superb and costly” set of white and gold Gothic vestments.[18]

  • By 1895, one account observed: “… there is a great diversity in this respect [of vestments] in the Roman Catholic Church. In England, the Gothic, French, and the Italian chasubles are all freely used by the Roman Catholic Clergy. […] The Swiss Roman Catholic clergy and those in many parts of Germany use Gothic vestments, not those of Renaissance form”.[19]

Fig. 7 – Archbishop of Sydney John Bede Polding in Gothic vestments, 1866 (source)

Another summarized the situation thus: “[a]s in England, so also on the Continent, the advance of the ample chasuble was notable. By 1900 many dioceses in Western Europe could show churches where it was in use. Some of them had secured indults, some had simply accepted a growing custom, and all could cite the example of Rome itself, where several cardinals and at least two popes (Pius IX and X) encouraged the ample chasuble and used it themselves.”[20]

Fig. 8 – Helene Stummel, circa 1890 (source)

Helene Stummel, wife of the famous artist Frederick Stummel, was a vestment maker and passionate advocate for the revival of Gothic vestments during these years. She was sought after by many bishops, taught regularly across Europe, and published books on recommendations for the design of vestments:

“Madam Stummel has lectured before cardinals, bishops, and the clergy in Rome, before the Congresses of Cologne and Dusseldorf. Recently a number of the Bishops of England have invited her to speak before the conferences of the clergy and in their seminaries to the students of theology. She possesses a singular mastery of the subject, and has the means to illustrate her clear and erudite expositions from a rare collection of paramentics gathered and disposed with artistic skill and a thorough realization of the dignity of the subject.”[21]

One may wonder how such a situation could exist following the circular letter of 1863. It seems exceedingly implausible that significant numbers of bishops and priests of multiple countries throughout the world were deliberately disobeying Roman directives. What then is the explanation?


First, it is interesting to note that the 1863 letter was not published or included in the official collection of decrees and decisions of the Sacred Congregation of Rites for more than sixty years after it was written. It is possible that, because of this, in some isolated cases the letter went unheeded due to lack of awareness or because it was viewed as less authoritative than a formal decree.[22]

The letter was widely known in general, however, and regularly cited in clerical journals or similar interpretive authorities. These discussions demonstrate how the 1863 letter was understood and applied over decades and suggest an explanation for why the use of Gothic vestments continued: in short, the letter was not considered to be an unequivocal or totally restrictive ban. 

Writing in 1884, the editors of the Irish Ecclesiastical Record explained that this letter permitted Gothic vestments to continue to be used but prevented any new vestments from being produced: “[i]n the face of this decree, it is not lawful to manufacture new vestments of this pattern. The bishop may allow the use of those already made, till they are worn out.”[23]

Fig. 9 – Painting of Rev. William Lockhart. Source: the cover of “William Lockhart: First Fruits of the Oxford Movement” (Herefordshire: Gracewing, 2011).

Rev. William Lockhart, a convert and friend of John Henry Newman, offered extensive commentary on the 1863 letter in the pages of the Irish Ecclesiastical Record in 1890, stating that, among other things, the manufacture of ‘Borromean’ chasubles (in the size and shape prescribed by St. Charles Borromeo) remained fully permitted without requiring any special permission, as did the ‘Galway’ chasuble in Ireland.[24]

Despite the continuing use of Gothic vestments and the prevailing interpretation that the 1863 letter permitted this (but not the manufacture of new ones), Rome did not issue any further instructions, clarifications, or restrictions.[25]


It is also worth noting that there were a number of prominent clerical and lay figures during these years who regularly wrote about their preference for the Gothic style in clerical journals and Catholic periodicals. Ernest Gilliat-Smith, for example, wrote in 1890 : “… to my mind, Gothic vestments are preferable to Roman, both from an artistic and symbolic point of view, and I hope and trust that one day their use may be universal.”[26]

There was also widespread and long running disdain for the cheap, mass-produced French (modern fiddleback-style) vestments. These had undergone rather significant changes in style–described by some as “cutting and clipping” and others as “mutilation”–both before and after the French Revolution. These new forms were not forbidden by Rome and had quickly spread throughout Italy and elsewhere.[27] 

Fig. 10 – Example of French-style clerical dress, 1776 (source)

The trend was described by the editors of the American Ecclesiastical Review as “[t]he growing abuse of the viol- (fiddle-) shaped chasuble, forced on the ecclesiastical market by the French makers of paramentics and silk merchants.”[28] Commentary featured in the Irish Ecclesiastical Record in 1890 is at turns both comical and illuminative and seems worth quoting at length:

“Who can describe the abortion of the chasuble that pervades France at the present day? Fiddle-shaped in front, not coming down to the knees, stiff with buckram, or paper pasted on the poverty-stricken half-cotton-half-silk material of Lyons manufacture. They are as stiff as tea-boards, and crack if they are bent.

“I was told a story lately in Belgium, of a priest who objected to the stiff paper pasted between the flimsy silk and cheap cotton lining. The manufacturer […] misunderstanding the objection of the priest, replied: “Yes, M. l‘Abbe, we always use paper, in order that they may wear better, and to add to the substantial appearance of our vestments; but I assure you, on this point I have a delicate conscience, and I never put into vestments anything but des bons journaux Catholiques.” 

“These Lyons vestments are going every day all over the world. They are cheap, and Les Dames pieuses can thus make their collections go a good way in providing vestments for Les Missions Etrangeres. […] We need not wonder that Pius IX intimated in the letter of Cardinal Patrizi, that there might be good reasons (rationes alicujus ponderis), in favour of a return to the more ancient form of the vestment.”[29]

Even the noted authority Bishop Josephus van der Stappen commented dismissively on the French corruption of the chasuble:

“Hence, when the ancient chasuble had, in the course of time, been cut down from its generous proportions of old, to the skimp reduction of modern times, and the evil had found its way from France into the neighboring countries, there arose in England, France itself, Germany, and Belgium men who, animated by a zeal for Christian art, sought on their own account to restore the ancient practice by adopting the more beautiful style of Gothic vestments[.]”[30]


In America, by the turn of the century, there was some regular use of Gothic vestments and clear clerical support for more. Even the editors of the Ecclesiastical Review, nobody’s idea of progressive innovators, routinely featured pieces and editorials supporting their adoption.

