Modesty, Mass, and Men’s Eyes


How often I’ve been at Mass and suddenly found I had nearly intimate knowledge of a complete stranger’s body.

“My eyes! My eyes!”

Oh, the things I wish I could “unsee” sometimes.

Form fitting clothing, barely concealed skin. It’s one thing to encounter something revealing on a beach — at least you know to expect it. But there’s something jarring about contemplating the Blessed Sacrament, and then out of the blue be aware that someone is wearing a thong. Or not wearing a bra.

I shouldn’t know that. I should not be able to tell. But the fact is I’ve encountered women at Mass that were wearing clothes that were so revealing that they might as well have been naked.

This is not a missive against the female body. I’m married to a woman I am physically crazy about and believe me, she is aware of it. The joy of reveling in each other is a wedding gift from God, and we aren’t returning it.

But the Mass is a place of sanctuary, and I have often had to shield my eyes from the parade of flesh that is so common in the summer. It’s a true temptation because men are visual creatures. Lust enters through our eyes. Once we see something, we have a very hard time unseeing it. A particularly provocative image can stay in our minds for years. Decades. This is why porn is a billion dollar business. 

It’s no mystery. We live in a culture that glorifies the flesh. From the time we are children we are bombarded with images of female beauty that leaves little to the imagination.

When we enter the dating world, we can be attracted by the same thing. Taking a ride on the metro can be such a cavalcade of inappropriate clothing that I’ve taken to keeping my eyes down as I walk.

And yes, we look. And we look all the time unless we’ve learned to guard our eyes.

Form-fitting clothing puts a women on display. And while that can provide a momentary thrill in men, in the end the cumulative effect is to place physical urges (as wonderful as those are) above modesty.

Before we were married, I was grateful for the way my wife-to-be dressed. It showed me not only that she had respect for herself, but for me as well. And that she had respect for her brothers (and sisters) in the faith. She once told me a piece of advice she would give all Catholic girls: “If you have to keep tucking in your brown scapular, you’re showing too much.”

Now, when it comes to daily life, please keep in mind that I am not talking about the occasional errant bra strap or inadvertent flash of leg at a summer barbecue. These things happen. But the trend these days is toward skin-tight clothes that leave almost nothing to the imagination. Throw in a bare midriff and suddenly I know way more than I need to.

I am not suggesting prudish behavior. I’m not suggesting dressing like a man. There is a middle ground. A woman in properly-fitted clothing has a certain air about her. I can tell she cares about how she looks and that she is trying to cultivate an image of self-respect and presentability.

And modesty, when understood, can be a very attractive thing.



  1. Lynn-1138772 March 24, 2015 Reply

    I will say most Catholic women I know who grew up in the mainstream church around this area will not wear a dress except to a wedding or a funeral. . . the excuse—? Too many homilies about how any dress can become immodest (which I actually prefer to women in pants, slacks, etc). when rising, kneeling, etc. I do wear shorts to Mass on Saturday or in Florida and do not see an issue—golf clothes look nicer than jeans. I think women wearing normal hair and makeup, and any jewelry they would wear when dressed nicely normally is fine. . . I’m not at Church to look at women. There is no one at my parish I’m looking to meet, or at any I visit. That’s just me. And I saw that logo about fitted shirts on men. . . tailored clothing just looks better. I’m talking dress or golf shirts, not spandex stretch (unacceptable anywhere but a gym or running trail). But I’m not at church to impress people or worried about women looking at my calves.

  2. Victoria-1016612 October 4, 2013 Reply

    The problem these days is the entitlement attitude of some that spills over into a person’s wardrobe. Some people think that they should be able to wear anything in their closet, anywhere, and others should just accept their self-expression. I am in my 30s and as a child I learned the difference between my school uniform, play clothes and church clothes. I also learned what behavior was acceptable/unacceptable at home, in public, the library, school, etc. This transferred into my adult life as “there is a proper time and place for most things”. When I go to church, I am there to pray. I do not want to be distracted and do not want to cause a distraction. I cover up, yes even in the summer. You can take off your sweater when you get to your car if it is that hot outside. I also do not think jewelry or excessive makeup belongs in church either, but that is just my opinion. I think how someone is dressed for specific situations and places can say a lot about that person’s values. Dressing provocatively never sends a positive message of self-respect and self-worth.

  3. Alicia-987236 July 7, 2013 Reply

    This brings to mind that idiotic Islamic cleric that claimed that earthquakes were caused by women dressing revealingly.

    How is this any different or any less idiotic?

    What is it about creepy old men that want to police the bodies of young women?

    EWWWW. Maybe us young women don’t CARE what you think of us or how we dress.

