Don't say it!!


I was told a story the other day about how a person went to mass at a particular parish that had never been seen there before. This female was dressed in a way that offended some people during mass. One of the parishoners went up to the lady and told her that her clothing was not acceptable to wear during mass. Because of this she was obviousally imbarrassed.
When I heard this I was a bit upset. This person may have gone to mass for the first time not knowing what to expect. Nobody knows what background or history she had. In my opinion the parishoner should have kept quiet and pray for the woman rather than making her feel bad and probably making it highly unlikely for her to return to another Catholic church again. I think what should have happened is for the upset parishoner to invite her with their family out to eat after mass and get to know her… then discretely throw in how maybe his mom had always made him dress a particular way to mass. Then go on to make sure they are comfortable and feel welcomed and loved.
Some people dress a certain way and have no idea that others dont like the way they dress. Telling them you dont like the way they dress is a sure way to leave a bad impression.

   What do you think?


Recall Our Lady’s words to young Jacinta at Fatima: “Certain fashions are introduced which gravely offend my Divine Son.”

The words of Pope Pius XII:

“How many young girls there are today who do not see any wrong-doing in following certain shameless fashion styles LIKE SO MANY SHEEP! They would certainly blush if they could guess the impression they make and the feelings they evoke in those who see them. What sins are committed or provoked by this public display of deliberate and calculated immodesty? HOW LAX HAVE CONSCIENCES BECOME, HOW PAGAN MORALS!”

If the clothing worn by the woman was of the sort comdemned above, then it may have been an act of charity (a spiritual act of mercy - instructing the ignorant) to point it out. If God was offended by fashions back 100 years ago, think how much more He is offended when even worse fashions are worn in His Church.

Also, if the clothing worn was immodest (?), it could have been an occasion of sin to some of the men who were there, in which case it was probably appropriate to point it out.

Nobody knows what background or history she had.

OTOH, nobody knows why the parishioner felt compelled to speak out.


I liked your response but just out of FRIENDLY conversation, to get a better view of the subject, I respons to the above.
I believe Pope Pius XII was speaking of the Catholics of that time. I could be wrong here but it just sounded that way to me. I do agree that this is an issue with Catholics and non Catholics.

The second part about God being offended 100 years ago I also agree with. However, the original subject was the fact that nobody knew if this person was a Catholic or just a person looking for God for the first time. I believe that God is greatly joyed when a lost soul comes to the Church for the first time (reguardless of the morality in the dress attire). Remember how Jesus sat at the table with all the immoral people and everyone was shocked to see him with such immoral people? He welcomed all people that would listen to his voice no matter what their moral status was when they listened.
I think people have to be very careful not to give the people that they do not know direction for the reasons I noted. We never know if it is a person seeking the truth for the first time. We need to show them the love and acceptance of God… Not the acceptable dress attire right from the start. I do agree though that if an active Catholic is dressing immoraly he or she should be talked with concerning this. There needs to be a beginning and an end. You don’t start at the middle when you need to focus on the start. I hope this made my views on the subject a little clearer. I would greatly appreciate any feedback you could give me. I love to be open to reconsideration of my feelings when I am off the target if you know what I’m saying. God bless…


I personally would not have approached this woman in Church but would have *possibly *spoken to her afterwards. But maybe I would have sinned by omission by saying nothing. I suspect that most people would have said nothing either way, whether they were scandalised or not. Whether that would be a kindness is a matter of opinion.

Personally, I think it very sad that people no longer have a sense of being in the Presence of Almighty God when they go to Mass.

Charity aside, I suspect that if that same woman had decided to attend a mosque, she would have taken care to dress appropriately.

It is a matter of scandal that priests do not speak on this matter, as well as rebuking all the chatter that goes on before Mass. They could at least mention it in the Bulletin every now and then.


I totally agree with you… When I was protestant the preachers were never afraid to tell the people in the church what dress or behavior was appropriate during the church service. I have a best friend from when I was in the seminary that is now a priest and he tells me how he actually gets into trouble with the bishop when he offends the people during mass. He always tells the bishop, “If you can show me where in the bible or the teachings of the Church that it says not to tell them what I am I will stop”. People tell the bishop that they feel worse after mass than when they walked in the door. Funny that people don’t want to hear the truth. People just have no conviction anymore and do everything they can to avoid feeling guilty for the immoral things in their life.
I can tell you are a good Catholic by reading your responses. :thumbsup:


I wish. Today, I was in the crowd. I may not have cried out “Crucify him” but I did nothing to witness to Jesus. Every time we sin we are part of the mob.

I don’t want to be a good Catholic, I want to be a **holy **Catholic. Sigh! I have a long way to go and I’m running out of time. But, I have rebuked my own children about their dress in Church as well as in public.

I hesitate to condemn what I see as wrong behaviour in others (except for children) because I know that I have to get rid of that ‘beam’ from my own eye first. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!


