A Letter Concerning Modesty

A.C.J. A.M.D.G. B.V.M.

  •                               J.M.J.                                       +

Dear Friends in Christ,
A Friend of mine sent me the following email and I was wondering if any of you could help me to find some way to respond to her…

"I just wanted to let you know that I’m praying very hard for you
and I hope you can think clearly enough to write out a response soon.

    Also, something important I forgot to say in my last email. After 

talking all about how the Church has no rules or “measurements” for modesty
and that we aren’t obliged to always wear skirts and dresses and never
pants, I want to point out that a lot of reasons why many Catholics think
they must always wear skirts and dresses and never pants and clothes that
are very unattractive is coming from Amish, Puritan, Mennonite, SSPX (if you
want more info on that, I can send it to you), which is not in communion
with the Church, even Muslim, and other religions like that which are
non-Catholic. Shouldn’t we set the example since we have the True Religion?
Should we try to support them by wearing clothes like what they wear? It is
also interesting to note that the biggest “Catholic” supporters of women
wearing only skirts are members of SSPX, especially SSPX priests and
bishops. Again, should we show our support? Dressing like that is putting a
bad face on us, as Catholics. Non-Catholics will look at Catholics dressed
this way and might say, “Oh, those are those Catholics. They dress like
Amish.” or “Are those people Mennonite?” or even “Is there any difference
between Catholicism and Muslimism (sp?)?”.

Well, that is basicly it…Many thanks…

Yours in Christ through Mary,

After reading this:

I wouldn’t bother responding.

…Did you friend really imply that your failure to agree with him proved you weren’t able to think clearly!?

If so, I see no point in trying to change his mind about anything.

I am not an SSPX supporter, but I do feel that my wearing skirts over pants is a personal devotion that I feel to more embrace the femininity that God gave me, just as my wearing of the veil is a personal devotion that is a singularly feminine devotion.

NO ONE can tell a person how to interpret their own personal devotion. If a woman feels that dressing like the plain people is how she will dress to follow God’s Law, then that is her decision. If I feel like I want to wear skirts and be more modest, but still embrace the current fashions- that is my prerogative. The Church has no official stance on this practice, thus making a private devotion, thus making personal interpretation of said private devotion private.

I hope that makes sense?

A.C.J. A.M.D.G. B.V.M.

  •                                J.M.J.                                      +

Dear Friends in Christ,
Thank you all for you help and ideas…Some how or another God will help me get through this, and hopefully pull my friend through it also…

Yours in Christ through Mary,

I know of an old Orthodox nun who lived in Ohio and was terribly puzzled by the Amish women. She was sure they were really nuns and didn’t understand why they were not.

I would ignore it, and block further messages from the sender. It is another example of allowing the opinions of other people to dictate our decisions on how do dress and act, when we have made that decision on good moral or prudential grounds. If you decide that a course of action is the wise and moral choice for you, considering any teaching (or lack thereof) by the Church, then do it, and don’t let others co-opt you. Many opera singers wear a veil when they sing the part of Carmen, who is a lady of dubious reputation. Does that mean we should not wear veils?

After talking all about how the Church has no rules or “measurements” for modesty…

Not true. There is a Papal encyclical on this topic where he goes into measurement guidelines. I want to say it was Pope St. Pius X but I need to track down the exact reference to be sure. If I find it I’ll post the reference here.

It is also interesting to note that the biggest “Catholic” supporters of women wearing only skirts are members of SSPX, especially SSPX priests and bishops.

The SSPX might be big supporters of women dressing modestly, but they aren’t the only ones. Here’s at least one non-SSPX viewpoint on the question (and this particular priest preaches on this topic at least three times a year – check out the archives at www.audiosancto.com for more references): Appetites, Temptations, Passions, and Lemonade

Wearing modest clothing such as skirts gives women the chance to embrace her femininity.
No one says the skirts/dresses have to be unattractive just simply modest!

I htink we need to be more careful not to fall into vanity or fall under the “hypocrite” category of Our Lord, paying too much attention on the outside and forget to focus on the inside. I personally think pants or skirts do not matter; the heart matters more.


Why can’t one do both?:shrug:

Perfectly said, and that would be my reply.

Is this person really a Catholic? That was totally uncalled for.

And as for this:

You should let her know that SSPX priests and bishops don’t wear only skirts, though they may wear cassocks! :smiley: :wink:


  •             ------                J.M.J.            ---------               +

Dear Friends in Christ,
Thank you very much for your advice and support…It should be very helpful…
May God bless you all always!

Yours in Christ through Mary,

May God be with you!

Being Catholic sets us apart in so many ways. Because of that, we are the Poster Child of “throw any kind of unwarranted potshot you want and no one will ever say boo about it”.

I can understand many on this thread who say not to respond. I would disagree. I would respond in my actions and love. It could be simply a kind note thanking her for her concerns but that you don’t agree and end with a kind and loving phrase.

If you don’t respond - some people think you silently agree!!!

God bless you.

you may also want to point out that the religion is called Islam and it’s followers are called Muslim.

I think the key is for me to dress properly, and to be concerned that I myself am dressing, speaking, behaving and living as a follower of Christ, and to drop ALL concern about the dress, speech, behavior and lives of others, except for those children in my care who are my direct responsibility at this time. Any time spent speculating on the dress, speech, behavior and lives of others is time taken away from my own prayer life and impedes my own spiritual progress, and puts me in danger of several sins, including presumption, detraction, vanity and pride.

Gee…you sound so “Catholic” - what a pleasure it was to read your post:)

Love to see all our priests in cassocks. For some reason they looked more priestly…:wink:

yes, the Church HAS spoken on this - a “Letter from the Congregation of the Council” - (same as one of the Sacred Congregations we have today - they speak and have the authority of the Magisterium)

Women are not to wear pants/slacks. And a few other notes!


Sorry, but…
When you think about it - if a man dresses like a woman, he’s called a transvestite - when a woman dresses like a man…

Women should dress like women, and men should dress like men. Both should dress while being mindful of their obligation to be modest and reverant, especialy at Mass.

Remember to live always in the presence of God. Would you dress like a prostitute (and honestly, that is exactly what so many young girls today dress like!) in front of your human father? Surely you would not do so before your Divine Father.

As for the claim that Catholic women dressing in skirts is making them adopt an Amish, or even Islamic, identity, thats just as laughable as the instance where someone told me that using Gregorian chant at Mass is adopting Anglican practices! :rolleyes:

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