Naturism and Catholicism

Well, God intended us, human beings, to be fully naked. Adam and Eve were created and lived for many years nude, or so the bible claims. Naturism is not about the sexualized body or voyeurism, in fact it is openly opposed to that. Naturists believe that the body should be cherished and respected and should not be covered up. They are opposed to the financial exploitation of the naked human body. I support Naturism in all aspects and believe that the Church should do the same as Naturism respects God’s true intentions. Law against naturism are simply immoral and bigoted. So what do you think?

Okay, that is true, in the Garden of Eden before The Fall.

I am glad to hear of that. However, after The Fall mankind has been prone to concupiscence, which makes such altruism difficult for most persons. Lust and judgmental attitudes are just two of the dangers.

Climate is also a danger Whether due to sun or lack of heat, the climate we experience is not the same as in the Garden of Eden.

I think clothing is a reasonable compensation for the losses which accompanied our fall from grace.

As Dale pointed out, nakedness is associated with the sinless state. Adam and Eve, after the fall, clothed themselves. So, clothing may be intended to preserve us from dangers, both environmental and human, in our fallen and sinful state. The need for clothing seems to be a byproduct of the fall, in which sin and death entered the world. It is possible that even the nature of the climate changed after the fall, necessitating a covering for the body. Sunlight and its radiation did not cause cancer before the fall, since disease did not exist as a corruption of God’s design of life.

As well, one must consider that, in the unclothed state, one may become a near occasion of sin for another. Christ teaches that we are to deny ourselves, and this would fall in that category.

“For the man and his wife the LORD God made leather garments, with which he clothed them.” Gen 3:21

God made clothes for them. That means that He intend for them (and consequently us) to wear clothes from then on. It seems quite simple to me.

I think this sounds ridiculous. No offense.

Naturism is just a fancy word for people who want to go nekkid. In the 1950s and 60s, Nudist Camps or Nudist Colonies existed, but there’s nothing consistent with Catholic teaching there.

God bless,
Ed

Your question here does not line up with the question on your poll about the potential to misunderstand naturism, so i could not answer the poll. I think that most people understand naturism very well, and still do not accept it.

Read Romans 14, if your freedom to go naked causes another to sin, lust then in effect you are sinning.

One key word is from Christ: “in the beginning it was not so”

From this we get our good doctrine against divorce. We also have related doctrines against contraceptions and abortion. All these appeal to the power of Christ against the fall.
They appear unreasonable to the common man by considering the ‘fall’ and its consequences.
They even appear as occasions of sin, causing sin, or evil by many Christians.
Moreover the Church expect not only Catholics, but everyone else to be able to practice these teachings…so Catholics promote them to everyone just as we promote Christ to everyone.

I think, some aspects of naturism are justified by the same Catholic logic.
We should realise that nudity is also a sign of humility and one of the reason Adam and Eve were naked was the humility of the ‘beginning’. Today, many people don’t dress up to cover nakedness, they dress up to signal something in the spirit of pride. So in as much as clothing is a vehicle for pride, it should be corrected. On the other side, the naked body signal something about our identity and the message of God for us about each other. What is sinful is deforming this message by sinful acts of the nude body. Yet, let’s not loose sight that it can also be sinful to cover this message by unnecessary/unproper clothing. It seems to me that the strong opinion attached to clothing in the West was partly responsible for the confusion of gender we are struggling with now.
I think when God made us, he knew that we were going to fall, and still made us the way we are. Our bodies are not just a sign to our spouse, but to all about our identity. When the sign is obscured, there is confusion. I think we obsure the sign/message by bad dressing or bad nudity.

As the Lord said, what defiles a man is what comes ‘out’ of him. It is the message we send which marks our sin.

God bless

If God let’s you back into Eden, feel free.

Other than that, put 'em back on please.

Nudism (truth in advertising) works about as well as communism and for the same reason.

Having been to several topless beaches in France, I can attest that most people look better with clothes on than off. Particularly the grandmothers.

Catechism:

2521:

“Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden.”

Such is contrary to modesty and thus chastity which modesty protects.

