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Reflections: Catholic Life Section (Modesty/Prp.Drs.)

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Modesty / Proper Dress

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Against Cross Dressing

Against Women Wearing Men's Clothing

Fatima & Offensive Fashions

Modesty / Dress

Padre Pio's Dress Requirements for Women

Proper Dress for Church / Women

Prophecy of St. Nilus

Vatican Dress Standards

Misc.

Also See: Thoughts on Modesty / Immodest Dress

Category
Quotation

Against Cross Dressing

"A woman shall not wear an article proper to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's dress; for anyone who does such things is an abomination to the LORD, your God." (Deut. 22:5)

Also See: Against Women Wearing Men's Clothing | Prophecy of St. Nilus | Homosexuality 

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Against Women Wearing Men's Clothing

"A woman shall not wear an article proper to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's dress; for anyone who does such things is an abomination to the LORD, your God." (Deut. 22:5)

"When we see a woman in trousers [that is, pants], we should think not so much of her as of all mankind: of what it will be when women will have masculinized themselves for good. Nobody stands to gain by helping to bring about a future age of vagueness, ambiguity, imperfection and, in a word, monstrosities." (Notification Concerning Men's Dress Worn by Women, Cardinal Siri, 1960 A.D.)

"The first signs of our late arriving spring indicate this year a certain increase in the use of men's dress by girls and women, even mothers of families. Up until 1959, in Genoa, such dress usually meant the person was a tourist, but now there seems to be a significant number of girls and women from Genoa itself who are choosing, at least on pleasure trips, to wear men's dress [men's trousers - that is, slacks/pants]. The spreading of this behavior obliges us to give serious consideration to the subject, and we ask those to whom this Notification is addressed to kindly give this problem all the attention it deserves, as befits those aware of being answerable to God... The wearing of men's dress by women affects firstly the woman herself, by changing the feminine psychology proper to women; secondly, it affects the woman as wife of her husband, by tending to vitiate relationships between the sexes; thirdly, it affects the woman as mother of her children by harming her dignity in her children's eyes... In truth, the motive impelling women to wear men's dress is always that of imitating, nay, of competing with the man who is considered stronger, less tied down, more independent. This motivation shows clearly that male dress is the visible aid to bringing about a mental attitude of being 'like a man'. Secondly, ever since men have been men, the clothing a person wears conditions, determines and modifies that person's gestures, attitudes and behavior, such that from merely being worn outside, clothing comes to impose a particular frame of mind inside. Then let us add that a woman wearing men's dress always more or less indicates her reacting to her femininity as though it were inferior [to masculinity] when in fact it is only diverse. The perversion of her psychology is clearly evident. These reasons, summing up many more, are enough to warn us how wrongly women are made to think by the wearing of men's dress... Experience teaches us that when woman is de-feminized, defenses are undermined and weakness increases... The changing of feminine psychology does fundamental and - in the long run - irreparable damage to the family, to conjugal fidelity, to human affections and to human society. True, the effects of wearing unsuitable dress are not all to be seen within a short time. But one must think of what is being slowly and insidiously worn down, torn apart, perverted. Is any satisfying reciprocity between husband and wife imaginable, if feminine psychology be changed? Or is any true education of children imaginable, which is so delicate in its procedure, so woven of imponderable factors in which the mother's intuition and instinct play the decisive part in those tender years? What will these women be able to give their children when they will so long have worn trousers that their self-esteem is determined more by their competing with the men than by their functioning as women? Why, we ask, ever since men have been men - or rather since they became civilized - why have men in all times and places been irresistibly borne to differentiate and divide the functions of the two sexes? Do we not have here strict testimony to the recognition by all mankind of a truth and a law above man? To sum up, wherever women wear men's dress, it is be considered a factor, over the long term, in disintegrating human order." (Notification Concerning Men's Dress Worn by Women, Cardinal Siri, 1960 A.D.)

Also See: Against Cross Dressing | Prophecy of St. Nilus | Modesty / Dress | Padre Pio's Dress Requirements for Women | Fatima & Offensive Fashions | Proper Dress for Church / Women | Femininity & The Virgin Mary | Feminists | Striving Against Nature | Women / Womanhood

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Fatima & Offensive Fashions

Also See: Fatima (Topic Page)

"Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much... More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason." (Attr. to Our Lady of Fatima, 20th Century A.D.)