    I mean, men don’t realize how hard it is to even find anything these days that isn’t skin tight. Plus I am a size 0 with no ass and jeans fall off my ass no matter what I do anyway.

    I suppose I am one of those horrible heathen women this article is aimed at. And people wonder why I only go to church once a year if that??

    In my opinion a woman should be able to be dressed like an escort and still be able to attend service.

    I know a minister who allowed an escort to attend services wearing the SAME clothes she wore the night before. I am talking about booty shorts with thong showing. And some kind of horrible leopard print thing.

    Repeat after me men (and jealous puritan women) = booty shorts are not radioactive. They won’t grow teeth and bite you. Just get over yourself and let people worship as they are.

    Repeat as needed.

    Now, the ex escort has since been baptized and is one the most devoted members of the flock.

    A soul was SAVED because the congregation had the decency not to throw stones.

    Oh and thanks for making my job a million times more difficult.

    I am a Social Work major who volunteers with victim of sex trafficking and many of them are TERRIFIED to come forward for help because they are scared of the idiotic attitudes that so many people display here.

    Oh and to the guy above me. An 18 year old virgin and a 50 something year old guy is called PEDOPHILIA regardless of whether she is legal or not.

    The human brain is not even fully formed at 24 and THAT should be the legal age of consent. This is something that science has proven.

    But God forbid that happen because hey once a woman has become 24 she is either not attractive anymore to the pedophiles.

    Or she has become mature enough and educated enough to take care of herself and doesn’t NEED some sugar daddy anymore.

    But I mean hey why let facts get in the way of a good woman bashing session?

  4. Hank-985203 June 30, 2013 Reply

    Vatican City does not admit anyone wearing anything that reveals the knee, cleavage, shoulder or elbow. There are stores right outside the gates where people can buy paper skirts and pants and shirts and blouses.

    A word for the feminists: feminism is organized penis-envy. Feminists view any diminishing of masculinity, or obscuring of gender differences as a positive step to a better world, because masculinity is the light of truth that reveals sensual guilt in the heart of the fallen woman (the woman who knows pleasure forbidden to her.)

    It is not a sin for a man to lust after a female, unless she’s married. Lust is the man’s natural response to God’s unspoken Promise revealed through sensual beauty–the Promise of new life Created in the man’s image, and in the image of Almighty God.

    The problem occurs only when the man views the woman’s body as the source of the ecstasy and goodness it provides. Ultimate fulfilment is to be sought by the man, from the woman, because God Created the woman as a gift to the man.

    She is made to do that. But woe to the man who loves the gift but not the Giver. Sensual beauty is God’s language spoken in the dialect of masculine Only the masculine male can understand God’s Promise or bring it to pass.

    Little wonder then that women cannot understand God’s Promise to the man. If the virgin is mated according to nature, only when she conceives, she will not suffer sensual pleasure. Physical attraction is a genetically programmed reproductive response designed to procreate the human species.

    As long as sensual beauty is kept in the proper mental context–it is a Promise from God to the male, and is not made into an end unto itself; not to be controlled in a manner that presupposes to take pleasure at one’s whim and rob beauty of her freedom.

    But always, and the more if the woman is quite attractive, view her goodness as a gift from Almighty God; God being the ultimate source of all goodness. There is nothing God loves more than Truth, because God IS Truth, and God Loves Himself first and foremost.

    The man who reclaims for God the natural inclination He Created within the male; the man who talks to God and says, “Eternal Father, what a magnificent creation! She pleases me in every way, and brings joy to my heart. Thank You for making her,” is the man after God’s Own Heart, because there is no guile in his spirit.

    Therefore God imputes no guilt for sin. It is the man so arrogant to believe he can simply ignore God’s Promise and reject it, and conceal his inclination from His Almighty Father, it is this man who drives a rift between himself and God.

    But for the vain woman, pride causes her to dress improperly and to behave even worse! The men who use her bear no guilt until they hide it from God, which blinds men to Truth and causes eventual death.

    If a man is honest with his wife, she will agree to whatever he wants. A wife’s greatest fear is that her husband is unhappy! Secular culture warped this into a concern that a wife was not sexually pleasing to her husband.

    A woman’s security is hormonally based on trust in masculine authority. If a man brings home a virgin and asks his wife to meet the girl and get to know her, and gives his wife input into him taking the virgin for a mistress–assuming the man can afford her and the children she will bear for him, preferably man-child–the wife is not disturbed at all.

    Her security remains intact, because her trust remains intact. It’s only during the past 600 years that Mother Church conceived of married men committing adultery with single girls. For most of the history of the church, it had little objection, as long as the man’s first virgin was made his legal wife to establish legal heirs.

