Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Truth Is Stranger #8: The Church War on Navels

An Italian priest has announced a ban on midriffs during Mass (female midriffs are mentioned, but I sure hope this is equal opportunity....). I'm not sure this is ironic as much as a generally good and somewhat amusing idea, but check the last paragraph of this story:

Guards at major churches in Italy routinely keep out people wearing skimpy attire. But Father Felice says he resorted to the signs because his parish cannot afford guards to keep out the low-cut jeans and high-cut tops, newspapers reported Monday.
Hired guards? Whoa.

Then again, I can't see the hospitality ministers at the door saying "Peace to all, and welcome to our community! Now get on a T-shirt, wench! Or else!"



The Ironic Catholic said...

And there is that point about Jesus eating with sinners, prostitutes, tax collectors...and blocking out those who Jesus came to redeem....

Big Tom said...

That's a great selective paraphrase from scripture, but let's not forget the parable where the wedding guests are thrown out of the banquet because they didn't come in appropriate attire!

Allowing in "bad" clothing scandalizes the assembly gathered and can (note I didn't say it always does, just that it can) make it difficult for some members of the assembly to "fully, consciously and actively" participate in the liturgy. At the same time, the parish must of course be wary of scandalizing the faithful by seeming like an exclusive social club. It is a fine line to walk with slippery slopes on either side. We can all agree though that God calls us to strive for that narrow line and not settle for less just because we are sinful.

I support this priest now, but with full knowledge that this could easily devolve into something far messier than half-naked men and women in the assembly.

God bless,


MissJean said...

So, where's the part in the Gospel about the prostitutes soliciting the Apostles and the tax collectors extorting money when they ate with Jesus? ;)

The Ironic Catholic said...

Big Tom, I agree with you more than not. It usually isn't difficult or a hardship for people to put on something modest for worship. Like you say it is a slippery slope though. And hired guards may be the banana peel on that slope, IMHO.

Missjean, did I say anything prostitutes and solcitations? (confused)

Smile on, folks. Thanks for reading.

St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

Ah, someone channelling St. Padre Pio, eh? Can we get some of that saltiness here in the U.S.? Please?