Long before our time, Church Fathers had the courage to speak out on modesty in dress beginning with, would you believe it, St. Paul (1 Tim. 2:9). Yes, modesty was a problem in the Church 2,000 years ago. In about A.D. 190 the great philosopher and homilist Tertullian added his voice, followed by St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, St. Nilus, and many, many others. Years later St. Thomas Aquinas picked up on St. Ambrose, and on and on until more recent times when Pope Benedict XV in 1921 issued his encyclical Sacra Propediem, in which he refers directly to proper attire. Benedict XV's statement was supported in turn by Pius XI and Pius XII, and was observed by Catholics until Vatican II, when the issue of modesty got swept away like so many other relics from the past.Share
The consistency of teaching of the Catholic Church on modesty, however, can be appreciated in a summary of two statements 2,000 years apart. What St. Paul said 2,000 years ago is essentially restated today in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#2522-2523): "Modesty…inspires one's choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is unhealthy risk of curiosity. It is discreet. It protests against the voyeuristic exploitations of the human body…that go too far in the exploitation of intimate things. Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies."
Monday, December 10, 2007
Posted by elena maria vidal at 10:13 AM