Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dressed in your Sunday Finest?

St Anthony's Church at Woodlands dropped its controversial dress code last week.
Cool heads have prevailed and I think that’s the wisest move at this time.

The idea of a dress code is acceptable. After all,  there are dress codes for temples, mosques, social functions, even for business. A proper dress code ensure propriety for that particular place or event. 

It's just the enforcement that I object to. 
The thing I personally dislike is that some wardens have become the morality police. 
Aren’t they infringing my rights as a catholic to receive communion. 
Are they sure they wish to take the responsibility of denying me the sacraments just because I may be in shorts or wearing sandals?
Dress codes are a guide and should never be a deterrent especially in a church.

 It’s not going to help if there’s no accepted standard definition, and rules are unilaterally laid down according a particularly perceived idea of decency. Ultimately the loser will be the church when parishioners stop attending simply because their dress styles or values differ slightly from the rules defined by the local parish.
What would St Francis at his tiny church on the plains of Assisi have said?
Don’t come in! You smell of sheep, your feet are covered with mud from the fields,
or would he have said Come and share in the Lord’s table?

Most Catholics know the boundaries of being dressed properly for church. 
Some do test the limits, but while most may not be in their Sunday best , they do try to maintain an  acceptable level of decency in today’s societal norm.

Of course, it helps if the pastor comes out once in a while to remind everyone. 
Keeping silent too long may simply compound the issue.

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