"The sins which hurl most souls into hell, are the sins of the flesh. Certain styles will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much. Those who serve God must not follow these fashions." (Attr. Bl. Jacinta of Fatima, 20th Century A.D.)

Also See: Modesty / Dress | Vatican Dress Standards | Padre Pio's Dress Requirements for Women | Proper Dress for Church / Women | Against Women Wearing Men's Clothing | Prophecy of St. Nilus

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Modesty / Dress

"Similarly, (too,) women should adorn themselves with proper conduct, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hairstyles and gold ornaments, or pearls, or expensive clothes, but rather, as befits women who profess reverence for God, with good deeds." (1 Tm. 2:9-10)

"The dress of the body should not discredit the good of the soul." (St. Cyprian of Carthage)

"Mainly through sins of impurity, do the forces of darkness subjugate souls." (Pope Pius XII, 1948)

"[M]odesty regards not only outward but also inward actions." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Purity is a precious jewel, and the owner of a precious stone would never dream of making a display of his riches in the presence of thieves." (St. John Bosco)

"[T]here is a sad forgetfulness of Christian modesty especially in the life and the dress of women" (Pope Pius XI, "Miserentissimus Redemptor", 1928)

"The purpose of clothing is to keep warm in winter and to cover your nakedness, not to serve your vanity." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church)

"The most insidious of sophisms are usually repeated to justify immodesty and seem to be the same everywhere." (Pope Pius XII, "Moral Problems in Fashion Design", 1957)

"The desire to please by outward charms, which we know naturally invite lust, does not spring from a sound conscience. Why should you rouse an evil passion?" [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), 3rd century A.D.]

"It might be said that society speaks through the clothing it wears. Through its clothing it reveals its secret aspirations and uses it, at least in part, to build or destroy its future." (Pope Pius XII, "Moral Problems in Fashion Design", 1957)

"We lament, too, the destruction of purity among women and young girls as is evidenced by the increasing immodesty of their dress and conversation and by their participation in shameful dances" (Pope Pius XI, "Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio", 1922)

"Further we must speak as we dress, or dress as we speak. Why do we profess one thing and display another? The tongue talks of chastity, but the whole body reveals incontinence." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church)

"A holy woman may be beautiful by the gift of nature, but she must not give occasion to lust. If beauty be hers, so far from setting it off she ought rather to obscure it." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), 3rd century A.D.]

"Whoever uses outward things in such a way as to exceed the bounds observed by the good people among whom he dwells, either signifies something by so doing, or is guilty of sin, inasmuch as he uses these things for sensual pleasure or ostentation." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"Although outward attire does not come from nature, it belongs to natural reason to moderate it; so that we are naturally inclined to be the recipients of the virtue that moderates outward raiment." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Let parents keep their daughters away from public gymnastic games and contests; but if their daughters are compelled to attend such exhibitions, let them see that they are fully and modestly dressed. Let them never permit their daughters to appear in immodest dress." [Decree of the Congregation of the Council (by the mandate of the Pope Pius XI), 1930 A.D.] 

"The practice of decency and modesty in speech, action and dress is very important for creating an atmosphere suitable for the growth of chastity... Parents, as we have said, should be watchful so that certain immoral fashions and attitudes do not violate the integrity of the home, especially through misuse of the mass media." (Pontifical Council for the Family, 1995)

"People wish to be guided in style more than in any other activity. Not that they lack a critical sense in matters of aesthetics or of propriety, but, at times too docile and at other times too lazy to make use of this faculty, they accept the first thing that is offered to them and only later become aware of how mediocre or unbecoming certain fashions are." (Pope Pius XII, "Moral Problems in Fashion Design", 1957)

"The parish priest, and especially the preacher, when occasion arises, should, according to the words of the Apostle Paul (2 Tim. iv, 2), insist, argue, exhort and command that feminine garb be based on modesty and womanly ornament be a defense of virtue. Let them likewise admonish parents to cause their daughters to cease wearing indecorous dress." [Decree of the Congregation of the Council (by the mandate of the Pope Pius XI), 1930 A.D.]

