Tuesday, February 7, 2012

No entry to church if you turn up in this....

My Paper, Tuesday, Feburary 7, 2012, Page A2, Home
From http://epaper.mypaper.sg/cnd/fvxen/fvxp/fvxpress.php?param=2012-02-07
Source Website: http://www.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Singapore/Story/A1Story20120207-326228.html
By Sarah Chang, schang@sph.com.sg, my paper, Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012

PHOTO: Suit-able?: The samfoo that Ms Lisa Chew wore to church.
My Paper, Tuesday, Feburary 7, 2012, Page A2, Home

A WOMAN who went for Sunday mass at a Catholic church two weeks ago was shocked when a church warden approached her after the service and took issue with her outfit.

Ms Lisa Chew, a housewife in her 50s, was wearing a pink samfoo, a Chinese-style pantsuit that ended about 5cm above her ankles.

She was at the Church of St Anthony in Woodlands with her husband, Mr Eric Alagan, 56, a business consultant.

They have attended services at the church for more than a decade.

The warden, who looked to be in her 20s, told Ms Chew politely that she would not be allowed into the church if she turned up in the attire again, said Mr Alagan.

She was then handed a letter reminding her not to wear clothing that does not conform to the church's dress code.

The couple knew what the letter was about as they had seen wardens handing out similar letters in previous weeks' masses.

Ms Chew was taken aback as she had worn a similar outfit to the church last month but was not approached.

First mooted by the church in February last year, the dress code was implemented in December.

The guidelines were published in the church's weekly bulletin on Jan 1. The bulletin was given out to all churchgoers.

The code allows women to wear skirts or dresses that end 2.5cm to 5cm above the knees.

So, "it doesn't make sense" that a samfoo pantsuit that ends just 5cm above the ankles is not allowed, said Mr Alagan.

He said: "Be reasonable and consistent. That's all I'm asking for."

Mr Alagan asked the parish priest via e-mail how the pantsuit "offended any sensitivities, or outraged anyone's modesty".

He added that "the priest's e-mailed reply read, 'There is no mention of modesty or immodesty. We say it is appropriate for pants to be full-length' ".

Frustrated with the reply, he posted a photo of his wife's outfit on citizen-journalism website Stomp last Friday.

The post has attracted over 26,000 views and about 165 comments.

Posted by Eric Alagan, Friday, 03 Feb 2012 (Written Words Never Die ~ Poems, micro-fictions, thoughts...)

Some netizens think that churchgoers should follow the rules set by their church, while others consider the rules to be too "puritanical" (Rigorous in religious observance).

One netizen said: "I really don't see what is wrong with her dress. I can understand mini skirts being frowned (upon), but this is not in that league."

Another said: "What you wear speaks (volumes) about you. As a lawyer, you will not wear three-quarter pants to court because" it shows a lack of respect for the institution."

my paper contacted the church on Sunday for an explanation.

The Archdiocese of Singapore replied in an e-mail yesterday that it is reviewing the dress codes of all 31 parishes here to decide whether the guidelines should be "implemented at the Archdiocese (the district or churches under the jurisdiction of a bishop) level".

Dress codes at Catholic churches have become stricter in recent years. Novena Church's Father Clement Lee told my paper that a standardisation of dress-code guidelines may turn out to be "counter-productive" for the majority of parishioners.

"The challenge will be to make these guidelines applicable to the majority. But then again, most are already doing their part," he said.

"These are guidelines, not impositions. They are supposed to be recommended, rather than forced on someone.

If the Archdiocese wants all churches to undertake them, they should be called rules and regulations."

By Sarah Chang, schang@sph.com.sg, my paper, Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012

Definitely if you wear a hot little number like Scarlett Johannson, you’re going to get looks at your chest.
PHOTO: Definitely if you wear a hot little number like Scarlett Johannson, you’re going to get looks at your chest.