Modesty in Sports?

I would like to take Muay Thai and compete, however, I know that women use short lose shorts and a sports bra like shirt(I don’t know what they are called) and so wanted to know if it is sinful to wear this while training?
The church I think is vague on what is acceptable in modesty and I have heard different opinions on it. What do you think?

Pius XI issued a letter to the Cardinal Vicar of Rome expressing his disapproval of the impending national gymnastic and athletic competitions for women. The means employed to give health to the body, “the noble instrument of the soul,” he stated, should take into account suitability of time and place. They should not excite vanity or promote immodesty. And they must not lessen a young woman’s “reserve and self-possession which are both the ornament and guarantee of virtue” (Letter A Lei, Vicario Nostro, May 2, 1928).

Pope Pius XII, who watched the modern advance of immodest styles for women with concern, often reminded young girls to be vigilant against dangers threatening purity. He offered the exquisite delicacy of conscience of the martyr St. Perpetua as an example:

“When she was thrown into the air by a savage bull in the amphitheatre at Carthage, her first thought and action when she fell to the ground was to rearrange her dress to cover her thigh, because she was more concerned for modesty than pain” (Allocution to the girls of Catholic Action, October 6, 1940). 

Mode and modesty should go hand in hand like two sisters, he continued, because both words derive from the Latin modus, meaning a right measure. He warned:

“Many women have forgotten Christian modesty because of vanity and ambition: they rush wretchedly into dangers that can spell death to their purity. They give in to the tyranny of fashion, be it even immodest, in such a way as to appear not even to suspect that it is unbecoming … They have lost the very concept of danger; they have lost the instinct of modesty” 

Wearing short shorts has become common today, contrary to Catholic Morals. The blame should be put principally on the religious authorities that are silent.

One year later, congratulating the Catholic Action girls for beginning the “crusade for purity,” he encouraged a militant spirit against impurity. The life of man on earth remains always one of warfare, he said, and young women have a special fight against the dangers of immorality in the field of fashion and dress, and of health and sports. The weapons they must take up for the fight, Pius XII told them, are words, clothing and behavior that display a high standard.

It is truly a war, the Sovereign Pontiff warned. The purity of souls living in the state of supernatural grace is not preserved without a struggle. A special heroism is needed to counter public opinion, to stand apart from popular styles, amusements, and sports. This is even more difficult because of the “indulgent attitude, or better said, the negative attitude of an ever greater part of public opinion, which renders it blind to the gravest moral disorders ” (Allocution of May 22, 1941) .

He was quite specific on the things young women should shun at all costs:

• “Dresses which hardly suffice to cover the person;
• “Others that seem designed to emphasize what they should rather conceal;
• “Sports that are performed with such clothing;
• “The kind of exhibitionism that is irreconcilable with even the least demanding standard of modesty”

There are varying prudential opinions of modesty, but no, it is not objectively sinful to do this. The materials are no less revealing than a bathing suit, which is culturally acceptable.

I’ve seen a lot of women wearing sweats and a T-shirt while doing this…I think you can wear what feels most comfortable for you.

Speaking of modesty and sports; I do wish women would stop wearing micro-mini-skirts on the tennis court…

.

As a traditional Catholic I feel that their should be no double standards regarding modesty for women and men

Modern day clothing is very immoral for example short shorts, bikinis, and tanktops are very inmodest.

What about Caitlyn?

Killing children is technically culturally acceptable.

Modesty is nebulous, whereas taking life is not. A traditional Catholic woman’s attire is scandalous to a traditional Muslim.

A bathing suit (in the proper setting) is not viewed as scandalous by the common person, therefore it isn’t scandalous to wear it. An athletic outfit is not worn the purpose of inducing people to sin, or to receive gratification for being on the receiving end of lustful eyes.

Immodesty isn’t so much determined by revealing too much of a person as it is by revealing too little of a person; that is what makes pornography sinful, not the nudity in of itself.

Modesty is a virtue. It is possible to find modest clothing for any occasion or type of sports play. It is not necessary to display body parts that should be covered in order to compete in any athletic endeavor. If you look you will find modest attire. As for discussion purposes, “culturally acceptable” often means immodest attire. We can make modest dress culturally acceptable if we begin to display that ourselves.:thumbsup:

Well, for just training I am sure I can wear whatever I want, so there isn’t much of a problem there. My concern is if I want to compete because I think it is a requirement to wear such clothes.

Your intent in dressing that way is probably to keep your range of motion uninhibited. That’s fine. Your instructor (and competition judges) would probably like you to dress that way so that he can see your form and make sure that you’re doing the techniques correctly. That’s fine too. There is no sexual intent in your clothes and they are appropriate for the situation. Don’t worry about it.

Young girls want to look better than their friends and they want to attract men. By wearing low cut blouses, micro mini skirts and especially tiny bikini bathing suits, they are not just looking attractive…they are giving men impure thoughts.

A man can see a girl on the beach and keep his desires in check, but when he gets home those images return to his mind and can cause him to sin.

It is thoughtless and I believe sinful for girls to dress immodestly and cause men to be tempted and fall into sin.

Has anyone seen the sport of rhythmic gymnastics? Beautiful sport which showcases the grace and strength of women. Anyway it is quite popular in the Muslim countries, especially those in Central Asia. The only requirement is for the competitors to wear a unitard which covers their arms and legs for the sake of modesty.