"These principles, with due regard to time and place, must, in accordance with Christian prudence, be applied to all schools, particularly in the most delicate and decisive period of formation, that, namely, of adolescence; and in gymnastic exercises and deportment, special care must be had of Christian modesty in young women and girls, which is so gravely impaired by any kind of exhibition in public." (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Illius Magistri", 1929 A.D.)

"This outward apparel is an indication of man's estate; wherefore excess, deficiency, and mean therein, are referable to the virtue of truthfulness, which the Philosopher (Ethica Nicomachea ii,7) assigns to deeds and words, which are indications of something connected with man's estate." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Modesty should pervade all that is exterior - our walk, our gestures, and our movements. All outside appearances reveal the condition of our mind; although our passions are hidden, they manifest themselves exteriorly; one easily knows if a man is fickle, haughty, mischievous, or if he is wise, patient, and reserved; the motion of the body is a species of voice which bespeaks all that is passing in the soul... Modesty is suitable for all ages and for all classes of persons; for all times and places" (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church)

"But those women who have no husband nor wish to have one, or who are in a state of life inconsistent with marriage, cannot without sin desire to give lustful pleasure to those men who see them, because this is to incite them to sin. And if indeed they adorn themselves with this intention of provoking others to lust, they sin mortally; whereas if they do so from frivolity, or from vanity for the sake of ostentation, it is not always mortal, but sometimes venial. And the same applies to men in this respect." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"As regards the adornment of women, we must bear in mind...something special, namely that a woman's apparel may incite men to lust, according to Proverbs 7:10, 'Behold a woman meeteth him in harlot's attire, prepared to deceive souls.' Nevertheless a woman may use means to please her husband, lest through despising her he fall into adultery. Hence it is written (1 Cor. 7:34) that the woman 'that is married thinketh on the things of the world, how she may please her husband.' Wherefore if a married woman adorn herself in order to please her husband she can do this without sin." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church") [Note: This does not mean a woman may wear immodest clothing outside the home, even if it pleases her husband.]

"For modesty foresees threatening danger, forbids us to expose ourselves to risks, demands the avoidance of those occasions which the imprudent do not shun. It does not like impure or loose talk, it shrinks from the slightest immodesty, it carefully avoids suspect familiarity with persons of the other sex, since it brings the soul to show due reverence to the body, as being a member of Christ and the temple of the Holy Spirit. He who possesses the treasure of Christian modesty abominates every sin of impurity and instantly flees whenever he is tempted by its seductions." (Pope Pius XII, "Sacra Virginitas", 1954)

"It is desirable that pious organizations of women be founded, which by their counsel, example and propaganda should combat the wearing of apparel unsuited to Christian modesty, and should promote purity of customs and modesty of dress... In the pious associations of women those who dress immodestly should not be admitted to membership; but if, perchance, they are received, and after having been admitted, fall again into their error, they should be dismissed forthwith." [Decree of the Congregation of the Council (by the mandate of the Pope Pius XI), 1930 A.D.]

"Parents, conscious of their grave obligations toward the education, especially religious and moral, to their offspring, should see to it that their daughters are solidly instructed, from earliest childhood, in Christian doctrine; and they themselves should assiduously inculcate in their souls, by word and example, love for the virtues of modesty and chastity; and since their family should follow the example of the Holy Family, they must rule in such a manner that all its members, reared within the walls of the home, should find reason and incentive to love and preserve modesty." [Decree of the Congregation of the Council (by the mandate of the Pope Pius XI), 1930 A.D.]

"Honesty (honesty must be taken here in its broad sense as synonymous with moral goodness, from the point of view of decorum) pertains to virtue. Now a certain honesty is observed in the outward apparel; for Ambrose says (De Officiis ministorum i,19): 'The body should be bedecked naturally and without affectation, with simplicity, with negligence rather than nicety, not with costly and dazzling apparel, but with ordinary clothes, so that nothing be lacking to honesty and necessity, yet nothing be added to increase its beauty.' Therefore there can be virtue and vice in the outward attire." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"The good of our soul is more important than the good of our body; and we have to prefer the spiritual welfare of our neighbor to our bodily comforts.. If a certain kind of dress constitutes a grave and proximate occasion of sin, and endangers the salvation of your soul and others, it is your duty to give it up... O Christian mothers, if you knew what a future of anxieties and perils, of ill-guarded shame you prepare for your sons and daughters, imprudently getting them accustomed to live scantily dressed and making them lose the sense of modesty, you would be ashamed of yourselves and you would dread the harm you are making for yourselves, the harm which you are causing these children, whom Heaven has entrusted to you to be brought up as Christians." (Pope Pius XII)