Fig. 11 – Excerpt from the Ecclesiastical Review, April 1910, page 477. Source: Catholic News Archive, public domain.

Beyond mere support, the Review was considered to be a driving force behind a movement pushing for the change in vestments. A letter from 1910 begins: “To the Editor, The Ecclesiastical Review. My hearty congratulations upon the movement you have started for the very desirable reform in our church vestments. Enclosed is a typical letter showing that you have many well-wishers with you in this matter…”[31] Multiple examples of proposed Gothic designs were published in the Review, along with example measurements of what was permissible.

Fig. 12 – Model of proposed Gothic chasuble in the Ecclesiastical Review, December 1909, page 687.Source: Google Books, public domain.

The use and permissibility of Gothic vestments were widely discussed in various Catholic publications of the time. Some discussion even considered the potential future of a Roman decree to abandon fiddlebacks and exclusively adopt the Gothic! A 1910 editorial in the Jesuit journal America commented on the matter in a rather cheeky fashion:

“The proper form and colors of vestments is being discussed in the Ecclesiastical Review[…] they represent a school long in existence in Germany and England, and are strong in art and aesthetics. We fear the faithful are largely Philistines [regarding which style of vestments they prefer]. Moreover, the Latin races are not likely to submit gladly even in this matter to the Teuton. […]

“If the Holy See so ordains, priests will all exchange our aniline-dyed, fiddle-shaped vestments for modified Gothic of subdued, esthetic hue. But many will do so with heavy hearts and there will be heavy hearts, too, among their people. It is hard to part with old friends, and the modern form and the bright colors have many to love them. For, after all, as Andrew Lang, singing in ‘The Galleries’ the charms of the two schools of art, confesses: “You still must win the public vote, Philistia!”[32]

Fig. 13 – Examples of a proposed three-tiered system of vestments, in the Ecclesiastical Review, March 1910, page 351. This system was devised by Bishop Wilhelm von Keppler of Rottenburg, Germany.[33] Source: Google Books, public domain.

Throughout the first decade of the twentieth century we find records of the use of Gothic vestments across America. In 1910, Gothic vestments were in use in St. Mary’s church in Portland, Oregon. The Tabernacle Societies of the cathedrals in Baltimore and Cincinnati, which funded supplies and furnishings for parishes too poor to afford them, regularly produced Gothic vestments during these years.[34]

In 1914, the general American situation was summarized as follows: “[d]uring the last few years there has been a steady advance, especially in our larger city churches, towards a more exact observance of the rubrics and the carrying out of the solemn services of the Church. One of the notable features has been a closer approach, in the matter of vestments, to the old Roman usage, and many churches have adopted altogether the use of the so-called Gothic (old Roman) chasuble in place of the violin-shaped garments introduced by Gallican enterprise.”[35]

Fig. 14 – Example of Gothic vestments being given to bishops as gifts. Source: NCWC News Service, May 28, 1923, wire copy page 15. Source: Catholic News Archive, public domain.

Parishes were proud to own fine Gothic vestments and hefty sums were paid out for the best sets from American and European retailers. They were also frequently given as gifts by various parish or diocesan groups to their priests and bishops. For example, in 1922 the St. Anne Married Ladies’ Sodality at St. Mary’s parish in Dayton, Ohio paid $900 for an imported set as a Christmas gift to their pastor (equal to $16,345 in 2023 when adjusted for inflation).[36]

By 1924 they seem to be in widespread and regular use, at least in certain parts of the country. In Cincinnati alone there are multiple examples of Gothic vestments mentioned in less than 12 months: at the Student’s Crusade Castle chapel, at the parishes of St. Margaret of Cortona and St. Agnes, and even at the Cathedral.[37]


The use of Gothic vestments continued to spread in England and elsewhere. For example: by 1925, it was reported that every single Catholic church and chapel except one (the Oratory of St. Philip Neri) in the Diocese of Birmingham used Gothic vestments.[38]

That year was a momentous year for the story of Gothic vestments. Pope Pius XI had proclaimed 1925 as a Holy Year and Rome was chosen as the host city for an International Exhibition of Modern Christian Art. During the exhibition, “newly-made vestments, according to the Borromeon proportions, were shown in a special audience with Pius XI [in Consistorial Hall at the Vatican], who approved their use and blessed them.”[39]

Fig. 15 – Photograph of the Gothic vestments blessed by Pope Pius XI in 1925. Source: Dom E.A. Roulin, Vestments and Vesture: A Manual of Liturgical Art (London: Sands & Co, 1933), page 82. Source: Archive.org, public domain.

Afterwards, there seems to have been a desire by some in Rome to walk back any idea of increased Gothic permissions. On December 9, 1925, the Sacred Congregation of Rites responded to a question regarding vestments. The rescript was exceedingly brief, did not formulate any new regulations or details, and simply referred the question back to the well-known letter of 1863 which was appended to the response:

[Question]: In the making and use of vestments for the sacrifice of the Mass and sacred functions, is it permissible to depart from the accepted usage of the Church and introduce another style and shape, even an old one?

[Response]: It is not permitted, without consulting the Holy See, in accordance with the Decree or circular letter of the S.R.C., given to Ordinaries on August 21, 1863.[40]

This was the very first time that the text of the 1863 letter had been published in any official collection of decrees of the Sacred Congregation of Rites. It is likely for this reason that the 1925 reply was commonly viewed as a ‘new’ or ‘updated’ Roman intervention on Gothic vestments, despite the fact that the reply merely pointed back to the original letter.

