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Bishop reminds faithful of ‘dress code’ inside churches

MANILA, Philippines - A Catholic bishop on Wednesday said that "freedom of expression" should not be used as an excuse for some churchgoers who continue to ignore a "dress code" inside the church. Davao archbishop Fernando Capalla said it is foolish to invoke personal freedom in the choice of dress for liturgical functions. "We have to admit that, while living in society, our personal freedom is limited by the rights of others. And if we want to live in peace and harmony with others we have to observe certain proprieties of behavior," he said in a statement on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines website. Capalla said the dress code is a sign of propriety and reminded all Catholics in the archdiocese that liturgical functions require decent and simple attire. According to him, he issued the reminder not because he took offense felt insulted, but he is simply concerned about order and propriety in human relations. "This applies to both ministers and the faithful and there are liturgical guidelines to this effect," he said. "I am only supporting what the home, the school, and social and civic institutions are supposed to be doing on this matter," he added. Capalla said that in the celebration of the Eucharist, which the Church considers a solemn occasion, churchgoers are required to be in their decent attire. "Everyone should be able to dress up simply and decently even not elegantly for Mass. (But) to come to Mass in short pants or jogging pants would be out of place and can be very improper and unbecoming (behavior). Short pants are for the person's privacy or sporting occasions, so are the jogging pants. Beach wear and working outfits are not for the solemn and sacred celebration like the Mass," he stressed. "Sunday best has become a common expression of people who know the value of the Sunday celebration and so those who pride themselves on self-respect choose the best for the Lord. I am not very sure now whether that passage in the Gospel where an invited guest was thrown out because he was not dressed properly, is applicable here. It seems it is," he added. - GMANews.TV