"[O]utward apparel should be consistent with the estate of the person, according to the general [good] custom. Hence it is in itself sinful for a woman to wear man's clothes, or vice versa; especially since this may be a cause of sensuous pleasure; and it is expressly forbidden in the Law [Deuteronomy 22: 'A woman shall not be clothed with man's apparel, neither shall a man use woman's apparel.']... Nevertheless this may be done sometimes without sin on account of some necessity, either in order to hide oneself from enemies, or through lack of other clothes, or for some similar motive." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"You carry your snare everywhere and spread your net in all places. You allege that you never invited others to sin. You did not, indeed, by your words, but you have done so by your dress and your deportment, and much more effectively than you could by your voice. When you have made another sin in his heart, how can you be innocent? Tell me whom does this world condemn? Whom do judges in court punish? Those who drink poison or those who prepare it and administer the fatal potion? You have prepared the abominable cup, you have given the death-dealing drink and you are more criminal than those who poison the body; you murder not the body but the soul. And it is not to enemies you do this, nor are you urged on by any imaginary necessity, nor provoked by injury, but out of foolish vanity and pride." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"[St.] Augustine says (Ep. 245 ad Possid.): 'I do not wish you to be hasty in forbidding the wearing of gold or costly attire except in the case of those who being neither married nor wishful to marry, should think how they may please God: whereas the others think on the things of the world, either husbands how they may please their wives, or wives how they may please their husbands, except that it is unbecoming for women though married to uncover their hair, since the Apostle commands them to cover the head.' Yet in this case some might be excused from sin, when they do this not through vanity but on account of some contrary custom: although such a custom is not to be commended." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"More basically, the immorality of some styles depends in great part on excesses either of immodesty or luxury. An excess of immodesty in fashion involves, in practice, the cut of the garment. The garment must not be evaluated according to the estimation of a decadent or already corrupt society, but according to the aspirations of a society which prizes the dignity and seriousness of its public attire. It is often said almost with passive resignation that fashions reflect the customs of a people. But it would be more exact and much more useful to say that they express the decision and moral direction that a nation intends to take: either to be shipwrecked in licentiousness or maintain itself at the level to which it has been raised by religion and civilization." (Pope Pius XII, "Moral Problems in Fashion Design", 1957)

"But the Christian, whether he be creator or client, should be careful not to underestimate the dangers and spiritual ruin spread by immodest fashions, especially those worn in public, because of that continuity that must exist between what one preaches and what one practices, even in the sense of externals. He will remember the high purity which the Redeemer demands of His disciples even in glances and thoughts. And he will remember the severity which God shows to those who give scandal. We might call to mind on this subject the strong words of the prophet Isaias, in which was foretold the infamy that was to befall the holy city of Sion because of the immodesty of its daughters (cf. Isaias 3, 16-21). And one could recall those other words with which the greatest of all Italian poets expressed in vehement terms his feeling of indignation for the immodesty creeping into his city (cf. Dante, Purgatorio, 23, 94-108)." (Pope Pius XII, "Moral Problems in Fashion Design", 1957)

"From this point of view one cannot sufficiently deplore the blindness of so many women of every age and condition; made foolish by desire to please, they do not see to what a degree the indecency of their clothing shocks every honest man, and offends God. Most of them would formerly have blushed for those toilettes as for a grave fault against Christian modesty; now it does not suffice for them to exhibit them on the public thoroughfares; they do not fear to cross the threshold of the churches, to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and even to bear the seducing food of shameful passions to the Eucharistic Table where one receives the heavenly Author of purity. And We speak not of those exotic and barbarous dances recently imported into fashionable circles, one more shocking than the other; one cannot imagine anything more suitable for banishing all the remains of modesty." (Pope Benedict XV, "Sacra Propediem", 1921 A.D.)