    Every woman wants her husband to be happy. It’s difficult to imagine what a fifty-year-old man and an eighteen-year-old girl would have in common. But I’ve always said that talk is overrated. Guys are just weird that way.

    On a medical note: eighteen-year-old virgins are more effective than Viagra, Levitra and Cialis combined!

  5. Michele-978184 June 14, 2013 Reply

    sometimes Scapulars untuck themselves even while dressed modestly… 🙁

    modesty’s good – it’s in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    “2521 Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity.

    2522 Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet.

    2523 There is a modesty of the feelings as well as of the body. It protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human body in certain advertisements, or against the solicitations of certain media that go too far in the exhibition 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.

    2524 The forms taken by modesty vary from one culture to another. Everywhere, however, modesty exists as an intuition of the spiritual dignity proper to man. It is born with the awakening consciousness of being a subject. Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person.

    2525 Christian purity requires a purification of the social climate. It requires of the communications media that their presentations show concern for respect and restraint. Purity of heart brings freedom from widespread eroticism and avoids entertainment inclined to voyeurism and illusion.”

  6. Brian-906925 June 13, 2013 Reply

    I think it’s part of our modern society, where they have been desensitized to it all to the point, they don’t even bother to contemplate how much their look affects us. I see this happen in ladies at a young age, and to them, it’s just fashion, they aren’t even aware of what is actually happening as the result. It should be mentioned in all churches, not just Catholic, that this is very much the world creeping in, and it is absolutely unacceptable.

  7. Jessica-930268 June 13, 2013 Reply

    One of my friends recently gained a lot of weight due to her medication changes. She no longer fits into anything in her closet other than the most casual of items, which she had to go buy with her very limited budget (she is on disability). She goes to Mass almost daily, and devoutly. She prays the Rosary twice a day, even going back to “make up” missed Rosaries if her health prevented her from doing them.

    If she shows up to Mass in a t-shirt and cargo shorts that fit her best, not tight and not “excessively dumpy-looking” (to quote her directly), freshly showered, will she be welcomed at your church?

    P.S. She met her husband on this site. Married November 11, 2011.

    • Happy M. July 14, 2016 Reply

      How about Goodwill? No I am not kidding.

      • Happy M. July 14, 2016 Reply

        And every other Saturday they have half-price everything in the store.

  8. Stephen-31327 June 12, 2013 Reply

    This second virtue, modesty – the very word “modesty” comes from modus, a measure or limit – probably better expresses the function of governing and dominating the passions, especially sensual passions. It is the natural bulwark of chastity. It is its effective rampart, because it moderates acts closely connected with the very object of chastity […] Yet no matter how broad and changeable the relative morals of styles may be, there is always an absolute norm to be kept after having heard the admonition of conscience warning against approaching danger: style must never be a proximate occasion of sin. […] An excess of immodesty in fashion involves, in practice, the cut of the garment. The garment must not be evaluated according to the estimation of a decadent or already corrupt society, but according to the aspirations of a society which prizes the dignity and seriousness of its public attire. […] It is often said almost with passive resignation that fashions reflect the customs of a people. But it would be more exact and much more useful to say that they express the decision and moral direction that a nation intends to take: either to be shipwrecked in licentiousness or maintain itself at the level to which it has been raised by religion and civilization. (Pope Pius XII, Address to the Congress of the Latin Union of High Fashion, November 8, 1957;

    • Chelsea-743484 June 17, 2013 Reply

      It’s well that you posted this, though I doubt many will actually read it.

  9. Bernard-568827 June 12, 2013 Reply

    ” ‘[I]t is now becoming clear that the very notion of being – of what being human really means – is being called into question. [The chief rabbi of France] quotes the famous saying of Simone de Beauvoir: “one is not born a woman, one becomes so” (on ne naît pas femme, on le devient). These words lay the foundation for what is put forward today under the term “gender” as a new philosophy of sexuality. According to this philosophy, sex is no longer a given element of nature, that man has to accept and personally make sense of: it is a social role that we choose for ourselves, while in the past it was chosen for us by society. The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.’ [–Pope Benedict XVI]…

    “…we repeat the sin of our first parents by claiming authority over areas, such as the moral structure of the universe, that belong to God. In this case, Benedict reminds us that the sexual duality of mankind is ‘ordained by God’ and so must not—indeed, cannot—be re-ordered. When society denies the sexual duality of human nature and thus supplants the divine prerogative with its own, when we say, ‘I am not as I was made but as I will myself to be,’ we forfeit not only the idea of sexual complementarity but the subsequent basis for marriage and the family.

    “In fact, when we deny our nature we deny our dignity, and thus destroy justice: law, morality, human rights, all of it. If what we are is merely a product of our will, then we can’t say that there’s something inherent in all of us that demands its due. Moral anarchy follows.