Fig. 16 – The Ecclesiastical Review, December 1925, page 626. Source: Catholic News Archive, public domain.

The 1925 reply quickly raised questions around the world. It was reported in some quarters as an attempt to stop the widespread adoption of Gothic vestments. The editors of the Ecclesiastical Review answered several questions about it, discussed the original 1863 letter, and again did not interpret the decision to mean that ongoing use of Gothic vestments (or even the manufacture of new vestments) was forbidden:

“Hence, while the use of the so-called Roman chasuble, in which the shoulder parts slightly overlap, is recognized as the prevailing approved custom, many churches in England, Germany, America, and even in Rome, adopt what is designated as the Gothic style to distinguish it from the purely Roman. It is certainly the more graceful of the two, and hence is commonly adopted in ecclesiastical art.”[41]

“The use of the Gothic chasuble in the modified form adopted by St. Charles and proposed by Bishop Gavanti, the Roman master of Pontifical ceremonies, is not forbidden. […] The traditional right, which is not merely a privilege, of using Gothic vestments as described, was not abrogated by Pius IX or the S. Congregation, but continues wherever it has been regularly or accidentally adopted before that time.”[42]

As news of this reply from Rome spread into public awareness in English-speaking lands, it produced a decent amount of confusion and in some cases seems to have been met with barely a shrug.[43] Tongue-in-cheek commentary was offered in diocesan newspapers about the “battle of vestments” and the absurdity of attempting to define how ‘amply cut’ a vestment could be before it became forbidden.

Fig. 17 – The Catholic Transcript, April 15, 1926, page 4. Source: Catholic News Archive, public domain.


Given this reception and interpretation of the 1925 rescript, it will not be surprising that once more Gothic vestments continued to be used and continued to spread in the years which followed. In the decade following the 1925 document, Gothic vestments were discussed as normal and licit things by diocesan newspapers and the US Bishops’ news service; they were manufactured and advertised by church goods retailers, they were used in the presence of bishops and by bishops themselves; they were even used by cardinals and papal representatives!

Fig. 18 – Gothic Chasuble commissioned in 1929 by Cardinal Francis Bourne. From Dom E.A. Roulin, Vestments and Vesture: A Manual of Liturgical Art (London: Sands & Co, 1933), page 94. Source: Archive.org, public domain.

  • In 1926, Gothic vestments were used at the Solemn Midnight Mass at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington, DC.[44]

  • In 1927, the US Bishops’ news service praised Sacred Heart church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for fostering a liturgical revival and specifically commented upon the exclusive use of Gothic vestments.[45]

  • In 1929, a special set of Gothic vestments was worn on the Feast of St. Ignatius and the Golden Jubilee of Rev. William Cunningham, SJ at the Church of the Gesu in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[46]

  • In 1929, Cardinal Francis Bourne commissioned Gothic vestments for Westminster Cathedral during the celebration of the centenary Catholic Emancipation.[47] 

On March 19, 1930, Pope Pius XI used what were widely reported to be Gothic vestments during mass at St. Peter’s and was photographed while doing so. This photograph was repeatedly cited at the time –and in years following– as showing the pope as wearing Gothic vestments, even though modern photographs of the vestments reveal they do not, in fact, meet Gothic specifications. While the actual technical specifications of the vestments are not Gothic, this episode is nevertheless worthy of note because it demonstrates the changing public perceptions regarding the official permissibility of Gothic vestments during the 1930s and 1940s despite the alleged ‘ban’ of 1925. Pope Pius XI had repeatedly blessed and permitted Gothic vestments to be used, and the idea that he would use such vestments himself on occasion seemed eminently plausible to ecclesiastical commentators and clerical journals of the time.[48] Gothic vestments were widely used throughout the city of Rome during these years, including by cardinals in the catacombs, at the Basilica of St. Sebastian, and by the Pontifical Academy of Martyrs presided over by the papal master of ceremonies.[49]

Fig. 19 – Pope Pius XI celebrating Mass in a chasuble (made for him by the Poor Clares of Mazamet, France) which was widely reported at the time and in years following to be of the Gothic style. The vestment does not in fact meet Gothic specifications, see footnote 48 for more. Source: Raymund James, “The Origin and Development of Roman Liturgical Vestments,” page 2.

In 1934 the Catholic Church in Australia held a National Eucharistic Congress in Melbourne, celebrating the centenary of the church in that country and featuring “unprecedented” spectacular ceremonies and vast numbers of clergy and laity.

On Sunday December 2, following the opening ceremonies for the congress, pontifical high mass was celebrated at St. Patrick’s Cathedral by papal legate Cardinal Joseph MacRory in the presence of 60 bishops and 450 priests from around Australia – the cardinal and celebrating ministers wore Gothic vestments.[50]

Fig. 20 – Cardinal Macrory wearing Gothic vestments for the opening Pontifical High Mass of the Australian Eucharistic Congress. Source: the Weekly Times (Melbourne), December 8, 1934. Source: Trove, public domain.

The following day Archbishop Filippo Bernardini, papal nuncio to Australia, celebrated another pontifical high mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral for a crowd of more than 7,500 people. Bernardini used Gothic vestments for the mass, which were frequently used throughout the Eucharistic Congress.[51]


In the years which followed, various members of the hierarchy of Australia continued to use Gothic vestments in high-profile settings, like in 1937 when Archbishop of Adelaide Andrew Killian used Gothic vestments during the consecration of Francis Henschke as Bishop of Wagga Wagga.[52]

Gothic vestments continued to receive official approval and use around the world during these years, for example: being authorized for the Archdiocese of Malines by Cardinal Jozef-Ernest van Roey in 1938 and by the Second Diocesan Synod of Quebec in 1940.[53]

Gothic vestments even reached the literal ends of the Earth during this period. During the US Navy’s Antarctic Expedition, on January 26, 1947, the first ever Catholic Mass offered in Antarctica was celebrated in extremely rustic conditions in the mess hall of camp  ‘Little America IV’ on the Ross Ice Shelf. Rev. William Menster, chaplain of the flagship USS Mount Olympus, used green Gothic vestments.[54]

Fig. 21 – At left, Rev. William Menster; at right, the USS Mount Olympus (AGC-8) in Antarctica, 1947. (Sources: left and right)

Finally, on August 20, 1957, the Sacred Congregation of Rites issued a decree which gave bishops the right to permit the use of Gothic vestments in their own dioceses. From this point onward the use of Gothic vestments,  which had been regularly used throughout the world by priests and bishops alike since 1925, only further increased.