"It is abundantly clear that readers of Augustine will not be caught in the toils of that pernicious error, which was widespread during the eighteenth century, namely, that the inborn impulses of the will should neither be feared nor curbed, since all of them are right and sound. From its false principle sprang those educational methods, which We condemned not long ago in Our Encyclical on "The Christian Education of Youth." Their effect is to allow a free mingling of the sexes and to employ no precaution in controlling the growing passions of boyhood and youth. From this false principle too comes that license in writing and reading, in presenting or frequenting plays, that do not merely threaten innocence and purity with dangerous occasions, but actually plot their ruin and destruction. From this source again are derived those immodest fashions of dress, which Christian women can never be at too great pains to abolish." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930 A.D.)

"[A] gloss of Cyprian says: 'Those who are clothed in silk and purple cannot sincerely put on Christ: those who are bedecked with gold and pearls and trinkets have forfeited the adornments of mind and body.' ... As a gloss says on this passage, 'The wives of those who were in distress despised their husbands, and decked themselves that they might please other men': and the Apostle forbids this. Cyprian is speaking in the same sense; yet he does not forbid married women to adorn themselves in order to please their husbands, lest the latter be afforded an occasion of sin with other women. Hence the Apostle says (1 Timothy 2:9): 'Women... in ornate [Douay: decent] apparel, adorning themselves with modesty and sobriety, not with plaited hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly attire': whence we are given to understand that women are not forbidden to adorn themselves soberly and moderately but to do so excessively, shamelessly, and immodestly." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[I]t cannot be denied that along with seemly styles there are also immodest fashions that create confusion in well-ordered minds and can even be an incentive to evil. It is always difficult to indicate with universal norms the border-line between seemliness and shamelessness because the moral evaluation of attire depends on many factors. However, the so-called relativity of fashions with respect to times, places, persons, and education is not a valid reason to renounce a priori a moral judgment on this or that fashion which, for the time being, violates the limits of normal decency. The sense of decency, almost without being consulted on the matter, gives immediate warning as to where immodesty and seduction, idolatry of matter and luxury, or only frivolity, are concealed. And if the artificers of shameless fashions are skilled in the trafficking of perversion, mixing it into an ensemble of aesthetic elements that are good in themselves, human sensuality is unfortunately even more skillful in discovering it and is ready to fall under its spell. Here as elsewhere, greater sensitivity to this warning against the snares of evil, far from being grounds for criticizing those who possess it, as though it were a sign of interior depravity, is actually a mark of an upright soul and of watchfulness over the passions. Yet, no matter how broad and changeable the relative morals of styles may be, there is always an absolute norm to be kept after having heard the admonition of conscience warning against approaching danger: style must never be a proximate occasion of sin." (Pope Pius XII, "Moral Problems in Fashion Design", 1957)

"In the case of an art directed to the production of goods which men cannot use without sin, it follows that the workmen sin in making such things, as directly affording others an occasion of sin; for instance, if a man were to make idols or anything pertaining to idolatrous worship. But in the case of an art the products of which may be employed by man either for a good or for an evil use, such as swords, arrows, and the like, the practice of such an art is not sinful. These alone should be called arts; wherefore Chrysostom says (Hom. 49 super Matthaeum): 'The name of art should be applied to those only which contribute towards and produce necessaries and mainstays of life.' In the case of an art that produces things which for the most part some people put to an evil use, although such arts are not unlawful in themselves, nevertheless, according to the teaching of Plato, they should be extirpated from the State by the governing authority. Accordingly, since women may lawfully adorn themselves, whether to maintain the fitness of their estate, or even by adding something thereto, in order to please their husbands, it follows that those who make such means of adornment do not sin in the practice of their art, except perhaps by inventing means that are superfluous and fantastic. Hence Chrysostom says (Super Matthaeum) that 'even the shoemakers' and clothiers' arts stand in need of restraint, for they have lent their art to lust, by abusing its needs, and debasing art by art.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"In order to confront a danger which, by spreading, becomes ever more grave, this Sacred Congregation, by order of the Holy Father, calls upon the Ordinaries of Italy so that they may communicate to the superiors of the houses of female religious in their respective dioceses the following injunctions of this Sacred Congregation, confirmed by His Holiness in audience this day: (a) In all schools, academies, recreation centers, Sunday schools, and laboratories directed by female religious, not to be admitted from now on are those girls who do not observe in their attire the rules of modesty and Christian decency. (b) To this end, the superiors themselves will be obliged to exercise a close supervision and exclude peremptorily from the schools and projects of their institutions those pupils who do not conform to these prescriptions. (c) They must not be influenced in this by any human respect, either for material considerations or by reason of the social prestige and of the families of their pupils, even though the student body should diminish in number. (d) Furthermore, the Sisters, in fulfillment of their educational pursuits, must endeavor to inculcate sweetly and strongly in their pupils the love and relish for holy modesty, the sign and guardian of purity and delicate adornment of womankind. Your Reverence will be vigilant that these injunctions be exactly observed..." [Letter of the Sacred Congregation for Religious (Under Pope Pius XI), 1928 A.D. (Tr./Rubba)]

