Basilica to remove volunteers posted to check indecently dressed

The word has gone out through the guides and others that one needs to dress modestly when entering the Basilica, said the rector.

Panaji:  The Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa is planning to withdraw volunteers posted outside the historic church to offer a shawl to the ‘inappropriately’ clad. Since they were first posted two years ago, volunteers seem to have achieved the desired result and will now be withdrawn shortly, according to the Basilica’s guardians. “Volunteers do not need to stand there anymore as a rule every day. The word has gone out through the guides and others that one needs to dress modestly when entering the Basilica,” said Fr. Savio Baretto, rector of the Basilica. “The tourists know about the shawls. The needed awareness has been created and tourists now prefer to come modestly dressed to avoid being given a shawl later. The volunteers will be withdrawn soon as the necessary purpose has mostly been achieved,” said the priest. He said when officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) raised fears that posting of the volunteers may affect the inflow of tourists, Basilica officials had made it clear that the arrangement was only a temporary measure. “We have orally conveyed to ASI as well that it is not a permanent feature. I am happy now that we do not get the kind of skimpily-dressed tourists, mostly foreigners, as before,” said the Basilica rector. “I am not comfortable with the giving of shawls myself. But then no other church gets people dressed like that,” he added. He admitted that the volunteers posted were often from parishes in villages of Goa and what they had to say was often lost-in-translation when handing out a shawl to a foreign tourist. The move of posting the volunteers had received wide appreciation from Goans from across the religious spectrum and the Basilica had been heaped with such mails in 2011, the Basilica rector added. “It wasn’t a code as such, as everyone called it. The main aim behind handing out the shawls was to create awareness that one needs to come appropriately dressed as we have the blessed sacrament preserved in the church and it is the presence of God for us, which needs to be respected,” he said. The church officials said the decision was not implemented overnight, as it might seem to many, but the church had been considering ways of curbing skimpily-dressed visitors from entering the sacred home of God for five years before the volunteers were posted. Source: times of india

Basiica Of Bom Jesus , Old Goa , Volunteers , Fr. Savio Baretto 
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