Fig. 22 – NCWC News Service, August 31, 1957, wire copy page 8. Source: Catholic News Archive, public domain.


This concludes our survey of the use of Gothic vestments between 1838 and 1957. It is a story far more complex and fascinating than that depicted by conventional narratives. What can we make of all this? I think there are several key points which are worthy of summary and further discussion.

First, it is abundantly clear that the ‘revival’ of Gothic vestments in the modern period was much more widespread throughout Europe–particularly in England, France, and German-speaking lands–much earlier than commonly thought. By 1849 it was authorized by multiple bishops (in some cases on a diocesan-wide basis) across the continent.

Second, it is also clear that from the very early days of the Gothic revival there were some officials in Rome who were skeptical and disapproving of the use of these vestments. The number of those who disliked the Gothic, as well as their roles and the intensity of their opposition, varied over the years. On multiple occasions, the popes themselves directly gave approval for and/or approving remarks about Gothic vestments. But in general there was consistently more opposition than support from various members of the curia.

Despite this, it is also evident that Rome did not ever unequivocally condemn or actually attempt to stamp out the practice, and that there was widespread toleration of Gothic vestments that devolved permission to the local bishops.[55] There were no formal restrictions against Gothic vestments until the circular letter of 1863, and even then it was not viewed by chanceries and clerical journals around the world as a strict ‘ban’. The text of the letter was not published for more than 60 years afterwards and not a single different or clarifying statement was ever issued by Vatican officials. 

It’s obvious that there was a persistent lack of clarity on what Rome permitted, tolerated, or forbade (as evident from the number of times the question is raised in clerical journals and Catholic periodicals). There was also a widespread  interpretation that Gothic vestments could continue to be used with the permission of the bishop. Because of this, the situation varied from diocese to diocese and region to region. In some cities or dioceses, the use of Gothic vestments was fully approved; in others, it was forbidden or limited. 

All of this demonstrates how difficult it would be to claim that there was a clear message from Rome or to assign the label of disobedience to those many priests, bishops, and laity who produced, purchased, and used Gothic vestments for decades even after the 1863 letter. Gothic vestments were discussed approvingly in diocesan newspapers, permitted and used by the bishops and cardinals of the region, and routinely sanctioned by canonical and clerical journals. If the use of these vestments was in fact disobedient or forbidden during these decades, could the common priest or member of the laity have been expected to discover that fact with any certainty?[56]

Even after the Vatican rescript of 1925–which merely pointed back to the 1863 letter and again was not interpreted as a ban–the use of Gothic vestments did not slow or diminish. Within less than a decade, multiple papal nuncios and legates were regularly using them in the most high-profile and public ceremonies possible. 

Because the use of Gothic vestments was so widespread before 1900 (and was desired and encouraged by so many different priests and bishops in so many different countries for so many years) it seems clear that it would have been essentially impossible to avoid the trend even without the advent of the modern Liturgical Movement in the 1920s. 

If Rome truly viewed the ongoing use of Gothic vestments as a clear abuse or explicitly forbidden, it must be said that they handled it in one of the worst and most ineffective ways possible. Furthermore, once papal representatives (and the pope himself) began to permit, bless, and even occasionally use Gothic vestments for public masses, any remaining doubt about the permissibility of Gothic vestments was eliminated in the mind of Catholics around the world. 

Following the decree of 1957, Gothic vestments came to dominate the ecclesiastical landscape and their use for the last several decades has been essentially universal. Contrary to the expectations of the writer in America in 1910, it seems that the vast majority of priests in the mid-20th century did not adopt the Gothic with “heavy hearts” after all.  It is also interesting that the lighthearted commentary from 1926 now appears to be extraordinarily prescient: 

“The question of amplitude or non-amplitude in vestments will never, let it be hoped, rise, or descend, to schismatical proportions. There was a long dispute over the date of Easter. The war of the Vestments ought to be settled within a generation or two at the utmost.”[57]

And indeed it was.


[1] Denis Gwynn, The Second Spring, 1818-1852: a study of the Catholic revival in England (London: Burns & Oates, 1942), page 88.

[2] “Your correspondent, although what he refers to has happened many years ago, will never forget the impression he received when present one day at a High Mass celebrated by Dom Prosper Gueranger, Abbot of Solesmes, assisted by two of his monks, who were, like himself, arrayed in Gothic vestments. It was indeed priestly and decorous beyond expression. And Dom Gueranger has good claims to be considered a good judge in all liturgical matters.” See “Anent the Reform in Church Vestments” in The Ecclesiastical Review, March 1910, pp 349-350.

[3] Pamela Gilbert, This Restless Prelate: Bishop Peter Baines 1786-1832 (Herefordshire: Gracewing, 2006), pp 224-226.

[4] Edmund Sheridan Purcell, Life and Letters of Ambrose Phillipps de Lisle, Vol II (London: Macmillan, 1900), pp 220-221.

[5] Bernard Ward, The sequel to Catholic emancipation: the story of the English Catholics continued down to the re-establishment of their hierarchy in 1850 (London: Longman, Greens & Co, 1914), pp 13-14.