"By virtue of the supreme apostolate which he wields over the Universal Church by Divine Will, our Most Holy Father Pope Pius XI has never ceased to inculcate, both verbally and by his writings, the words of St. Paul (1 Tim. xi, 9-10), namely, 'Women...adorning themselves with modesty and sobriety...and professing godliness with good works.' And on many occasions the same Supreme Pontiff has reproved and sharply condemned the immodesty in dress which today is everywhere in vogue, even among women and girls who are Catholics; fashion which not only offends the dignity of women and against her adornment, but conduces to the temporal ruin of the women and girls, and, what is still worse, to their eternal ruin, miserably dragging down others in their fall. It is not surprising, therefore, that all Bishops and other Ordinaries, as is the duty of ministers of Christ, should in their own dioceses have unanimously opposed this licentious and shameless fashion, often bearing with fortitude the derision and mockery leveled against them for this cause. Therefore this Sacred Council, which watches over the discipline of clergy and people, while cordially commending the action of the Venerable Bishops, earnestly exhorts them to continue in the purpose and undertaking they have so well begun, and to pursue them with even greater vigor, until this contagious disease be entirely uprooted from decent society." (Letter of the Congregation of the Council, 1930 A.D.)

"Cyprian says (De Habitu Virginum): 'I hold that not only virgins and widows, but also wives and all women without exception, should be admonished that nowise should they deface God's work and fabric, the clay that He has fashioned, with the aid of yellow pigments, black powders or rouge, or by applying any dye that alters the natural features... 'They lay hands on God, when they strive to reform what He has formed. This is an assault on the Divine handiwork, a distortion of the truth. Thou shalt not be able to see God, having no longer the eyes that God made, but those the devil has unmade; with him shalt thou burn on whose account thou art bedecked.' ... Cyprian is speaking of women painting themselves: this is a kind of falsification, which cannot be devoid of sin. Wherefore Augustine says (Ep. 245 ad Possid.): 'To dye oneself with paints in order to have a rosier or a paler complexion is a lying counterfeit. I doubt whether even their husbands are willing to be deceived by it, by whom alone' (i.e. the husbands) 'are they to be permitted, but not ordered, to adorn themselves.' However, such painting does not always involve a mortal sin, but only when it is done for the sake of sensuous pleasure or in contempt of God, and it is to like cases that Cyprian refers. It must, however, be observed that it is one thing to counterfeit a beauty one has not, and another to hide a disfigurement arising from some cause such as sickness or the like. For this is lawful, since according to the Apostle (1 Corinthians 12:23), 'such as we think to be the less honorable members of the body, about these we put more abundant honor.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"It is not in the outward things themselves which man uses, that there is vice, but on the part of man who uses them immoderately. This lack of moderation occurs in two ways. First, in comparison with the [good] customs of those among whom one lives; wherefore Augustine says (Confessiones iii,8): 'Those offenses which are contrary to the customs of men, are to be avoided according to the customs generally prevailing, so that a thing agreed upon and confirmed by custom or law of any city or nation may not be violated at the lawless pleasure of any, whether citizen or foreigner. For any part, which harmonizeth not with its whole, is offensive.' Secondly, the lack of moderation in the use of these things may arise from the inordinate attachment of the user, the result being that a man sometimes takes too much pleasure in using them, either in accordance with the custom of those among whom he dwells or contrary to such custom. Hence Augustine says (De Doctrina Christiana iii,12): 'We must avoid excessive pleasure in the use of things, for it leads not only wickedly to abuse the customs of those among whom we dwell, but frequently to exceed their bounds, so that, whereas it lay hidden, while under the restraint of established morality, it displays its deformity in a most lawless outbreak.' In point of excess, this inordinate attachment occurs in three ways. First when a man seeks glory from excessive attention to dress; in so far as dress and such like things are a kind of ornament. Hence Gregory says (Hom. 40 in Evangelia): 'There are some who think that attention to finery and costly