Diocesan Coat of Arms
  • tandrews
    Posts: 70
    I've just been reprimanded for using the diocesan coat of arms on the Cathedral's worship aid "because parishes are separate entities from a diocese and only diocesan events can use it." Has anyone else experienced this rule?

    This seems like bureaucratic nonsense. We are part of the diocese, shouldn't we be able to use it? Additionally, at the very least, shouldn't a cathedral be allowed to use it regardless, as it is the main parish of the diocese?

    Thankfully I have plenty of liturgical art provided by CMAA, so thank you for that!

    Just blowing off some steam.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,232
    It does seem strange that there would be some kind of separation between a diocese and the cathedral which is the very seat of the bishop. The cathedral is more the heart of the diocese than any other institution within it, and if the cathedral doesn't have the diocesan arms mounted and displayed somewhere, I will be surprised. On the other hand, there's so much fussy detail about heraldry, I wouldn't be surprised whatever the actual protocol is.

    It might be worthwhile to take your question to an expert on heraldry, if you can find one.

    If you do have to limit your use of the diocesan arms, perhaps it would be appropriate to use the bishop's personal coat of arms in cathedral programs.
  • If you are not stating diocesan position on a given subject, but just making a worship aid, this is just my $0.02 but I guess whoever it was that issued the reprimand would make a difference to whether or not I developed any "steam" about it.
    well known parishioner?
    Pastor?
    Chancery office?
    the Bishop himself?
    :-)
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,218
    I think it is astonishing that anyone would question the cathedral's display of the diocesan arms. Rather than being prohibited, its display should be presumed. It is, after all, the very seat of the bishop. Its display by any other church than the cathedral would certainly be inappropriate.

    On the other hand, all diocesan service folders at Walsingham (for ordinations, etc.) display the ordinariate (diocesan) arms, not Bishop Lopes's personal arms, which are different. Perhaps this distinction is at the root of your objections.
  • tandrews
    Posts: 70
    well known parishioner?
    Pastor?
    Chancery office?
    the Bishop himself?


    The director of communications for the diocese.

    We do have the coat of arms set in the marble floor of the Cathedral, so there's at least that.

    I've always known worship aids at other parishes I've worked at (APCK, Ordinariate) display the coat of arms without ever any fuss, and people almost forgot it was there.

    I will look into asking an expert on heraldry.

    Alternatively, is there any rules against displaying the Vatican coat of arms, or do I need permission for that too?
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,218
    A herald only designs arms.
    I don't think that he would have an answer to your dilemma.
    Your diocesan arms should be legitimately displayed on any official diocesan document - which a cathedral service folder certainly is.
    I think that you are being given specious information regarding the valid use of your diocesan arms.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,232
    I would expect a corporate director of communications to think of a coat of arms as a type of corporate advertising logo, a part of official branding, and a product of his own office, only for use on corporate projects at his discretion.
  • Andrew Malton
    Posts: 816
    Is this in a place where there are laws concerning the use of heraldry? The UK?

    Or a place where arms are legally protected like trade marks? That's true here (Canada) but you have to pay extra. Much like any other trade mark.

    Otherwise it is basically a corporate branding issue. Follow the organisation's rules, they define what "valid use" is. If they don't have any, you can do what you please. That's why you can buy "coat of arms of your family" on the internet-- it means nothing.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,641
    This is common.
  • Marc Cerisier
    Posts: 437
    The diocesan crest is currently being used as the Cathedral logo at my former cathedral. What we reserved for this bishops presence was his crest. Are you a CRCCM member? If you are, we have an archive of programs from across the country in the member area and I think you’d find the diocesan crest often used.
  • TAndrews,

    How is a cathedral's worship aid NOT an official act of the diocese?
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,914
    A Cathedral is a building, it accomodates diocesan services and parish services. The Cathedral parish has no more right (and no less) to use the diocesan coat of arms than does any other parish. That's England and Catholic, other countries and denominations may have different legal structures. I have been active in two Metropolitan cathedral parishes, but I never saw myself as having a diocesan function. When I was a member of the parish liturgy committee, we organised the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday, but had nothing whatsoever to do with the Chrism Mass which had taken place earlier in the same space on the same day.
    Of course sacristans, organists and clergy may well have been engaged in both services.
    Thanked by 1PaxMelodious
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,014
    Possibly a legacy of the historical existence of a culture of deans, chapters and things like that? There are no chapters or deans for Catholic cathedrals in the US.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Hawkins,

    Let me rephrase.
    The Cathedral is the bishop's parish because it's where the bishop's seat is. It seems, therefore, that the Cathedral represents (by default) the bishop's attitude toward just about everything. He's supposed to be a model of liturgical discipline, and his church is supposed to have the finest music for this reason. An Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in the crypt or the social hall might (arguably) not be a direct statement of the bishop, but a Gay Pride Mass celebrated in that cathedral (whether or not the bishop is the celebrant) is, nevertheless an act of the bishop. This is why TLM's are not held in many cathedrals: it would signal to the diocese that the bishop approved, and wished to be known as one who approved. (Some who approve seem to think they must move cautiously on this, while they move with reckless abandon on other things.)

    Therefore, an act of worship in the cathedral, in which worship aids are provided, can't help but be an act of the diocesan bishop, for the diocese.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,914
    Yes we have Provosts and Chapters, which are diocesan, and the clergy serving the Cathedrals are listed among parishes, in another part of the directory.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,014
    In the USA, Catholic cathedrals typically have rectors; they may or may not be organized as territorial parishes - in the latter case, rector is the canonically correct term, but customary usage goes beyond that.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,641
    It could also be that the rest of the document didn’t follow the Diocesan style guide that goes along with the coat of arms, perhaps using a color scheme or font that was not approved. Perhaps ask if there’s anything you can do to allow yourself to use the coat of arms.
    Thanked by 1chonak
  • Is the bishop the one celebrating the Mass for this particular event? If not, then I would think they're totally justified in restricting the use of it.
  • tandrews
    Posts: 70
    How is a cathedral's worship aid NOT an official act of the diocese?


    I am in charge of producing the worship aids for the Cathedral, being its DM. I am not employed directly by the diocese, but rather the parish itself.

    AFHawkins explained it quite well for my liking. I still don't like not being able to use it, but I can understand his explanation should that be the case at the diocesan level.

    As far as style is concerned there is nothing on the diocesan webpage to explain anything. This is hopefully an oversight, and if I push the issue I'm sure a style guide will be made real quick.

  • GerardH
    Posts: 144
    Perhaps the cathedral itself has its own crest? This is at least the case in my diocese. There is distinct heraldry for each of:

    • the cathedral
    • the archdiocese
    • the archbishop and each auxiliary bishop

    Service booklets use the cathedral's crest.
    Thanked by 1a_f_hawkins
  • tandrews
    Posts: 70
    That crossed my mind, to have a Cathedral coat of arms, that way I could avoid all this red tape.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,914
    tandrews - this page describes a priest knowledgable about ecclesiastical heraldry. He might be worth consulting.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • PaxMelodious
    Posts: 318
    Coat of arms???@
    Did Jesus have one?
    Thanked by 1chonak
  • Tournemire
    Posts: 71
    I would suggest using the bishop's coat of arms since the cathedral holds his cathedra. (Unless you get reprimanded for that as well...)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,494
    So what does the bishop say about all this? Did anyone ask him?
    Thanked by 1irishtenor
  • tandrews
    Posts: 70
    I'm about to, and it crossed my mind!

    The pessimist in me thinks I could get his approval, but given his old age, the same communications director would tell the bishop he doesn't have the authority to do that (ha!)...
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,218
    .