[6] The vestments were originally donated by Shrewsbury to Bishop Thomas Walsh for the purpose of use at the opening of all new Catholic churches in this period of revival and restoration. Shrewsbury was a friend and patron of Walsh and Pugin and a strong supporter of the Catholic Gothic Revival.

[7] Several examples of Wiseman’s continued use of Gothic vestments are: the opening of St. Anne’s Church, Whitechapel, on September 8, 1855, in a ceremony attended by the Bishops of Southwark, Amiens, and Troyes along with a large number of English and French clergy (see Freeman’s Journal, December 22, 1855, page 5); the opening of St. John’s Church, Brentford (see Freeman’s Journal, August 29, 1857, page 4); and the solemn 1858 Christmas Mass at Westminster cathedral (see The Pilot, January 22, 1859, page 5).

[8] Rev. Edwin Ryan writing in 1935 said: “When the canon [of the Westminster Synod] was examined at Rome the word “Gothic” was crossed out and “Roman” substituted, because the Roman authorities thought that the English bishops wanted some vestment connected with the Gothic or the Mozarabic rite; but when a set of “Gothic” vestments was shown to them they exclaimed: “Those are Roman vestments!”” (see “May we use ‘Gothic’ Vestments?” in The American Ecclesiastical Review, June 1934, page 576). Ryan’s account is not cited and has the classic flavor of an old wives’ tale, especially in light of the wording of the actual decree from the Synod. In any case, it is plausible enough that Wiseman did receive feedback on final phrasing regarding vestments given that some Vatican officials had long been aware and suspicious of Pugin, Walsh, and the general atmosphere of the English Catholic Revival.

[9] See The synods in English: being the text of the four synods of Westminster translated into English and arranged under headings (Stratford-on-Avon: St. Gregory’s Press, 1886), page 138. The original Latin text can be found in Acta et decreta primi concilii provincialis westmonasteriensis: habita Deo adjuvante mense Julio MDCCCLII (Paris: Migne, 1853), page 63.

[10] Polding was “quite taken with the sacred vestments which were designed and made under the supervision of Pugin for the Birmingham Cathedral’s consecration […] Over the next few decades, this new form of vestment, referred to as Gothic, became common throughout Australia” (see “Archbishop Polding’s Gothic Vision” at the blog In Diebus Illis: Historical notes and images of 19th century Australian Catholicism). The second Archbishop of Sydney Roger Vaughan, following Polding, also regularly wore and was photographed wearing Gothic vestments.

[11] For more on Willson’s relationship to Pugin and his influence in spreading Gothic architecture and vestments throughout Australia, see “The Pugin textiles of colonial Tasmania” in Margaret Ferguson, Treasured Threads: Ecclesiastical textile collections as living heritage of the Catholic Church in Australia. See also Brian Andrews, Creating a Gothic Paradise: Pugin at the Antipodes. The Archdiocese of Hobart Archives & Heritage Collection holds a sizable and invaluable collection surviving Pugin and Gothic vestments.

[12] The letter from the Bishop of Munster was dated June 10th, 1859, and Corazza’s lengthy reply (apparently it was quite strident and ran to an astonishing 140 pages) was delivered in the same year. It took three more decades before it would be published in the Analecta Juris Pontificii (March & April, nos. 239 and 240) in 1888. I do not believe that this volume of the Analecta has been digitized, but a lengthy summary of Bishop Müller’s arguments in favor of the Gothic, and Corazza’s response, are provided by Rev. James Connelly in the Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Vol 10 (1889), pp 593-603 & 1035-1042.

[13] See “The Pattern of the Chasuble for the Mass,” The Ecclesiastical Review, December 1909, pp 684 & 686. It is even alleged in later recountings that Corazza’s letter displeased Pius IX and that he directed it be suppressed, but this seems unlikely given that the Sacred Congregation of Rites took action just four years later.

[14] Translation taken from Rev. John O’Connell, The Celebration of Mass: A Study of the Rubrics of the Roman Missal, Vol I (Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Company, 1941), pp 266-267.

[15] The Nottinghamshire Guardian, April 22, 1870, page 2. The set was donated by nuns of Cologne, Germany and was valued at between £400-500 in 1870, or £39,180 adjusted for inflation as of June 2023 .

[16] The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide), November 3, 1873, page 2.

[17] See Sadliers’ Catholic Directory, Almanac and Ordo (1867), page 52; and Katherine Haas, The Fabric of Religion: Vestments and devotional Catholicism in nineteenth-century America, page 32.

[18] Freeman’s Journal (Sydney), August 20, 1887, page 17.

[19] The Daily Telegraph, January 26, 1894, page 5.

[20] Rev. Edwin Ryan, “May we use ‘Gothic’ Vestments?” in The American Ecclesiastical Review, June 1934, page 577. These comments seem to be confirmed by other sources:

  • Pius IX explicitly authorized Gothic vestments to be used by the French Dominicans and the Diocese of Moulins (see Raymund James, The Origin and Development of Roman liturgical vestments, page 28).

  • Pius X, in comments made to Msgr. Heinrich Swoboda and later relayed to the 1912 Eucharistic Congress of Vienna, praised the Gothic vestments used by German parishes in Rome which he had authorized and said “the vestments of the Mass must once more be made according to this beautiful large form” (see Roman liturgical vestments, page 28).

  • Pius X also, in responding to criticisms of the modern fiddleback chasuble by Msgr. Anton de Waal in 1906, said “Va perfettamenta ragione, e il piu brutto possibilie, questa forma” see (see “The Reform in Church Vestments,” Ecclesiastical Review, March 1910, page 320).

  • The widespread nature of Gothic vestments is noted in many places during these years, including: “… the use of the Gothic vestment is recognized in some of the principal churches of Italy, not excluding Rome, and especially England, Germany, Belgium, and parts of France” (see “The Pattern of the Chasuble for the Mass,” The Ecclesiastical Review, December 1909, page 686), and “In most of the churches of the archdiocese of Cologne hardly any other kind is used at present” (see “The Reform in Church Vestments,” page 320).