    ” ‘The body expresses the person[:] The relation between “us” and our flesh is never accidental or incidental. Our souls and our bodies are partners, never—as gender theory asserts—strangers or even enemies.’ [–Pope John Paul II, Theology of the Body]”

    –Excerpt from an article by Todd Aglialoro,

  10. Theresa-110510 June 12, 2013 Reply

    I have brought this point up several times years ago in my parish; and have heard it mentioned sporadically by priests over the years, but I believe they have pretty much given up now – either that or they don’t care that much. I think their main concern is to get butts in the seats, and in order to do that to not ‘offend’ anyone (Christ, it’s okay to offend Him, He’ll forgive anyway right? Or so they figure…) Problem is when we are taught to believe in Our Lord’s True Presence this being able to dress any old inappropriate way and NOT be turned away at the front door by the ushers only makes it appear our beliefs are symbolic only like any other Protestant denomination believes. Seriously now – if we truly believed in Christ’s Presence would inappropriate dress be tolerated by priests or bishops anywhere in the world even once? No, of course not; and I believe this is the main issue here that has been passed to the congregants, and decades now (and yes, why many have fallen away) – that Fr. doesn’t really believe in this either.

    Rome changed the way Mass is said in the hopes people would come back with things being more traditional, and more Latin Masses as well, as being said in English got in the way of the devotion for some (can’t comprehend that as understanding what is being said has always been more beneficial to me – but whatever works best!) I never thought these changes would bring people back as they weren’t the reasons they fell away in the first place – quite clearly if many still are dressing immodestly as they do. This is one of the reasons I don’t go regularly anymore – if I’m going to be going to a church with Protestant beliefs might as well find one with community. I may mention this along with other things to my pastor (since this is the year of faith); but I don’t know where I’ll find the time.

    And no, I do not agree with the criticism of Erik’s article that ‘he shouldn’t be looking at other people when he is at Mass ‘ because come on, you can’t help but see other people there.

    • Bernard H. June 12, 2013 Reply

      Don’t give up Theresa. There are some who still believe.

  11. Joey S. June 11, 2013 Reply

    glance all I can say is that my feeling (I am open to yours and respect others’ point of view) is that the author seems very judgmental and self-righteous. I conceded that I understand at some point an outfit can be inappropriate; however, I think ultimately people dress in the way that the fashion of her time and culture dictates. I don’t think anyone (well 99% of mentally healthy people) would go to the mall in a micro bikini for instance, and as such I doubt any of those people would go to church in something she would not go into the mall wearing. A bartender, dancer, or promotions girl might be more used to dressing sexier because it gives her an advantage at her work, but she likely would not wear the dancer outfit (again I mean most people not the less than 1% that might also get a tattoo on her face lol) to her child’s school play. Likewise, she would not wear it to church. With that said, any outfit women would deem ok in most public settings, such as the mall or work or out for dinner, are those outfits that they feel comfortable and attractive in and this comfort and idea of attractiveness come from the cultural context–her geographic region and time in history. If it is the style and product of the culture then why is the culture judging against it in church? It would be just as odd to wear something to church today that was considered socially appropriate in 1165ad or 318ad or even 1865ad ect… So yes, I think there is a limit but it is a personal choice and should not bother another unless it is truly culturally unacceptable for public (such as a teddy, bra on the outside of cloths, and thong–Madonna concert type shit) or he is being judgmental. After all, as Christians should we even be judging someone based upon an outfit? and isn’t Church a place for the broken and sinners to seek forgiveness via Christ’s grace and sacrifice? IMO Church is not a place for “perfect” people to boast about their purity and perfection– it is a place for all to accept and forgive and have the humility to know we all are far from perfect. I am not perfect–I admit I have noticed attractive women at Church, but I am a man and I am humble enough to be honest rather than hide behind pride. So to each woman her own–I vote you wear what you feel right wearing and what makes you feel happy, confident, and most of all yourself!

  12. Espe-410886 June 11, 2013 Reply

    Most people posting their comments are “right on” however for Annette and Elizabeth who think otherwise they apparently cannot be in love with Christ because if they were, they would not have such a liberal attitude on how to dress for God’s holy Catholic church.
    Our Lord showed His anger at the money changers for defiling His temple and for Catholics (yes, men & women!) to go dressed as if they’re going to attend a sports event, going to a bar or the beach cannot have Our Lord in their hearts! It’s the house of Our Lord, it’s the “only” place on this earth that He’s really present in the Holy sacrifice of the Mass, in the Holy Eucharist and the so called Catholic’s choose to defy Him and dress so according to their “own” wishes.
    On the other hand, I blame the Priests for NOT saying anything to the people in the pews on how to come to church modestly dressed…

    • Anya-974452 June 11, 2013 Reply


      May I just say, that I applaud you greatly for your eloquence and maturity. I agree with you wholeheartedly and pa-shaw if the mere nothingness of us as man/flesh agrees with your points or not… what matters is that Our Lady is the one Who backs you up on your words, dear. If She is pleased with our conduct, then so will He too, be. “Be Marylike, by being modest. Be modest by being Marylike.”

      Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!

      • Bernard H. June 12, 2013 Reply

        Ad majorem Dei gloriam 🙂

  13. Dave-248867 June 11, 2013 Reply

    Eric, I think however you miss a vital portion of the argument. And that is the true reason of “why”. As Catholics (along with other Christians) we are called to help our brothers and sisters in Christ. In other words to be selfless. Is it “wrong” to wear a miniskirt to Mass, no. It is however in my opinion disrespectful to God, but more important to my point is it creates temptation for others. And not only others but others who know and love God! Our actions in general should lead others to Christ. Creating temptation for others toward lust, envy, gluttony, anger, or anything else is NOT being like Christ. It is NOT being loving of our neighbors. It is creating difficulties for our brothers and sisters, and just plain selfish. Yes, we are Americans. Yes we have the RIGHT to dress how we want. We are also sons and daughters of a loving God who wants us to act better. We have a choice to follow Christ. We have a choice to avoid sin. We also have a choice to tempt others to fall, or encourage them to resist. Now what does it say when we don’t even mind that our own comfort (or desire) is more important than encouraging other followers of Christ? How do we think we can evangelize to non believers when we don’t care if we lead believers to sin?

    • Bernard H. June 12, 2013 Reply

      Absolutely. Cain said, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” That wasn’t a good enough answer for God.

  14. Peter-885884 June 11, 2013 Reply

    The Vatican has a dress code, which “is strictly enforced at St. Peter’s Basilica. No shorts, bare shoulders or miniskirts. This applies to both men and women. Even if you get through security, you will be turned away by the attendants at the door [even o]n a hot summer day.” Modesty is taught, even during hardship (hot weather) by our Church. This is the standard and is where discussion begins and ends if we are fully practicing Catholic Christians (as opposed to ‘picking and choosing’ Catholics) and claim full communion with the Catholic Church. Any argument, regardless of how seemingly persuasive or eloquently written, is nothing more than a clanging cymbal, errantly formulated from our flawed life experiences and wayward social influences. Just because we may feel or reason differently does not vacate the instruction given by the Church. Note that no aspersions are being cast here: Simply put, we have clear instruction from Mother Church on this very topic – anything else is our own opinion. God bless us, Everyone!

    • Anya-974452 June 11, 2013 Reply


      Talk about “hot weather” has anyone ever taken the time to look how the people of the hottest places dress? Has anyone ever noticed that long sleeves is the norm? No, I’m not saying, put on a winter coat during this hot weather, but if people really do want to not get scorched, they should put on a cotton blouse with long sleeves. Have we ever seen anyone other than Americans and Europeans wearing tank tops and shorts in the desert or while visiting Egypt or such? Look at the people of the land… they wear long sleeves. Why because it is just cooler 🙂

  15. Maria-674183 June 11, 2013 Reply

    Eric is not kidding…..I actually saw a girl/woman with a thong underwear on and it was showing above her low rise jeans. Really???? and I am not a prude. Then last year I was at a First Communion and some of the girls had dresses on that were so short that it was just below you know what and I could not believe how short…..and I was around when the mini skirts were in……

  16. Joseph-675792 June 11, 2013 Reply

    Thank you Erik for bringing up this topic; as an usher and Knight at our parish I have brought this up at our parish council meetings. The meetings usually get heated when I do but that’s why I bring up the subject.

    While I agree with most of the premises that are being given. It all comes down to one thing; How much respect does said man or woman have for themselves and those around them? The answer is very startling. When you look at the choices being made in all walks of life now I think we can see what the answer is. Low hanging pants, mid-riffs hanging out, short shorts, low cut blouses bra straps everywhere, no bra’s at all, t-shirts by both sexes shorts by both sexes, flip flops.

    I will usually go to a child’s parent and say something to them within the hearing of the child; I have been cussed out a couple of times by the parent but for the most part I get thanked because the parents told the child that their dress was inappropriate and they should change. Being responsible is an adults job; be responsible and do your jobs as parents (even if it’s your adult child who is being disrespectful-SAY SOMETHING OUT THERE). Tell your kids they need to have respect for themselves. But give them a positive role model to follow. Dress respectfully and act respectfully. Think about what your grandparents would say if they saw you (for me all of my grandparents were born in the 1890’s-I know what they would say).