Your entire premise is in opposition to Christ’s teaching. We are called to modesty and chastity. Original Sin changed everything. “Naturism” as you call it is an offense against God and a Catholic cannot support it or participate in it. To do so is grave matter.

Please study Church teaching more carefully.

Also note that one need not take the description there of Adam an Eve as being without clothes as a literal aspect. There is much in the first chapters of Genesis that are figurative. The symbolism of the nakedness and the the need for clothing after the loss of grace is a great way of expressing the reality of the primordial event.

Catechism:

How to read the account of the fall

390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses* figurative language*, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.264 Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.265 (emp added)

In any case one can not seek to be without clothing…as such a group would propose…for such would be contrary to modesty and chastity.

How does one define modesty and apply it to various cultural contexts?

Chasity has nothing to do with this subject. Camps are filled with families and frankly lust like on a beach with young ladies wearing bikini’s is absent in those camps. Even gramps and grandma are “natural”.

As to modesty…as the Church notes one thing it means is to “not unveil” that which should be hidden… so called “naturalism” unveils" everything --removes all the clothes…so it certainly is going beyond modesty.

The Church would disagree with your assessment of regarding chastity. Also lust is I dare say …not absent. Perhaps some are not as “appealing” as they used to be…but others are.

In any case it is not something Christians are to do. There is not doubt about it.

before I became a christian my family went to nudist camps. And, if lust were present, it would have clear indications, and those indications were absent, therefore lust was absent too. People in those camps tends to be out of shape, displaying all their flaws, no air brushing. :slight_smile:

Well, I’ve looked at this and as a naturist of mature years AND a Catholic, I do NOT think there is any conflict for the following reason:-
Quote" Sexual modesty cannot then in any simple way be identified with the use of clothing,nor shamelessness with the absence of clothing and total or partial nakedness.There are circumstances in which nakedness is not immodest… nakedness as such is not to be equated with physical shamelessness. Immodesty is only present when nakedness plays a negative role with regard to the value of a person,when its aim is to arise concupiscence,as a result of which the person is put in the position of an object of enjoyment. The human body is neither in itself shameful,nor for the same reason sensual reactions,and human sensuality in general.
Shamelessness(just like shame and modesty) is a function of the interior of a person.There is a certain relativism in the definition of what is shameless…due to the differences in makeup of particular persons-a greater or lesser sensual excitability,a higher or lower level of moral culture - or to different world views. It may equally be due to differences in external conditions-in climate for instance…in prevailing customs social habits etc. Dress is always a social question,a function of… social customs. In this matter there is no similarity in the behaviour of certain people even if they live in the same age and society.
The principle of what is truly immodest is simple and obvious, but its application in specific cases depends on the individual,the milieu and society.
There are circumstances in which nakedness is not immodest. If someone takes advantage of such an occasion to treat the person as an objest of enjoyment(even if his action is purely internal) it is onlt he who is guilty of shamelessness…not the other"
And WHO wrote the above? none other than the late great Karol Cardinal Wojtyla(Pope John Paul11 in his thesis on "Love and Responsibility"
As a practising naturist I believe in the wholesomeness of the body and its relation to the earth. It is only man that has invented clothes. In the time of Jesus on the earth it was quite common to bathe naked in the rivers, the disciples fished naked in their boats and it is almost certain that Christ was crucified naked.
So considering all of the above does true naturism conflict with being a Catholic? I cannot see how!************

I am going to decline to vote in your poll. Based on the wording of the question and answers, the obvious answer is yes. But the misunderstanding is from people like the OP who somehow sees nudist behavior as good. Not by those who see it as immoral. I doubt if my vote would be interpretted the way I would desire.

Possible candidates of saints of nudists,

  1. As soon, then, as you entered, you put off your tunic; and this was an image of putting off the old man with his deeds. Colossians 3:9 Having stripped yourselves, you were naked; in this also imitating Christ, who was stripped naked on the Cross, and by His nakedness put off from Himself the principalities and powers, and openly triumphed over them on the tree. For since the adverse powers made their lair in your members, you may no longer wear that old garment; I do not at all mean this visible one, but the old man, which waxes corrupt in the lusts of deceit. Ephesians 4:22 May the soul which has once put him off, never again put him on, but say with the Spouse of Christ in the Song of Songs, I have put off my garment, how shall I put it on Song of Songs 5:3? O wondrous thing! You were naked in the sight of all, and were not ashamed ; for truly ye bore the likeness of the first-formed Adam, who was naked in the garden, and was not ashamed.