[21] “The Pattern of the Chasuble for the Mass,” The Ecclesiastical Review, December 1909, page 688.

[22] It is even claimed in a handful of sources that the 1863 letter did not, in fact, actually have the approbation of the pope. This claim is made by Rev. John Laux, CSSp  (writing under the pen name George Metlake, “The Reform in Church Vestments,” Ecclesiastical Review, March 1910, page 320) and for support he cites: “See Pruner, Pastoraltheologie, vol. I, p. 56; and Braun, Die priesterlichen Gewänder des Mittelalters, 174.” I have not been able to verify either citation and therefore cannot assess the credibility or details of the claim.

[23] See the Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Vol 5 (1884), page 56. The interpretation of the 1863 letter as permitting ongoing use of Gothic vestments but forbidding the manufacture of new ones appears to be fairly widespread and is attested to again in 1890: “But you will, perhaps, say, all this is very true, but we are not allowed to make new Gothic vestments. I am perfectly well aware that more than one diocese is restricted to the Roman shape, at least so far as concerns the manufacture of new vestments.” See Ernest Gilliat-Smith, “Ecclesiastical Vestments,” Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Vol 11 (1890), page 312.

[24] Lockhart’s commentary is fascinating. He argues that with the 1863 letter “no prohibition has been issued against a return, even to the largest form of the vestment in use previous to the Council of Trent” and that what the letter actually forbids was a return to these vestments in a way which appears to be an innovation. He says that “the change in the size and form of the vestment, in the sixteenth century [to the fiddleback-style chasuble] can only claim for itself toleration on the part of the Holy See” and “that the Sacred Congregation admits that there may be reasons of some weight, “rationes alicujus ponderis,”’ in favour of a return to the usage of antiquity, and distinctly invites an inquiry.” See Rev. William Lockhart, “The Gothic Chasuble,” Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Vol 11 (1890), pp 1084 & 1091. Lockhart’s article was reprinted and in places edited and expanded as The Chasuble: It’s Genuine Form and Size (London: Burns & Oates, 1891).

[25] Lockhart, “The Gothic Chasuble,” page 1084; see also Rev. John Walsh, The Mass and Vestments of the Catholic Church (Troy: Troy Times & Art Press, 1909), page 475.

[26] Ernest Gilliat-Smith, “Ecclesiastical Vestments,” Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Vol 11 (1890), page 312. Other writers already cited and quoted above, like Rev. James Connelly and Rev. William Lockhart, also wrote about how they favored the Gothic.

[27] Rev. Claude de Vert, writing in the early 1700s, heavily criticized “[the French vestment makers] who are allowed the liberty of nibbling, clipping, cutting, slashing, shortening, just as the whim may take them, chasubles, dalmatics, tunicles, and other priestly garments or ornaments which serve for the ministry of the altar; in a word, they give these vestments what shape they would like, without consulting the bishop” (English translation from Raymund James, The Origin and Development of Roman liturgical vestments, page 27; James does not cite the source, but it seems to be from Explication simple, litterale et historique des cérémonies de l’Eglise Vol 2). For more description and commentary of the trend of “the mutilation and even destruction” of vestments during these centuries, see Roman liturgical vestments, pp 19-27; see also  Rev. William Lockhart, The Chasuble: It’s Genuine Form and Size (London: Burns & Oates, 1891), pp 16-20.

[28] The Ecclesiastical Review, March 1926, page 309.

[29] Rev. William Lockhart, “The Gothic Chasuble,” Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Vol 11 (1890), page 1090.

[30] As quoted in “The Pattern of the Chasuble for the Mass,” The Ecclesiastical Review, December 1909, page 682. Other articles would cite additional comments from Van der Stappen on this topic:  “Of our present-day chasuble, which is said to be a French contrivance and partly the outcome of commercial motives and industrial accommodation, Van der Stappen says: ‘[…] In place of the former flowing robe gracefully falling over the body they thus produced a sort of fiddle-shaped garment which had to be cut in front so as to permit the free movement of the arms.’ Subsequently this form degenerated still further and under the commercial influence of French vestment-makers the front part was often arbitrarily reduced so as to expose the arms and shoulders of the priest standing at the altar. ‘This new fashion of commercial chasuble,’ continues the author, who writes for seminarists [sic], ‘is lacking in both beauty and due reverence and should be censured and rejected.’” See “Roman versus Gothic Vestments,” The Ecclesiastical Review, December 1925, page 629.

[31] “Anent the Reform in Church Vestments” The Ecclesiastical Review, March 1910, pp 349-350.

[32] “What Vestments Shall We Wear?” America, February 19, 1910, page 509.

[33] See “The Introduction of the Old Roman (Gothic) Chasuble,” The Ecclesiastical Review, January 1910, page 86; and “The Reform in Church Vestments,” Ecclesiastical Review, March 1910, page 321.

[34] See: Our Sunday Visitor, October 21, 1910, page 5; The Baltimore Sun, May 31, 1913, page 6; and The Catholic Telegraph, June 8, 1916, page 5.

[35] “The ‘Color Rosaceus’ for Laetare Sunday” in The Ecclesiastical Review, March 1914, page 326.

[36] The Catholic Telegraph, December 28, 1922, page 5.

[37] See The Catholic Telegraph, October 11, 1923, page 9; The Catholic Telegraph, April 17, 1924, page 5; The Catholic Telegraph, June 26, 1924, page 8; and The Catholic Columbian, September 12, 1924, page 3.

[38] The Advocate (Melbourne), June 4, 1925, page 15.

