June 10, 2005

Letters to the Editor

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Agrees that people should dress up more for Mass

I would like to respond to Virlee Schneider’s letter to the editor in the May 13 edition of The Criterion.

I want to applaud Schneider for saying what needed to be said for a long time regarding the disrespectful way the majority of people are dressing for Mass. I’m personally tired of going to Mass and seeing adults in shorts, tank tops, flip flops, backless shirts, showing no respect for the Church and God.

I may be old-fashioned, but Church hasn’t changed much. It’s still the house of the Lord, and it’s still a place where we as Catholics gather to worship. It’s not a beach, it’s not the backyard, it’s not a baseball game. It’s Church, and I’m offended when I see adults dressed as if they gave no thought to where they were going, especially those adults who bring gifts up to the altar as if they were carrying a bag of dirty laundry and not [what will become] the body and blood of Christ.

Perhaps Schneider is right. We need a dress code because I don’t see the situation getting better. If anything, week after week, it seems to get worse.

In my heart, I wish that everyone who attends Mass had enough respect for our Church and what it stands for to take the time to dress with a little more pride—a lot more—dignity before they enter God’s house because I’m sure he wouldn’t show up at their house dressed in a tank top.

-Bettie Hamner, Indianapolis


Mass is for celebrating, not for judging others

I was surprised to see some comments printed in a recent letter to the editor. It seemed to me the letter-writer was urging some churchgoers to “look down our noses at those who look like they just came from the gym.”

This attitude doesn’t match the values my parents shared with their children. It certainly doesn’t fit in with the value system I was taught at St. Joan of Arc School and at the Latin School of Indianapolis.

I was taught “you can’t judge a book by its cover.”

In the Old Testament, 1 Samuel, chapter 16, verse 7, the Lord tells us he doesn’t make decisions the way people do. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.

In the New Testament, James, chapter 2, verse 1, we are told we must never treat people in different ways according to their outward appearance.

I don’t go to church to review and evaluate how others are dressed. I’m there to celebrate the Eucharist with them.

-Dan Henn, Indianapolis  

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