On the contrary I think the message that Adam and Eve where nude and not ashamed means that they were always nude, because they had a pure heart and conscience.
However that doesn’t mean that a Christian never can be naked.

A pure and innocent conscience is the key. Remember that Jesus told us to be childlike. If you have ever observed very small children, they are so innocent and think nothing if they are naked.

I guess the Church has put the “age of accountability” at about 7 (?), but I’ve wondered if, on a child by child basis, it made some sense to set it to the age at which each child is aware of their nudity and embarrassed to be seen without clothing. It seems like that happens at just about 7.


Modesty preserves the environment from scandal. Unfortunately it is often not preserved within ourselves.

The nakedness in the Garden would apply to the unobstructed view of the inner life that Adam and Eve experienced when they looked at one another. JPII refered to this phenomenon as the ‘internal gaze’.

Shame causes us to hide parts of our selves even from our selves. Because of shame we are no longer naked even to ourselves. Because of shame we are no longer naked and so have lost the internal gaze of Original Innocense.

I think that shame causes us to hide parts of our bodies from other people, but it don’t have to hide our bodies from ourselves.

I’m sorry I should have been more clear. Shame causes us to hide the inside part of ourselves that experiences shame. This reorders our psyche. With shame came a new order within ourselves. The order of sin gives birth to ego to hide shame

Adam and Eve’s bodies inform them of their fallen condition. Bodily movements that submitted to will became involuntary making their fallen condition visible. The body becomes a source of embarrassment and in order to preserve the environment from scandal the parts that move involuntarilly are covered. That’s modesty.

Another way to look at “internal gaze” and practice it is this: when conversing or interacting with others, instead of looking at their eyes, look into their eyes.


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