[39] Quote from Michael Sternbeck, “Styles and tradition in the chasubles of the Roman Rite” from the blog Saint Bede Studio. For more detail, see Dom E.A. Roulin, Vestments and Vesture: A Manual of Liturgical Art (London: Sands & Co, 1933), page 83. For general historical context on the exhibition in general, see Lucia Mannin, “Italian exhibitions of modern sacred art, from the early 20th century to the 1930,” pp 87-92.

[40] The original Latin of SRC rescript 4398 can be found in “May we use ‘Gothic’ Vestments?,”The American Ecclesiastical Review, June 1934, page 578. English translation adapted from The Celebration of Mass: A Study of the Rubrics of the Roman Missal, Vol I (Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Company, 1941), pp 265-266.

[41] “Roman versus Gothic Vestments,” The Ecclesiastical Review, December 1925, page 630.

[42] “The Gothic Vestment Once More, ”The Ecclesiastical Review, March 1926, page 309.

[43] “At once the rumor spread that ‘Gothic chasubles are forbidden’ and this was industriously circulated by many who disliked them. Discussions (not always temperate) ensued, consciences were troubled, [and] Catholic periodicals […] were deluged with requests for enlightenment[.]” See Rev. Edwin Ryan, “May we use ‘Gothic’ Vestments?” The American Ecclesiastical Review, June 1934, page 579.

[44] NCWC News Service, December 1, 1926, first page of wire copy ‘Christmas Supplement #2’.

[45] NCWC News Service, February 7, 1927, wire copy page 5.

[46] The Catholic Standard and Times, August 10, 1929, front page. This mass was attended by Bishop Joseph Murphy, SJ, a former classmate of Cunningham.

[47] “The Form of Vestments,” The American Ecclesiastical Review, April 1942, page 252. For more on this set of vestments, which remains occasionally in use today, see “The Pentecost Pontifical High Mass Set of Westminster Cathedral” at the blog Liturgical Arts Journal.

[48] The original photo and description are drawn from Raymund James in The Origin and Development of Roman Liturgical Vestments (Exeter: Catholic Records Press, 1934). These vestments were repeatedly described as Gothic vestments at the time (e.g. in James’ book), in years following (e.g. The American Ecclesiastical Review 1942), and even into the modern era (e.g. in 2006 and 2008). But there is apparently now some debate by modern liturgical commentators about whether these vestments truly qualify as Gothic vestments, likely due to the fact that the chasuble was photographed and displayed as part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2018 exhibition Heavenly bodies: fashion and the Catholic imagination and the modern photographs show that the vestments do not meet the technical specifications of “Gothic” style vestments. For example, Shawn Tribe of Liturgical Arts Journal has taken pains to emphasize that these vestments are not Gothic in a post on the subject dated June 21, 2021, even going so far as to claim that the original photo was ‘retouched’ to make the vestments look more ‘Gothic’. This is particularly interesting because Tribe himself had previously commented upon this exact photograph by saying, emphasis added: “The Origin and Development of Roman Liturgical Vestments by Raymund James [is] filled with interesting information, and some of the most interesting of liturgical photographs, including Pope Pius XI saying Mass in 1930 at the high altar of St. Peter’s wearing, wonderfully, a beautiful gothic chasuble[.]”

[49] “The Form of Vestments,” The American Ecclesiastical Review, April 1942, page 252.

[50] The Telegraph (Brisbane), November 30, 1934, page 7, and the Weekly Times (Melbourne), December 8, 1934. It was later recalled that “ there did not seem to be any shortage of Gothic vestments during the National Eucharistic Congress,” see The Advocate (Melbourne), July 18, 1935, page 24.

[51] The Herald (Melbourne), December 3, 1934, page 4.

[52] The Southern Cross (Adelaide), August 20, 1937, page 10. The co-consecrators were the Archbishop of Sydney and the Bishop of Wilcannia Forbes, and the ceremony was attended by three other bishops, fifty priests, and thousands of the faithful.

[53] “The Form of Vestments,” The American Ecclesiastical Review, April 1942, page 252.

[54] The Catholic Standard and Times, January 31, 1947, front page. Little America IV would also be the site of the first-ever ecclesiastical painting made on Antarctica, when in 1956 artist Robert Charles Haun would create a custom altar triptych for use at Catholic Mass in the mess hall.

[55] “The Gothic chasuble differs also in shape, and it is for this reason its use has been discouraged by the Roman authorities. There has been no public condemnation of it, as far as we are aware.” See The Irish Ecclesiastical Record, December 1918, page 512. The editors of the Record also discuss the 1863 letter in this same response, demonstrating that they do not view it as a condemnation of Gothic vestments as such.

[56] “It cannot be said that so many pious and God-fearing people–religious superiors, bishops, cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, the Pope himself, are infringing law” (see “The Form of Vestments,” The American Ecclesiastical Review, April 1942, page 253).

[57] The Catholic Transcript, April 15, 1926, page 4.




“What Vestments Shall We Wear?” America, February 19, 1910.

“Anent the Reform in Church Vestments.” The Ecclesiastical Review, no. March (1910).
“May We Use ‘Gothic’ Vestments?” The American Ecclesiastical Review, no. June (1934).
“Roman versus Gothic Vestments.” The Ecclesiastical Review December (1925).
“The ‘Color Rosaceus’ for Laetare Sunday.” The Ecclesiastical Review March (1914).
“The Form of Vestments.” The American Ecclesiastical Review April (1942).
“The Gothic Vestment Once More.” The Ecclesiastical Review March (1926).
“The Introduction of the Old Roman (Gothic) Chasuble.” The Ecclesiastical Review January (1910).
“The Pattern of the Chasuble for the Mass.” The Ecclesiastical Review December (1909).
“The Reform in Church Vestments.” Ecclesiastical Review March (1910).
“What Vestments Shall We Wear?” Ecclesiastical Review, April (1910).

