Culture vs. making a mockery of the Church?

I was flicking by TLC and noticed a show “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” and when I caught wind of the word Catholic I had to watch. I sat watching in disbelief over what they say is cultural, but really seems to be making a mockery of the Catholic Faith. Don’t get me wrong, I realize it’s just a glimpse into their lives, but the half naked show girl dancing of these young girls etc., the disrespect shown by the young men who go through some ritual of “grabbing” the young girls to initiate a possible kiss and subsequent court ship type thing just leaves one wondering what they’ve been taught about Christ like behavior.

There is basically a First Communion exploitation of 6 and 7 year old girls wearing ridiculous strapless dresses that literally weigh two times their body weight that they can seriously barely walk in (sometimes needing to actually be carried) and that tear and scar their skin. Following the Mass comes the receptions where these same little girls basically dance like miniature show girls in very skimpy two piece outfits. Hardly what we would hope for those who have just received Jesus for the first time.

Then the weddings consist of 16 and 17 year olds, some which laughed all the way through their entire vows, wearing similar dresses to those of the First Communion ones mentioned above only with 2 foot wide slits all the way up to their waist. Again dresses that rip and tear their skin because of the weight of them.

I just can’t even begin to believe these couples have received adequate pre-marital classes. I admit that it seems they do stay married for a life time (which is more than many can say) and I understand that sometimes it is hard for outsiders such as myself to understand other cultures, but there seemed to be NO respect for the sacraments they were receiving on these days.

I guess it just bothers me that they say that over 10 million people have watched these episodes and this is the view that many are getting of the Catholic Church, the Sacraments and our Priests.

That show makes me sick. Those people are as close to actual Catholics as the Black Muslims are to actual Muslims.

I’m totally baffled… :shrug:

They have their own culture. They are sort of Irish Catholics, but with lots of other influences, you can also see the Persian line in their dark hair and light eyes, their facial structure, noses, etc.

Don’t worry, I don’t think many people are interested in that culture and if they are, they can see that it’s a completely different one to ours. They are a closed society, sort of like a trashy version of the Amish.


I was a bit shocked when I watched an episode of that show too. But it is obvious that it is a culture quite segregated from the mainstream society. I doubt that people would think that all Catholics are the same way. The clothes are OTT for sure :smiley:

Oh I realize that people don’t think we are all like that, but I have no doubt that it would raise questions by our separated brethren, some of who already have misunderstanding about our sacraments and beliefs, as to why it’s allowed within the Church. Why those young girls are allowed to participate in a First Communion wearing gowns that will leave literal scars on their little bodies etc.(even the parents of the other little girls that were dressed more typically were in the background staring and looking very displeased about the parading in of this little girl). I guess I’m just surprised that the priests don’t stand up and refuse to allow that. They have dress codes here in our parish for such events. Or even the young girls being taken out of school at age 11, to help clean and cook, with no mention of home education etc. Where is the guiding of these parents choices by the Church coming in?

Oh well, I will pray for them.

It didn’t seem that they think their way of life is contrary to the faith. For example, they value chastity and marriage, strong family unit, etc. Great. When it comes to education, I guess their views can be consider rather backward in the western society. But education for all is a relatively new thing. I don’t know if the church has a specific teaching on this. I’m not sure how I feel about it. I definitely think it is wrong not to educate children, but at the same time am relieved that parents still have rights over their children, rather than the state apparatus ‘owning’ them and taking them away from the family. That it my greatest fear these days.

I saw this show once too and was shocked at the little girls dancing around in skimpy outfits after their communion. The whole thing is really bizarre!

Really? It seemed to me the way they were dressed and danced was more in line with secular society and culture than a Catholic one while at the same time they still cling to certain traditional value’s they favor

I meant segregated in their way of life, of not mixing with the outsiders, holding on to their customs, etc.
As for the way they dress, I’d say it is an extreme variant of the secular culture. For example, here in the UK girls often tend to wear more revealing clothes than you would see in other countries, but these communities take it even further. It is like a parody of the norm which is a bit OTT itself.

I agree, can’t understand though the mentality of how it is acceptable while still remaining Catholic but to be honest i think that they are only Catholic culturally rather than practicing. This seem’s to be popular today in which people who are extremely secular minded on morality such as sex, dress, abortion, homosexuality etc also wear crucifixes or have picture’s of holy image’s because they see Catholicism as part of their identity rather than something they actually practice because they believe it to be truth

What does this mean?

I… what?

Romani are originally from India…

There is Iranian blood in them too.

I don’t think these communities (gypsies) are the same as Romany.

No they are a mixture of Both Irish and English. Romanian one’s are different, their appearance is of a more eastern origin

Iranians(Persians) have dark hair and dark eyes. This show is about the Irish Travellers in the UK.

I think you are talking about Travelers

Traveler’s is essentially a different name given. Both are the same and both are referred to as Gypsy

Within the Roma, or Gypsy lifestyle, there are actually many “clan’s” of these people.
Different way’s of living, belief’s and raising the children, etc. can vary greatly from each clan.
I was friends for many years with a Roma family. They were not only great musician’s, but also people of high morals. The wives of this particular “clan” of Roma, were very good mother’s to their children. All the women and young girls wore long skirts, and/or long dresses. They were very strict about demonstrating modesty in word, and dress. Catholic teaching’s were commonly heard when in their company too. The family that I shared many meals with were very kind, warm and religious people.
I also saw some of the footage of the TV show mentioned on this thread, and I did not recognize these clan’s behavior’s with my Roma friends at all. Yes, it was rather shocking to view some of that show, and I thought that it would give many people a narrow minded view of any Gypsy.

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