  17. Helene-878411 June 11, 2013 Reply

    This is a two part problem. Firstly, we need to give God the respect He deserves to the best of our ability. We should be dressed in our best clothing for Mass. If you wouldn’t walk into a court of law in your flip flops and jeans, don’t walk into church dressed that way either. Give God your best. YOUR best. Let’s show God how much we love him. Hey, men, is He not worth a dress shirt and tie? Maybe we ladies can do something a little nicer with our hair. If you would do it for a judge or, as someone previously mentioned, a job interview, then give God as much. (You know you can do better…we all can!)
    Secondly, men, you have to take responsibility for your eyes! You have lustful thoughts? Pray!! Go to confession to gain the graces you need to guard your eyes and keep lust at bay. Think of your mother or your grandmother. Heck, think of your grandpa! Whatever it takes! Rape isn’t new. Men have been hurting women this way forever regardless of what they wear. I would turn fifty shades of red if my son was ever fresh with a girl and blamed his behavior on her outfit. Inexcusable!!
    I’m going to leave you with this last thought …we all belong to God. Picture the love a mother has for her child…God loves us more than that. Even in our bad taste in clothing and nasty name calling we’re all loved by Him. And He wants us to love each other. Stop judging others for goodness sake and be loving to your sister and brother. We’re Christians. Can anyone tell?

  18. Ralph-383746 June 11, 2013 Reply

    This is just one more example of how traditional Catholic thing just does not fit into the modern world. The Catholic Church can not dictate how people dress in public.

    When I attend mass, I go to pray and think about God and Jesus. I do not attend mass to stare at women. I am focused why I attend mass, and therefore I have little notice of what is going about me.

    I am much more concerned how a woman’s mind works, than how her body looks.

    If I want to look at semi naked women, I suppose I could read the department store advertisements of women’s under garments or go to the beach. There are women at work, that I wonder if they dressed appropriately. Likewise when I take the bus.

    So the question is begged: is this man merely checking time in by attending mass or perhaps he is thinking about sex in a holy place. He has clearly lost focus, why he is attending mass.

    I do not understand why some women have a need to flaunt their bodies. We all have bodies, and therefore it is just as reasonable to assume that women notice men’s bodies. I think I am responsible for my behavior, not a woman’s behavior, or another man’s behavior.

  19. Naomi-825244 June 11, 2013 Reply

    lol, we changed the picture…and probably a good idea. 😉

    The human body is gorgeous, and women are prettier than guys. There is a reason for that. We cover what is sacred so that it will not be profaned, and women’s bodies, as that much more lovely, deserve more coverage and more protection from being profaned. Alice Von Hildebrand in her Privilege of Being a Woman (a must read for any serious Catholic) describes how Satan’s primary target is always women…right from the fall where he attacked Eve know it was Adams most vulnerable point.

    That said, gentlemen, your bodies are freaking attractive too so please be careful how you flaunt it, as you are often more comfortable in your own body than women. Please be mindful. At mass the other day there was a very muscular young man who had on a very tight (showing ever contour) shirt and pants…and it was very distracting.

    We must guard each other’s purity and practice being helpmates now. Lust is not permissible even in marriage…so lets definitely pray and help each other, especially at mass.

  20. Loretta-867522 June 11, 2013 Reply

    Sarah, I agree with you that there is nothing innately dirty or wrong with the human body, but as you admit in your post, there are cultural boundaries. I don’t want to be distracted by the Body of Christ, by a bunch of “bodies” that I can’t easily dismiss because I’m noticing a large tattoo on a young lady’s bare back, or I happen to notice underwear peaking out of someone’s shorts. I’m an old lady and I’m distracted. I can’t imagine what that would do to a young man with the same view. This is not about politics, this is about respecting the cultural boundaries of your surroundings.

  21. Loretta-867522 June 11, 2013 Reply

    To Ed, who believes the church shouldn’t risk alienating folks by reminding them to be modest… I think that is the kind of thinking that has CAUSED the drop in congregations. So many parishes have watered down the truth lest we offend someone, or bouth into the whole relativism garbage that we don’t know that there are standards, let alone what those standards might be. I’m a little older, and I still would not dream of going to mass without a dress, or a skirt or suit. I once wore a tank top and shorts to mass because I was getting ready to head back to school right afterwards (this was 1970–the tank had a 3 inch strap and the shorts were knee length.) That was the day of the annual “modesty” sermon. I wanted to crawl out of the church as everyone stared at me. We don’t hear those reminders any more, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt. Our church is a mile from the beach so we’ve seen it all, but when you see an usher or a lector in a strapless sundress, even I am offended at the lack of respect these women have had for their appearance. Our new pastor has made some great inroads with those on the altar, and the ushers, but the rest is a real challenge. I struggle with the world every week when my daughter wants to wear torn short shorts and 2 camisoles to mass on Sunday. We are working on it. But we cannot cave in to the world on what we know to be God’s expectations. I know He loves us regardless of what we wear, but that love is a two way street–I want to dress up to see Him, as if I were dressing up to meet a mighty dignitary. Who He is!