dress is no sin. Surely, if this were no fault, the word of God would not say so expressly that the rich man who was tortured in hell had been clothed in purple and fine linen. No one, forsooth, seeks costly apparel' (such, namely, as exceeds his estate) 'save for vainglory.' Secondly, when a man seeks sensuous pleasure from excessive attention to dress, in so far as dress is directed to the body's comfort. Thirdly, when a man is too solicitous (Q55,A6) in his attention to outward apparel. Accordingly Andronicus (De Affectibus) reckons three virtues in connection with outward attire; namely humility, which excludes the seeking of glory, wherefore he says that humility is 'the habit of avoiding excessive expenditure and parade'; contentment (Q143,OBJ 4), which excludes the seeking of sensuous pleasure, wherefore he says that 'contentedness is the habit that makes a man satisfied with what is suitable, and enables him to determine what is becoming in his manner of life' (according to the saying of the Apostle, 1 Timothy 6:8): 'Having food and wherewith to be covered, with these let us be content'; and simplicity, which excludes excessive solicitude about such things, wherefore he says that 'simplicity is a habit that makes a man contented with what he has.' In the point of deficiency there may be inordinate attachment in two ways. First, through a man's neglect to give the requisite study or trouble to the use of outward apparel. Wherefore the Philosopher says (Ethica Nicomachea vii,7) that 'it is a mark of effeminacy to let one's cloak trail on the ground to avoid the trouble of lifting it up.' Secondly, by seeking glory from the very lack of attention to outward attire. Hence Augustine says (De Sermone Domini in Monte ii,12) that 'not only the glare and pomp of outward things, but even dirt and the weeds of mourning may be a subject of ostentation, all the more dangerous as being a decoy under the guise of God's service'; and the Philosopher says (Ethica Nicomachea iv,7) that 'both excess and inordinate defect are a subject of ostentation.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Thoughts on Modesty / Immodest Dress | Vatican Dress Standards | Padre Pio's Dress Requirements for Women | Proper Dress for Church / Women | Against Women Wearing Men's Clothing | Fatima & Offensive Fashions | Prophecy of St. Nilus | Modesty / Proper Dress (Misc.) | Chastity | Virginity | Virtue

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Padre Pio's Dress Requirements for Women

Also See: Catholic Women (Topic Page)

"By Padre Pio's explicit wish, women must enter the confessional wearing skirts at least 8 inches below the knee. It is forbidden to borrow longer dresses in church and to wear them to confession." [Sign on door of (St.) Padre Pio's church]

Also See: Vatican Dress Standards | Proper Dress for Church / Women | Modesty / Dress | Against Women Wearing Men's Clothing | Women / Womanhood

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Proper Dress for Church / Women

Also See: Catholic Women (Topic Page)

"Similarly, (too,) women should adorn themselves with proper conduct, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hairstyles and gold ornaments, or pearls, or expensive clothes, but rather, as befits women who profess reverence for God, with good deeds." (1 Tm. 2:9-10)

"But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and a husband the head of his wife, and God the head of Christ. Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered brings shame upon his head. But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head, for it is one and the same thing as if she had had her head shaved. For if a woman does not have her head veiled, she may as well have her hair cut off. But if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should wear a veil. A man, on the other hand, should not cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; nor was man created for woman, but woman for man; for this reason a woman should have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels. Woman is not independent of man or man of woman in the Lord. For just as woman came from man, so man is born of woman; but all things are from God. Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head unveiled? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears his hair long it is a disgrace to him, whereas if a woman has long hair it is her glory, because long hair has been given (her) for a covering? But if anyone is inclined to be argumentative, we do not have such a custom, nor do the churches of God." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 11:3-16) [Note that the "exemption" indicated by St. Paul is for those women who wish to be argumentative.]

