Rorate Caeli

The example of Colombo Cathedral

The Union of Asian Catholic News published this article today:
Sri Lankan lay Catholics call for dress code

The Catholic National Association of Laity (CNAL) in Sri Lanka has backed calls for people of all faiths to dress modestly in places of worship.

CNAL is worried about the wearing of increasingly revealing clothing during church feasts, weddings and Sunday Masses.

In an appeal to worshippers, Victor Silva, secretary of CNAL, noted “with great sadness and dismay the unfortunate trend among some Catholic lay faithful to be dressed in an immodest and most disrespectful manner when participating in liturgical services, with scant attention to the sense of the sacred.”

Sri Lankan authorities have already ordered the pulling down of billboards featuring women showing extra cleavage or exposing thighs to advertise products or services.

The call by CNAL comes as part of a drive to have churchgoers dress appropriately during religious ceremonies.

Many Catholics have complained that churchgoers in Colombo turn up for services in short skirts, halter tops, low cut blouses and shorts.

The Sri Lankan government has set up a panel of different faiths to prepare a dress code for places of worship.

The article is accompanied by a picture (see above) indicating that in the Cathedral of Colombo, Sri Lanka, women are now required to use the veil during Mass.

The drive to have women wear the veil when attending Mass at Colombo Cathedral seems to have begun last year, when, according to a September 2010 article in UCAN, the cathedral priests began insisting on an appropriate dress code for those attending Mass. (Previously, the wearing of the veil for Mass was limited mostly to women from the Tamil ethnic minority -- see this article.)

24 comments:

Kathleen said...

So, do they take immigrants? =)

May God bless their effort, we can certainly use the good example.

Anonymous said...

Can your blog confirm that a protest against Bishop Fellay is planned at Menzingen in early February?

Anonymous said...

Ranjith is going to be the next Pope. Case closed.

mundabor said...

Excellent news. In time, even Europe will not be able to resist this wind of *good* change.

Mundabor

Jack said...

While I like to see women cover their heads by veils or hats, I have no wife or daughter or even financée to enforce this.

It's as beautiful custom, but lack of a head covering should not become an excuse for not coming to Church.

Matthew the Curmudgeon said...

Yes, but what about short skirts/dresses, shorts, low cut blouses/dresses, tight jeans/pants? If these have not been addressed then what good is the veil, which I approve of, but is of lesser importance IMNSHO.

Auricularis said...

Thank you for reporting this.

Anonymous said...

I repeat the following from a few weeks ago:

I realize that it was not Mass, but during the bare-chested acrobatic performance for Pope Benedict XVI, the acrobatic performance in question also included a woman dressed in skin-tight clothing.

Said woman strutted provocatively on stage in front of the Pope, Cardinals and everybody in attendance.

Immodest attire is simply part of the collapse of the overall post-Vatican Catholic structure.

jorge calderon said...

por favor quizas la traducción no está bien , pero la noticia dice : vestir decentemente para todas las religiones,yo creo que hay una sola verdaderamente santa, las otras de que les puede servir vestir o no vestir decentemente si no le rezan al único verdadero Dios , si fuera de la Iglesia no hay salvación, si visto un mono de fiesta va a seguir siendo mono y va a actuar como mono, disculpe el ejemplo, si un musulman va decentemente a la meca, seguirá siendo musulma, y asi con los judios, los protestantes etc. si no es Cristo el centro de todo y todo para ÉL NO SIRVE DE NADA , saludos en Cristo Nuestro Señor , jorge

Kathleen said...

As far as lack of hair covering becoming some kind of hurdle -- Women can and do use a tissue in a pinch.

And once women become used to the practice again they start doing simple, practical things like tucking one of the inexpensive veils that have their own little case in their purse and/or car glove box to have for spontaneous stops at church. Or they tuck in a lovely little chiffon scarf.

Problem solved.

As far as the worry that somehow correcting the veil problem precludes correcting the modesty problem -- it appears this effort is specifically directed at both.

Anonymous said...

"The Catholic National Association of Laity (CNAL) in Sri Lanka has backed calls for people of all faiths to dress modestly in places of worship."

Why does the CNAL care what people who participate in false worship wear? Is it that they see value in false religions? Perhaps they are too timorous to speak frankly to their own flock? Sorry, but it's typical of liberal, modern man.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this will happen at the next World Youth Day so it's not so pornographic.

Joe B said...

It's the female equivalent to a man taking off his hat in church, which is a bit more than just a custom. Where I go, nobody criticizes women who don't wear a veil, but they all seem to start wearing them soon or they go away. I suspect it's not the main issue. I also see a consistent pattern of more and more modesty in dress with women who keep coming, although again, I don't think anybody confronts visitors on the matter. But this is an SSPX chapel, and I've noticed a distinct difference in them versus the FSSP faithful I attend Mass with, who don't seem to dress as modestly or wear veils as consistently. But that's just anecdotal.

Anonymous said...

I assist at a diocesan TLM in New Orleans. Of the regulars, I would say modest dress for women is about 99%. There are sometimes visitors who dress like they usually do for a N.O. Mass (immodestly or slovenly). Of that same group, I would say approximately 50% wear the veil or some other covering of the head. Not bad but could be better.