  22. Sarah-301223 June 11, 2013 Reply

    What is innately dirty or wrong about having “intimate knowledge of a complete stranger’s body” – except that it is unacceptable in our society? Some tribes run around completely naked… (though, given, they’re probably not strangers to each other and all cousins!)

    What is incompatible with the mass and the bodies which the the Presence in the Eucharist created?

    You make a good point – that we are now used to seeing more skin on the beach, so to see it where you least expect it (church) is understandably jarring. However, at one point, women wore almost completely covering-up bathing suits. It was scandalous and seemed indecent at first as bathing suits shrunk, but eventually our society got used to it. Will not the same logic work – that people could become more accustomed to seeing skin (normal, natural skin) in church? – eventually? Or would that be wrong? Yes, a church is God’s temple, is sacred, is a sanctuary….but the beach is also God’s temple – sacred, and a sanctuary. Or is God less present by the ocean than He is in His house? No, He’s omnipresent! And if the Real Presence were carried out onto a beach, would anyone expect the women to suddenly throw towels over their bodies in a panic, as in, “Oh, no! Jesus is coming! He wouldn’t want to see the beautiful body He created!” No – certainly not! So a dress code of sorts for church is therefore simply cultural.

    Some people wear thongs…some don’t wear bras…and you know this already! So why are you shocked to become aware of it? Why “should” you not be aware of it? Again, this is societal – at one point, it was embarrassing to let a man even be aware of your petticoat, and as a woman, you “should” not make him aware of your silk stockings above the ankle….for the very same reasons you are giving.

    You say this writing is not a missive against the female body, and yet you are implying how wretched it is that you are viewing the female body (your terminology reveals this: “‘bombarded’ with images of female beauty” and “can’t unsee it”), which makes us feel that our bodies are innately wretched, which makes us feel like the only thing to do is to hide from men who think the way you do and wear a burlap sack (multiple sacks, to cover sufficiently). If I show my midriff I am suddenly making you “know way more than [you] need to”. This means you are filled with dismay and distress at the idea of my midriff. Do you know how this makes a woman feel?

    A woman feels disrespected when all men want them for is their body. But writing like this only adds to the problem: a woman can equally feel guilty, ashamed, and without self-worth, when men imply that seeing them takes their mind away from the holiest thing in the world: God.

    I really think the only answer to this is: let people wear what they want (though I do agree that social customs should be minimally observed: for example, you wouldn’t go totally nude to a beach in America that wasn’t specifically designated for that….whereas in some countries in Europe, that would be acceptable….and you wouldn’t do it here mostly for the reason that you’d be arrested!) Let people – women included – wear what they want and let’s celebrate the innate naturalness and wonder of bodies, and not participate one ounce more in a religious culture of shame.

    Also, don’t call us a ‘parade of flesh’. I really resent that. I’m just picturing myself and other women walking in a horde in our bathing suits past you on the beach – and you calling us a ‘parade of flesh’. How is that different than the man next to you calling us ‘pieces of meat’?

    “Men can’t help just focusing on bodies when they see them!” you may say. “We’re visual creatures!” The man next to you would say the same. So about, instead of putting the burden of sexual exploitation on women, and telling them to cover up because it’s their fault (oh, those wicked, seductive women that TRY to get men to rape them and use them!)… about men don’t try “not to look” but more importantly to learn to see the wholeness of human beings no matter what (worthy in body, mind, and spirit) – whether naked, half-naked, or covered. It is possible. It is utterly possible to hold a human being as worthy of respect no matter how they choose to clothe (or unclothe) themselves. And to squirm away from that fact, or saying “but it’s really hard!” is to be, at the least, lazy and cowardly, and at the worst, adding to the rape culture we already are inundated with.

    I’d love to see a piece written that actually tries to rescue women from this culture by making an appeal to men to put the responsibility of abuse, aggression, and rape firmly where it belongs: on the shoulders of the perpetrator, and never on the victim.
    Sadly, the only appeals I’ve ever seen of such a nature – calls to true manliness – have so far only been from my non-religious friends…and I still rejoice to see how women-supporting they are. If only our Catholic men could jump on the bandwagon, too. But it may take a while because they’re too busy pointing fingers in the wrong direction and shaming what God called very, very good.