Personally, I think it very sad that people no longer have a sense of being in the Presence of Almighty God when they go to Mass.
***As the writer stated she might not have been in the presence of others before, and may have been given the push by the Holy Spirit, I would have been mor discrete myself asking the Holy Spirit to guide me. (not saying the speaker didn’t have Holy Spirit guidence) ***

Charity aside, I suspect that if that same woman had decided to attend a mosque, she would have taken care to dress appropriately. It is a matter of scandal that priests do not speak on this matter, as well as rebuking all the chatter that goes on before Mass. They could at least mention it in the Bulletin every now and then.

Although looking at that again I once walked into the church building with overalls on gumboots on and unwashed, I was comming home from work and just wanted to soy Hi! to Jesus. I noticed a group of people praying it turned out to be a mass so I joined in. I prayed asked Jesus to forgive me if I was wrong and to show me. i went up for communion and was given the biggest part of the host the priest presents in front of the congregation.

.Sadly I agree that it seems that in some instances there seems to be a laxity of attitude towards what is and is not offensive. Well!
god bless


Was this woman a young college student?:smiley: :smiley:

I have a lot of young college students under my supervision at work. You can DEFINITELY tell when they come up to the end of their clothing supply.


I think, myself, that the parishoner was correct in mentioning something to the {young?} woman. I think that most if not all people know when they are dressing on the “sexy” side. Knowing that they are attending a church [any church], common sense would dictate you dress it down somewhat, after all - you’re not going to a singles bar.{ Although I suppose if she were ‘dressed down’, then we may have a problem.}

Anyway - I think it is important to impress upon people the nature and importance of what a mass is all about. If the nature of the word in this ladies ear was appropriately made...kindly, and with compassion...then I see nothing wrong with it. It shows that we take our masses seriously - and that alone may make all the difference to that person. After all - everyone who is honestly seeking God has the idea in their head that it is GOD they are looking for: the almighty, all-powerful Himself - someone you just don't take lightly, why would sunday worship service be any different? It puts things into this view not saying something is worse than whispering that "you really need to dress a little more conservatively here, we are in the presence of God". 

But that is just my opinion.


Although looking at that again I once walked into the church building with overalls on gumboots on and unwashed, I was comming home from work and just wanted to soy Hi! to Jesus.

A nun once told us this was better than not going at all, if there was no opportunity to change. She told us to take the boots off at the door though.

One rule I had for my daughters was that no midrif was to be seen, or a great expanse of thigh. And definitely no cleavage.


LOL!!! This is so funny. When went to Texas A&M almost all the females wore shorts so short you could see their bottoms hanging out of the back. I had even seen a girl with a skirt so short I could see a thong in the back. I took my wife there just to show her and she was just as shocked as I was. I had even seen some girls that had their breast showing more than just breast. Every time my wife and I see someone dressed like this we always say, "there goes a Texas A&M girl. Lucky for me I finally found a good online college to attend. I was sick of the child like behavior of the college students.:eek:


Awww, don’t think all of us Aggie girls dress like that! There are plenty of us who dress perfectly modestly! :thumbsup: Just gotta find those nice Catholic girls on campus, that’s all. :wink:


I’ve never known how to address people who dress the bad way for church, but neither have I ever really felt the need to do that. Then again, I haven’t really had too much exposure to bad clothes at mine.


I guess it would depend on how the person was corrected… Pointing out that someone made a mistake is one thing, but confronting and accusing them and saying something like “You should know better!” when they may not have…
We have a few possible scenarios: (albiet simplified)
1: no one says anything to her. She could: a) enjoy/be touched or moved in some way by the Mass, and seek out more information, thus eventually finding out, from her studies of the Church, that dressing in such a way is a bad idea or b) not be affected and not change (at least not by this experience)
2. someone confronts her, rather rudely, and tells her off for dressing immodestly. She could a) be totally scarred, never come back, and end up hating the Church/that parish for it or b) be shocked, but later forget about the whole thing without it having affected her or c) somehow see the truth in the corrector’s statement, and look up information about modesty, and adjust her wardrobe accordingly
3. someone charitably, and as kindly as possible, lets her know that her manner of dress is offensive. She could a) be offended anyway, and end up hating the Church/that parish, as above, or b) take the correction to heart, seek out information about modesty, discover how truly beautiful it is, and adopt it

I know I left several possibilities out, it’s impossible to get them all… anyways, I suppose my point is, it’s tough to tell what would work the best. All you can do is pray, and if the Holy Spirit moves you to speak to her, do so!


I have noticed that Protestants tend to dress more appropriately in church than Catholics do. I think it is sad because we have Jesus’ Real Presence in our churches, and we should be respectful towards Him.


wasn’t there a parable in the gospel about everyone being welcomed to a banquet regardless of who they were but then the one person who did not dress propperly was thrown out? That parable I assume means something entirely unrelated to this topic but it could somewhat be inferenced to it.


I’m not sure if the parishoner should have called her on it, because in some ways your argument is valid, however I also see the need to be modestly attired when attending church. Over all I think the best option would have simply been to have a sign in front of every door, which tells what is or isn’t expected (e.g. no sandales, no spagetty (sp) straps, etc). That way she would simply have gone home and changed, and her immodesty wouldn’t have embarresed her, or anyone else.



I agree praise God and all blessing and glory to the Trinity be.


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