No Hooters shirts in Mass, please
OK here is the section.....

Immodesty in dress: Anyone tempted to or engaging in immodesty of dress should ponder the following passage in Scripture and consider how they relate to the sin of immodesty: "But I say to you, that whoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt. 5:28). "Do not err: neither fornicators … nor adulterers … shall possess the Kingdom of God." (1 Cor. 6:9-10). "Am I my brothers keeper?" (Gen. 4:9). Modesty, especially in dress, is a virtue cultivated among Catholics knowledgeable in their faith because of the teaching of the Church that to take pleasure in impure thoughts is a mortal sin. Despite the fact that the current "Woman's Liberation Movement" (promoted so universally by the mass media) would seem to want to blur the distinction between men and women, the Bible says, "And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them."

Now the male is by nature the "aggressor," so to speak the initiator, the forward one, in the male-female relationship. And a man is amorously attracted to a woman largely by looking at a woman. If therefore, a woman is immodestly dressed, a man's amorous inclinations can quickly develop into thoughts of lust, and therefore, women have an especially grave obligation to dress modestly. By nature, a woman likes to adorn herself so that she is attractive, and it is this very fact that does attract men. But it is sinful for a woman to dress immodestly and merely to say to herself that men do not have to look at her if they are going to be thinking evil thoughts. Of a given occasion a woman's immodesty may not bother some men (for a number of possible reasons), but in most cases, human nature being fallen as it is, the man will look at the woman's immodesty, and the woman's immodesty WILL be a danger to his purity of thought. Therefore, women who dress immodestly, or who are tempted to do so, should remember the murderer Cain's taunting question to God, "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Gen. 4:9).

If a man's willful impure thoughts toward a woman ("lusting after her") is a mortal sin because he "hath already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt. 5:28), then what sort of sin does the immodest woman commit who has been the occasion of these impure thoughts in a man by her immodesty, especially where it is purposeful and willful? Is she not also a murderer of sorts--one who at least helps to kill the life of grace in the soul of the man who lusts after her? The Church teaches that impure thoughts willfully taken pleasure in are mortal sins. Therefore, for a woman purposefully to dress immodestly where she will be seen by men is, materially speaking, a mortal sin. i.e., the deed itself is the matter of mortal sin. Of course whether she actually commits a mortal sin (formally), i.e., in her heart, will surely depend upon her level of realization about the serious problems to purity her immodesty causes men. But surely too, God will to some degree at least hold her culpable for the impurity of thought, desire and even action that she helps to cause, and very possibly she will be committing a mortal sin, depending on the degree of her immodesty and the level of her awareness about the effects of her immodesty upon men.

As there are some realities about the feminine nature that men will never fully understand--because they never experience those things--so with impurity of thought in men induced by immodesty in women; it is something women will be never fully appreciate because it is not within the realm of their experience. Therefore, women should take serious heed in this matter strictly on what they are told about it, because immodesty is something God will hold women accountable for.

The crucial question in any discussion of modesty, of course, is what exactly constitutes modesty for women. One can only speak in terms of general principles, and these will depend upon the occasion: whether it be normal daily activity, sports, swimming, etc. In general, the principles are these: 1. That clothing should tend to conceal rather than reveal; 2. that clothing should not be transparent; 3. that woman's legs should be covered at least to just below the knees (this would apply in particular to normal daily activity); 4. that women should avoid sleeveless dresses and blouses; 5. that sheer tight clothing should be avoided altogether; 6. that under most circumstances a woman should avoid wearing slacks and that when necessity may dictate their use that they should be loose-fitting rather than tight-fitting and 7. that the neckline should not be less than two fingers width below the pit of the throat.

By contemporary standards, such norms will be ludicrous to most women because our secular society makes immodesty in women a commonplace by the manufacture and promotion of immodest fashions. We must remember, however, that we are speaking here about true morality -- about God's law and not man's customs or preferences. Yet if those parts of the female anatomy are to be covered and generally concealed which are most suggestive to men, then these principles need to be followed. (These guidelines follow those laid down by the Cardinal Vicar of Pope Pius XI in 1928.)

What about beach, or sports or extremely hot weather. The general principles of modesty -- especially with regard to concealing rather than revealing--still apply. A woman will have to use common sense in these cases and take some extra precautions, realizing she has a heavy responsibility in this regard. In hot weather a woman can wear a dress that is loose, light and cool and yet is still modest. At sport she can be innovative in order to be modest, depending on the activity. For the beach she can wear some type of pullover or cover-up garment save for the time she is actually swimming. Choice of a swimming suit for women today is extremely important. Most women's bathing suits are grossly immodest--due to being too skimpy, too tight or too sheer. A woman may have to make or provide her own combination that will be modest, but if that is what it takes to be modest she should do so.

When women are at sport or at the beach, men need to prepare themselves in advance by not going there to gawk, but they should realize they will be seeing women dressed for those occasions. If they cannot avoid consenting to impure thoughts, they are duty-bound not to go to these places.

Lest this entire discussion of immodesty would appear to take no cognizance of immodesty in men and the problems it can cause to women, a word needs to be said about the man's obligations in this regard. Men should avoid even partial nudity where women will be present. They too should avoid tight clothing, especially tight pants. Men's shirts should be buttoned at least to within one button of the neck, and men should avoid wearing "muscle shirts" (undershirt style) and shirts that are tight and/or without sleeves.

People who wish to be moral in regard to modesty should realize that worldly fashions tend to take no cognizance of modesty or morality in dress. Therefore, any reference to "fashion" when it comes to the morality of modesty is simply futile. The norms for modesty must be Christian (Christlike) and based upon the reality of human frailty, not upon what is a la mode with the fashion world. (Modern fashions are often so immodest that one could well believe there is a conspiracy afoot to foster immodesty and therefore immorality.) The person who wants to obey God's law relative to modesty needs to realize that we all have a moral obligation not to dress in any manner which would tend to lead him into sin.


Messages In This Thread
Re: No Hooters shirts in Mass, please - by Petertherock - 09-07-2011, 05:51 PM
Re: No Hooters shirts in Mass, please - by Dust - 09-09-2011, 02:10 PM
Re: No Hooters shirts in Mass, please - by Dust - 09-10-2011, 03:33 PM

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)