  2. Then, when you were stripped, you were anointed with exorcised oil , from the very hairs of your head to your feet, and were made partakers of the good olive-tree, Jesus Christ. For you were cut off from the wild olive-tree , and grafted into the good one, and were made to share the fatness of the true olive-tree. The exorcised oil therefore was a symbol of the participation of the fatness of Christ, being a charm to drive away every trace of hostile influence. For as the breathing of the saints, and the invocation of the Name of God, like fiercest flame, scorch and drive out evil spirits , so also this exorcised oil receives such virtue by the invocation of God and by prayer, as not only to burn and cleanse away the traces of sins, but also to chase away all the invisible powers of the evil one.

newadvent.org/fathers/310120.htm

In 1806 Ingres set out for Rome, and in the Vatican he saw the frescoes of the greatest of the decorators, the master of the “Parnassus” and the “School of Athens”. He at once persuaded himself that this was absolute beauty, and that these paintings held within them formulæ and concepts revealing a full definition of art and of its immutable laws. And it is to this mistake of his that we owe not a few of his finest works; for had he not wrongly thought himself a classicist, he would not have felt himself bound to adopt the essential constituent of the classical language, namely, the nude figure. The nude, in modern realism, hints at the unusual, suggests something furtive and secret, and takes a place in the programme of the realists only as something exceptional. Whereas with Ingres, thanks to the classical idealism of his doctrine, the nude was always a most important and sacred object of study. And to this study he applied, as in all his undertakings, a delicacy and freshness of feeling, an accuracy of observation toned down by a slightly sensual touch of charm, which place these paintings among his most precious works. Never was the joy of drawing and painting a beautiful body, of reproducing it in all the glory and grace of tis youth, mastered by a Frenchman to such an extent, nor in a way so akin to the art of the great painters. “OEdipus” and the “Girl Bathing” (1808), the “Odalisque” (1814), the “Source” (1818) — all these canvases are in the Louvre — are among the most beautiful poems consecrated to setting forth the noblest meaning of the human figure. And yet they remain but incomparable “studies”. The painter is all the while incapable of blending his sensations, of harmonizing them with one another so as to form a tableau.

newadvent.org/cathen/08008b.htm

Freed by his mother during Bernardone’s absence, Francis returned at once to St. Damian’s, where he found a shelter with the officiating priest, but he was soon cited before the city consuls by his father. The latter, not content with having recovered the scattered gold from St. Damian’s, sought also to force his son to forego his inheritance. This Francis was only too eager to do; he declared, however, that since he had entered the service of God he was no longer under civil jurisdiction. Having therefore been taken before the bishop, Francis stripped himself of the very clothes he wore, and gave them to his father, saying: “Hitherto I have called you my father on earth; henceforth I desire to say only ‘Our Father who art in Heaven’.” Then and there, as Dante sings, were solemnized Francis’s nuptials with his beloved spouse, the Lady Poverty, under which name, in the mystical language afterwards so familiar to him, he comprehended the total surrender of all worldly goods, honours, and privileges. And now Francis wandered forth into the hills behind Assisi, improvising hymns of praise as he went. “I am the herald of the great King”, he declared in answer to some robbers, who thereupon despoiled him of all he had and threw him scornfully in a snow drift. Naked and half frozen, Francis crawled to a neighbouring monastery and there worked for a time as a scullion. At Gubbio, whither he went next, Francis obtained from a friend the cloak, girdle, and staff of a pilgrim as an alms. Returning to Assisi, he traversed the city begging stones for the restoration of St. Damian’s. These he carried to the old chapel, set in place himself, and so at length rebuilt it. In the same way Francis afterwards restored two other deserted chapels, St. Peter’s, some distance from the city, and St. Mary of the Angels, in the plain below it, at a spot called the Porziuncola. Meantime he redoubled his zeal in works of charity, more especially in nursing the lepers.

newadvent.org/cathen/06221a.htm

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