Tonsure or not?

I have wrestled with the problem a longer time. Properly, Falco ought to be tonsured, having already received minor orders. The tonsure during the 19th and early 20th century was not larger than a host (some orders used the measurement 'three fingers wide'). According to Wikipedia, "failing to maintain tonsure was the equivalent of attempting to abandon one's clerical state, and in the 1917 Code of Canon Law, any cleric in minor orders (or simply tonsured) who did not resume the tonsure within a month after being warned by his Ordinary, lost the clerical state". The tonsura (or corona clericalis) was, however, not required for clerics serving in countries with a non-Catholic majority population. Perhaps this is Falco's convenient excuse - his order expects him to serve in various countries, also such that target Catholics for persecution.

I have encountered the tonsure in anti-Catholic literature as well as nostalgic Catholic art. In German writer Eugenie Marlitt's novel Die zweite Frau from 1874, a Catholic priest is making an unwelcome advance at the noble Lutheran heroine. The scene could be described as exploitative - the lady is horrified, but also attracted by the priest's abandon of moral control. The sing that makes her break out of his spell is the sight of his tonsure:
Er trat plötzlich unter einem leidenschaftlichen Zurückwerfen des Kopfes auf sie zu und breitete niedersinkend beide Arme aus, um die Kniee der jungen Frau flehend zu umfassen — das grüne Lampenlicht floß grell über das marmorartige Oval seines Gesichts, über den leblosen weißen Fleck inmitten der dunkellockigen Haarmassen — ihr war, als zeige ein unsichtbarer Finger auf diesen Fleck als auf ein Kainszeichen — sie floh, während ihre schönen Hände wild nach dem knieenden Manne stießen.
The novel was written during Chancellor Bismarck's Kulturkampf ("culture struggle") against the Catholic church in the Second Reich, and is a clear example of literary anti-Catholic propaganda. There are more interesting themes in the novel (the "second woman" of the title is either the heroine, who marries a seemingly loveless and superior nobleman, or the nobleman's brother's Oriental concubine, who is the focal point of a conspiracy where the priest plays the villain).

The tonsure fell gradually out of use (except for a ceremonial cutting of hair during the ordination). As of 15 August 1972, first tonsure is no longer conferred, except for certain orders who retain the right. Some nice examples of tonsures can be spotted in the naivist painter Baldino's works.

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