THE EDITOR: In response to Aliyyah Lutchman’s protest to Watson Duke’s wearing of the cassock as sacrilege that undermines the authority of Jesus Christ, I would like to say a few things.
1. Whether or not Lutchman is in agreement with Duke on his stance on the situation with the judiciary workers, I think you are entitled to your opinion on the matter.
2. Did Duke defy the sacred tradition of the Catholic Church by donning a cassock? I am not sure about that since I am not aware that the garment is of itself an exclusive right of the Catholic Church or its priesthood. Maybe if he did commit an offence an authority within the church should step up and say so.
3. However, what I know for sure and would like to comfort Lutchman with is that our Lord Jesus is not insulted by what garment Duke chooses to wear in order to add theatrics to his protest. What I know is that Jesus is concerned about Duke’s salvation, which he died to provide. In fact, Jesus made it clear that he is not impressed by the long garments that priests love to wear. He said in Luke’s gospel, ch 20:46: “Beware of the scribes who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the markets and the best seats in the synagogues...”
The only new testament scripture that instructs believers in dress code focuses on dressing modestly (1 Timothy 2: 9 and 10), something that has virtually disappeared in both Catholic and Protestant churches alike. Maybe this lack of modesty in Christianity should be the focus of our outcry today.
I am not sure by which stretch of the imagination can Lutchman show that Jesus commanded his apostles to wear any special garments to distinguish them from regular believers but I leave myself open to be corrected.
I am impressed though that she was able to cite edicts from popes who sanctioned and commanded their priests to wear cossacks. I have no argument with that because the Roman Catholic Church does pride itself in its authority being “the traditions of the fathers” and not the Bible itself. However, Jesus warned against this practice that he met the Pharisees practising when he walked the Earth (Matthew 15:6): “...Thus you have made the word of God of no effect by your tradition.”
In closing I would also like to tell Duke to be careful to not offend any religion during his peaceful protests. I also reassure Lutchman that Jesus’ heart will be more grieved by the nakedness of ordinary Christians on the streets during Carnival than on a full traditional priestly garment worn by Duke during his protests.
RONALD LATCHMAN, Diego Martin