"Women must be decently dressed, especially when they go to church. The parish priest may, with due prudence, refuse them entrance to the church and access to the reception of the Sacraments, any and every time that they come to church immodestly dressed." (General Pastoral Directive, 1915 A.D.)

"Girls and women dressed immodestly are to be debarred from Holy Communion and from acting as sponsors at the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation; further, if the offense be extreme, they may even be forbidden to enter the church." [Decree of the Congregation of the Council (by the mandate of the Pope Pius XI), 1930 A.D.]

"Can. 1262 § 2 Men, in a church or outside a church, while they are assisting at sacred rites, shall be bare-headed, unless the approved mores of the people or peculiar circumstances of things determine otherwise; women, however, shall have a covered head and be modestly dressed, especially when they approach the table of the Lord." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

Also See: Vatican Dress Standards | Padre Pio's Dress Requirements for Women | Modesty / Dress | Against Women Wearing Men's Clothing | Church Talk Reflections | Women / Womanhood | Proper Church Conduct

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Prophecy of St. Nilus

"After the year 1900, toward the middle of the 20th century, the people of that time will become unrecognizable. When the time for the Advent of the Antichrist approaches, people's minds will grow cloudy from carnal passions, and dishonor and lawlessness will grow stronger. Then the world will become unrecognizable. People's appearances will change, and it will be impossible to distinguish men from women due to their shamelessness in dress and style of hair." (Prophecy of St. Nilus)

Also See: Against Women Wearing Men's Clothing | Fatima & Offensive Fashions | Modesty / Dress | Proper Dress for Church / Women | Vatican Dress Standards | Padre Pio's Dress Requirements for Women

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Vatican Dress Standards

"[A] dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat, which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows, and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knees. Furthermore, dresses of transparent material are improper" [Sacred Congregation of the Council (under Pope Pius XI), January 12, 1930]

Also See: Proper Dress for Church / Women | Padre Pio's Dress Requirements for Women | Modesty / Dress | Against Women Wearing Men's Clothing | Fatima & Offensive Fashions | Prophecy of St. Nilus | Vatican View Section

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Misc.

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Mt. 5:27-28)

"Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy." (1 Cor. 3:16-17)

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body." (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

"I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect." (Rom. 12:1-2)

"Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Gal. 5:19-21)

"The Church knows and teaches that the human body, which is God's masterpiece in the visible world, and which has been placed at the service of the soul, was elevated by the Divine Redeemer to the rank of a temple and an instrument of the Holy Spirit, and as such must be respected. The body's beauty must therefore not be exalted as an end in itself, much less in such guise as will defile the dignity it has been endowed with." (Pope Pius XII, "Moral Problems in Fashion Design", 1957)

"It is necessary to guard all your senses particularly your eyes: they are the means by which all the fascination and charm of beauty and voluptuousness enter the heart. When fashion, as in our time, is towards provocation and exposes what formerly was even wrong to think about, caution and self-restraint must be exercised. Whenever necessary you must look without seeing and see without thinking about it." [St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)]

"A lustful look is less than a touch, a caress or a kiss. But according to Matthew 5:28, 'Whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her hath already committed adultery with her in his heart.' Much more therefore are lustful kisses and other like things mortal sins...Wherefore since fornication is a mortal sin, and much more so the other kinds of lust, it follows that in such like sins not only consent to the act but also consent to the pleasure is a mortal sin. Consequently, when these kisses and caresses are done for this delectation, it follows that they are mortal sins, and only in this way are they said to be lustful. Therefore in so far as they are lustful, they are mortal sins." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Modesty / Dress | Proper Dress for Church / Women | Femininity & The Virgin Mary | Holiness / Virtue [Pg.] | Sin & Vice [Pg.] | Pride / Vanity | Sinful Desires Forbidden | Pleasure is Momentary

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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