Priest expels scantily dressed women

Charles Lwanga Catholic Church Parish Priest, Father Vim, ordered some women who had low cut trousers, exposing much of their waists while others who wore short skirts out of the church recently. They were turned away and asked to wear chitenges (long cotton clothing wrappings) and long skirts so as to show decency to the house of God.

The action by the Parish has been supported by the mother body, Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC), saying the church would never support indecent exposure. ZEC said people should not be restrained in the way they dress when going to

church but individuals should espouse decency when they go to the ‘house of worship’.

ZEC spokesperson, Father Paul Samasumu, said it was difficult for the Catholic Church to categorically state the dress code for worshippers although each

Parish (branch) had a mandate to give spiritual and pastoral guidance.

Father Samasumo said there was no policy on the dress code but that the church merely restrained people from dressing expressively.

He explained that the church was a place of worshipping and people should be mindful of not wearing clothes that were “offensive”.

“It’s difficult to state what type of clothes the people should wear but generally, its casual wear,” he said.

An aspiring Catholic priest (Brother), Peter Chipwampu, explained that women were in the habit of wearing attire which exposed too much of their bodies.

“We go to church after sinning and want forgiveness but these days you find most women especially Pentecostals, singing and are in mini skirts. We are human and can be led into temptation,” said Chipwampu.

Another Catholic, Peter Musenda, a church elder at one of the Parishes in Lusaka supported the decision by the Parish priest.

He noted that although the Catholic Church had an “unwritten rule” about decent dressing by women it would be wrong for people to copy from new churches.

June 2006
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