Pope Pius XII addressed the objection that was already being raised about the convenience of the new sports fashions. Some young women, he noted, offer practical objections, saying that “a certain form of dress is more convenient or even more hygienic.” This kind of protest is commonly heard today: “How can I do acrobatics in a dress? You can’t play soccer in a skirt,” and so on.

The violence of certain sports is completely contrary to the feminine spirit. Besides the immorality of the clothing, there is an action against nature.

How did Pope Pius XII respond? Quite simply but firmly, he stated,

“If a form of dress becomes a grave and proximate danger for the soul, it is certainly not hygienic for the spirit, and you must reject it” 

Again, he turned to the example of martyrs to make his point. He challenged young girls to follow the example of girls like St. Agnes and St. Cecilia, who suffered tortures of body to preserve their virginal innocence and save their souls:

“Will you, then, for the love of Christ, in the esteem for virtue, not find at the bottom of your hearts the courage and strength to sacrifice a little well-being – a physical advantage, if you will – to conserve safe and pure the life of your souls?” 

What is more, he added, if one does not have the right to endanger the physical health of others simply for one’s own pleasure, then it is certainly even less licit to compromise the health of their souls.

With this, the Pontiff turned to another objection, also commonly heard today: that the immodest popular fashions do not cause young women any moral harm or lead them to make any personal compromises with purity. He answered:

“But how can you know anything of the impression made on others? Who can assure you that others do not draw therefrom incentives to evil? You do not know the depths of human frailty …. Oh, how truly was it said that if some Christian women could only suspect the temptations and falls they cause in others with modes of dress and familiarity in behavior, which they unthinkingly consider as of no importance, they would be shocked by the responsibility which is theirs” 

Pius XII added a strong word of warning to Catholic mothers who imprudently allow their sons and daughters to become accustomed “to live barely attired.” The relevance of his words make them well worth repeating for the benefit of both mothers and fathers today, many who are well meaning but ignorant of the dangers of the immodest clothing that has become commonplace today. He affirmed forcefully:

“O Christian mothers, if you only knew what a future of worries, dangers, and shame … you lay up for your sons and your daughters by imprudently accustoming them to live barely attired, making them lose the natural sense of modesty. You would blush and take fright were you to know the shame you inflict upon yourselves and the harm which you occasion to your children, entrusted to you by Heaven to be brought up in a Christian manner” 

There is something yet more reprehensible, he continued, and that is for the mothers themselves and other women among the faithful - “and pious women at that” - to show approval of immodest fashions by wearing them themselves. The moment a “questionable fashion” appears on persons “beyond all reproach,” he warned, others will no longer hesitate to follow the current, “a current that will perhaps drag them to the worst falls”

Finally, Pius XII encouraged Catholic girls and mothers to join together to make a common effort to counter such fashions in dress, behavior and entertainment. Unity is strength, and even a small group of “resolute and not timid Christian spirits” can exert a strong influence and make a powerful moral example”

This is the moral teaching of the Holy Catholic Church that seems to have been forgotten by the very religious authorities that should emphasize them. Certainly, the dangers previous Popes so prudently warned about have not lessened, but rather augmented. The fashions have become bolder; complacency toward immodesty has grown; more girls and women are engaging in violent sports, even wrestling and football; manly and indecent language, postures and attitudes permeate much of the sports environment.

Everything speaks of a need for a renewed challenge of a “crusade for purity” to young women who engage in sports.

Women that intentionally make themselves into an object to be ruminated over will answer for what they have done in the hereafter most severely, but it nonetheless is most importantly the responsibility of the man to guard his heart from impurity, and this is accomplished through an intense love of God, and for Catholic men, a closeness to their Mother Mary, who will provide for them all of the wholesome female affection that they could ever need, so that they do not turn to the baleful substitute of wayward daughters on Earth who have been subjugated by Satan.

We are not Muslims. We do not cover our women in blankets 24/7 because men are allegedly base-minded brutes that cannot be kept in check otherwise.

You’re quoting Popes from the 1940s because you won’t find the arguments structured the same way by St JPII, Benedict, or Francis. You also won’t find a condemnation of the piano being a near occasion of sin.

But it isn’t a moral teaching of the Catholic Church. It was pastoral advice from a highly accomplished Catholic theologian of the early 20th century.

“Abortion is gravely sinful” is a moral teaching of the Catholic Church. “Lust is contrary to charity” is a moral teaching of the Catholic Church. “It is sacrilege to consume the Eucharist while in mortal sin” is a moral teaching of the Catholic Church. Etc.

21.1. Female boxers must wear the same attire as male boxers with the addition of sleeveless or short-sleeved shirts.

21.2. Female boxers must neatly tie their hair, without tangling ends, which can interfere in the contest. Hair accessories may be rubber or made of elastic cloth. Bands should be of a suitable size and should not contain metal or hard plastic parts.

21.3. Female boxers must wear a breast (chest) protector, an abdomen (groin) protector. The boxer may use her personal protectors or those provided by the stadium manager, as long as they are approved by the WMC Executive Board.

Thankfully, this is one mans opinion and not Church teaching.

Your stated religion says it all. fortunately, most good catholics regard the teachings of our Popes as instructional and good. Please pray about your denigration of our Popes teachings. Modesty is a virtue.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.