“Ecclesiastical Vestments.” Irish Ecclesiastical Record XI (1890).
“Liturgy I: Gothic Vestments, Blue and White Vestments.” Irish Ecclesiastical Record V (1884).
“The Gothic Chasuble.” Irish Ecclesiastical Record X (1889).
“The Gothic Chasuble.” Irish Ecclesiastical Record XI (1890).
“Various Liturgical Difficulties.” The Irish Ecclesiastical Record XII (1918).


Australian Newspapers

The Advocate. June 4, 1925.
The Advocate. July 18, 1935.
The Express and Telegraph. November 3, 1873.
Freeman’s Journal
. December 22, 1855.
Freeman’s Journal. August 29, 1857.
Freeman’s Journal. August 20, 1887.
The Herald. December 3, 1934.
The Southern Cross. August 20, 1937.
The Telegraph. November 30, 1934.
Weekly Times. December 8, 1934.

UK Newspapers

Dumfries and Galloway Standard and Advertiser. November 2, 1853
The Daily Telegraph. January 26, 1894.
The Nottinghamshire Guardian. April 22, 1870.

US Newspapers

NCWC News Service, May 28, 1923
NCWC News Service. December 1, 1926.
NCWC News Service. February 7, 1927.
NCWC News Service. August 31, 1957.
Our Sunday Visitor. October 21, 1910.
The Baltimore Sun. May 31, 1913.
The Catholic Columbian. September 12, 1924.
The Catholic Standard and Times. August 10, 1929.
The Catholic Standard and Times. January 31, 1947.
The Catholic Telegraph. June 8, 1916.
The Catholic Telegraph. December 28, 1922.
The Catholic Telegraph. October 11, 1923.
The Catholic Telegraph. April 17, 1924.
The Catholic Telegraph. June 26, 1924.
The Catholic Transcript. April 15, 1926.
The Pilot. January 22, 1859.


Acta et Decreta Primi Concilii Provincialis Westmonasteriensis: Habita Deo Adjuvante Mense Julio MDCCCLII. Paris: Migne, 1853.
Lockhart, William. The Chasuble: It’s Genuine Form and Size. London: Burns & Oates, 1891.
Roulin, E. A. Vestments and Vesture: A Manual of Liturgical Art. London: Sands & Co, 1933.
Sadliers’ Catholic Directory, Almanac and Ordo. New York: D & J Sadlier & Co, 1867.
The Synods in English: Being the Text of the Four Synods of Westminster Translated into English and Arranged under Headings
. Stratford-on-Avon: St. Gregory’s Press, 1886.
Walsh, John. The Mass and Vestments of the Catholic Church. Troy: Troy Times & Art Press, 1909.



Gilbert, Pamela. This Restless Prelate: Bishop Peter Baines 1786-1832. Herefordshire: Gracewing, 2006.
Gwynn, Denis. The Second Spring, 1818-1852: A Study of the Catholic Revival in England. London: Burns & Oates, 1942.
James, Raymund. The Origin and Development of Roman Liturgical Vestments. Exeter: Catholic Records Press, 1934.
Purcell, Edmund Sheridan. Life and Letters of Ambrose Phillipps de Lisle. Vol. II. London: Macmillan, 1900.
O’Connell, John. The Celebration of Mass: A Study of the Rubrics of the Roman Missal. Vol. I. Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Company, 1941.
Ward, Bernard. The Sequel to Catholic Emancipation: The Story of the English Catholics Continued down to the Re-Establishment of Their Hierarchy in 1850. London: Longman, Greens & Co, 1914.

Theses, Papers, Etc

Andrews, Brian. “Creating a Gothic Paradise: Pugin at the Antipodes.” Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s National Touring Exhibition, 2002. https://www.tmag.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/66682/Pugin_Kit.pdf.
Ferguson, Margaret. “Treasured Threads: Ecclesiastical Textile Collections as Living Heritage of the Catholic Church in Australia.” Unpublished thesis, University of Canberra, 2019. https://researchsystem.canberra.edu.au/ws/portalfiles/portal/33684477/file.
Haas, Katherine. “The Fabric of Religion: Vestments and Devotional Catholicism in Nineteenth-Century America.” Unpublished thesis, University of Delaware, 2004. https://udspace.udel.edu/server/api/core/bitstreams/64f5a12e-82bc-4c0d-8601-f4fcb26acd97/content.
“Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination (Vatican Collection Exhibition Checklist).” Metropolitan Museum of Art, Anna Wintour Costume Center, 2018. https://libmma.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16028coll1/id/36196/rec/1.
Mannin, Lucia. “Italian Exhibitions of Modern Sacred Art, from the Early 20th Century to the 1930.” Lorenzo de’ Medici Press, 2019. https://www.academia.edu/38676325/Italian_exhibitions_of_modern_sacred_art_from_the_early_20th_century_to_the_1930s_Mostre_italiane_di_arte_sacra_moderna_tra_l_inizio_del_Novecento_e_i_primi_anni_Trenta.

Blog posts

Fassino, Nico [@HandMissals]. 2023. “Hand Missal History Project thread on Catholicism in Antarctica.” Twitter, https://twitter.com/HandMissals/status/1676968030730080256.
Hawker, Richard. “The Pentecost Pontifical High Mass Set of Westminster Cathedral.” Liturgical Arts Journal (blog), June 5, 2020. https://www.liturgicalartsjournal.com/2020/06/the-pentecost-pontifical-high-mass-set.html.
In Diebus Illis: Historical notes and images of 19th century Australian Catholicism. “Archbishop Polding’s Gothic Vision,” March 25, 2019. https://inthosedayes.blogspot.com/2019/03/.
Sternbeck, Michael. “Styles and Tradition in the Chasubles of the Roman Rite.” The Saint Bede Studio Blog (blog), February 26, 2008. http://saintbedestudio.blogspot.com/2008/02/styles-and-tradition-in-chasuble-of.html.
Tribe, Shawn. “On the Origins and Development of Vestments. Part I: Origins.” New Liturgical Movement (blog), July 29, 2006.

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