Bishop: Don't wear summer outfits to church

Posted at 03/19/2012 4:32 PM | Updated as of 03/19/2012 4:33 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- After a Manila archbishop urged the faithful to refrain from frivolities in weddings, another bishop scored a certain group of Catholics, this time those who wear summer outfits to church.

Legazpi City Bishop Joel Baylon, chairman of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), urged churchgoers, particularly the youth, to observe proper attire when they hear mass.

"I think the Lord deserves more than simply shorts and sneakers," Baylon told reporters. "If we prepare for the coming of the president or governor and we are in our best clothes, what more when it's for the Lord?"

The CBCP official added that the summer heat is "not an excuse" to wear skimpy shorts and blouses in churches, noting that Filipinos seemed to have picked up the habit of wearing "comfortable clothes" from Western culture.

Some churches in Manila have dress codes prohibiting sleeveless tops, skimpy skirts and shorts, and blouses with plunging necklines.

While there is no strict rule against those who would violate the dress code during church activities, Baylon said a Catholic should still be "properly dressed" when facing God.

"There are clothes appropriate for certain occasions," he said.

Early this month, Manila Archbishop Luis Tagle noted that some Filipino Catholics have been treating the sacraments as venues for "social gathering or cultural traditions" instead of focusing on the spiritual meaning of these rituals.

Tagle cited a number of incidents, from couples having dogs as wedding ring bearers to releasing butterflies as the bride enters the church.

"That is no longer faith. That's a gimmick. Paborloloy, ka-ek-ekan na lang 'yan," he said about the modern features of marital rites.