As far as the men, probably about 40% wear a jacket of some sort. Another 50% slacks and collared shirt. The rest blue jeans or some such. Again, not bad but could be better.

I'm told once upon a time a woman wouldn't be caught dead in Church without a veil nor a man without being in suit and tie and his hat removed.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news for a change.
God Bless the Sri Lankan lay Catholics call for dress code.

Anonymous said...

"Why does the CNAL care what people who participate in false worship wear? Is it that they see value in false religions? Perhaps they are too timorous to speak frankly to their own flock?.."
_________
Anon 20;32, Jorge Calderon in his Spanish, basically raises the same questions.

Long-Skirts said...

"Many Catholics have complained that churchgoers in Colombo turn up for services in short skirts, halter tops, low cut blouses and shorts."

America is even WORSE. We attend an SSPX Chapel and almost everyone dresses modestly, Deo Gratias...but when there are weddings the way other Catholic relatives(they don't assist at an SSPX Masses) dress is almost shocking at times but the truth is their Priests don't ever speak to them anymore about how they should appear before the Blessed Sacrament so I think many are not culpable. So sad.


IN
EDEN’S
GARDEN

The banquet table
Was all set,
Nourishment
All free from debt.

They only had to
Wear some clothes
That covered them
Since Adam’s woes.

Not the best,
Nor what’s called shoddy
A sheath for soul
Which follows body.

But necks all stiff
Backs ram-rod straight
They shrugged and said,
“Can’t make that date.”

And this from mothers,
Daughters, hapless
Demanding Eves
Who wear skins strapless.

No mea culpas
Pleas for pardon…
But bob for apples
In Eden’s Garden!

Anonymous said...

Joe B,
Faithful attending FSSP are not exclusively fully traditional (although some of them might be). I attended several times an FSSP parish when not a FSSPX available, and I noticed the difference as well. In a FSSP parish there are people attending just because they like "the old fashion way" or convenient schedule or location, and even to avoid super liberal parishes. I found a variety of people there. In a FSSPX or any other exclusively traditional parish or chapel, faithful tend to be there for a more conscious reason and a more explicit choice. At least, it is the way I have perceived it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but what about short skirts/dresses, shorts, low cut blouses/dresses, tight jeans/pants? If these have not been addressed then what good is the veil, which I approve of, but is of lesser importance IMNSHO.


Maybe they should just wear longer veils. LOL.

The veils on the nuns that taught me, back in the old days, were longer than most women's skirts/dresses today.

Pascendi said...

Anonymous 1947,

At least "said woman" was not overweight nor wearing a baseball cap.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

A very prominent Traditionalist leader once told me in an email that Traditionalists form a firing squad by standing in a circle. This thread is an excellent example. I am, really, really disappointed at the determination of some of the people here to find something to complain about even in the best of news. With "friends" like you, the Trad world needs no enemies.

It is quite OBVIOUS from my post that the dress code in Colombo Cathedral is not just about the veil, but about the way women dress their whole bodies. Hence I cannot, CANNOT understand why there is this ranting about how veiling is useless when the rest of the body is immodestly dressed.

As for insane insinuation that the CNAL is liberal because it cares about how non-Catholics dress in their temples, well, what do you want them to do? Will CNAL be more Catholic if it tells non-Catholics to please go naked to their temples? What a way to act Catholic!

Modest dress is for everyone, not just Catholics. Naturally, inculcating in people the need to wear modest dress at all times will have to start somewhere, and telling people to dress modestly for occasions that they hold to be important (such as going to a temple) is the obvious starting point. Given that Sri Lanka is overwhelmingly Buddhist and Hindu, any attempt to inculcate modest dress among its small Catholic minority will have little effect so long as the prevailing non-Catholic culture is in favor of immodest dress. What the Church in Sri Lanka is trying to do is nothing less than to get everyone, even non-Catholics, to conform to modest clothing -- an unthinkably "medieval" and "preconciliar" move by the standards of our time.

dcs said...

Mr. Palad,

Thanks for the timely reminder. The way people dress when they worship is bound to be a reflection of the way they dress in their ordinary lives. It is no accident that a loss of the sense of modesty in church has been accompanied by an overall loss of that same sense in society at large.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind modesty in dress but that doesn't mean I enjoy wearing Suits, Long Skirts and veils to Church.
I am sorry but as long as my Family and I are well groom and decently dress I am sure God will not turn me down.

Any stones coming my way, God will send them back to you.

But yes I am for modesty of dress.

Paul Haley said...

One of the things which made me seek out the TLM was a NO Mass in the 80s at which a young woman appeared in the vestibule and proceeded to prance down the middle aisle, arm-in-arm with her beau, displaying an extraordinary amount of cleavage and everyone in the church, it seemed, craned their necks to see what all the fuss was about. Everyone, that is, except me as I got up and left that Church - nevermore again to witness such blasphemies. Soon, we were advised that the pastor(?) of such a church had left the priesthood to get married. Is it any wonder that our beloved church is failing so dramatically to preach what is right and proper?