    • Jessica-930268 June 11, 2013 Reply

      This was excellent, thank you for writing it.

    • Danny-148314 June 13, 2013 Reply

      • Read your post, and I was reminded of a CD I listened to about sexuality, which touched on modesty and used the Virgin Mary to explain it. She is the perfect example of modesty and purity. Notice we only see her face, said the CD. The purpose is to draw attention to her as a person, to her gifts, to her holiness, to her natural feminine beauty as given to her by God.
      • Would you catch the Virgin Mary dressing the way many women dress today? If she would not dress that way, why should we?
      • It is never the woman’s fault if she is sexually abused and/or raped. A man has no right to harm another person like that.
      • Where does one draw the line? If we can all wear whatever we want, why not go to Mass in our underwear or even nude, given your beach examples? Just because people dress that way doesn’t make it right.
      • Our bodies are beautiful creations of God, but they are meant to be gifts to our spouses. By your logic, people can be as immodest as they want without bearing any consequences for their actions. If I was married and my wife dressed immodestly, I would not be happy. Her body is for me and me alone just like mine is for her and her alone.
      • Would you wear a bikini or Victoria’s Secret outfit for a job interview or to meet the Pope? If not, why wear similar clothing in the direct presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament?
      • Why are we judging standards of modesty by the preferences of cultures through time? Whose standards are we using here? God’s or society’s?
      • Yes, we are responsible for our own behavior, but as one poster pointed out, we are also called to love our neighbor, to selflessness. Not only must we practice self-control of our own thoughts and actions, but we must be mindful of how our actions affect others. If not, if everyone can dress however they wish no matter the effect on others, then why not other actions, too, like speech, for example? Why not drop F-bombs all throughout the Mass and make every other word a four-letter word during my conversations with others in God’s own house?
      • God gave us the wonderful, beautiful gift of sexuality. We are meant to seek the opposite sex and feel attraction for the purposes of love and intimacy. However, when that gift becomes a burden because another person is not being careful about how his or her actions affect someone else, is that truly being selfless? Is that truly loving another person? Is that truly helping a brother or sister follow Christ?

  23. Graeme-379437 June 11, 2013 Reply

    Good post. Now if only we can get some men to pull their pants up. Wearing your pants below your butt cheeks to show off your boxers? Why even wear pants? Or like one young man who appeared to be holding up his pants with just his penis. Come on guys pull up your pants and wear a belt.

  24. Kathleen-667796 June 11, 2013 Reply

    Good going Annette! I’m so happy to know that there are a few women on here that haven’t been brainwashed by the old double standard that men created (how convenient) & still obviously use to their advantage: it takes the heat off THEM & puts it on US – but of course. Look, stop the malarkey that men are “hard wired” with robust sex drives that they barely can control. As a woman (and I think I ought to know better than you guys how we feel) women like sex just as much as men do, though our cultures & societies have taught us to repress our biological desires for millennium. And great analogies about the donut gals! Reading this article & many of the replies made me aware yet again how repressed females remain even in “modern” cultures and how males still wish to control females and utilize them as an excuse for their own bad behaviors & actions.

    Decades ago I read an interesting article in MS magazine. It spoke of a community wherein there was a serial rapist who had not been caught & a number of women had been victimized. The community issued a curfew that all women had to be indoors beginning at nightfall in light of the situation. A wise woman, upon hearing of the edict, stood up and stated that instead of the curfew demanding women become the proverbial “prisoners” in light of the criminal’s dastardly acts – that the MEN in the region instead be the ones who must abide by the curfew. Since it was an individual of the male gender who was imposing the problem – why sequester the women? And in the end, the rapist was indeed found & tried – for he was the one obviously disregarding the curfew in order to continue to break the law & commit violent indecent acts against women.

    Similarly, if men in the Middle East cannot look at the skin of a women without seeking to commit a sexual assault – THEY ought to be the ones wearing the Burkas that an individual can hardly see out of. Men: Begin to take responsibility for your own thoughts & actions. It is not my job or any other females’ job to do it for you. We have our own complex issues & lives to attend to.

    • Annette-371653 June 12, 2013 Reply

      I LOVE THIS! Blessings to you Kathleen and your ability to be a woman who can think for herself and not use your faith as a tool to belittle others. More people like you and we wouldn’t be so hated among the world! Catholics Come Home wouldn’t need to be a program! People would be running TO church not from it!

      • Espe-410886 June 18, 2013 Reply

        What you actually want is to create your own Catholic church so you can dress and do which ever way you want. Actually, you sound like a very angry so called liberal Catholic. Again, you are very young and so is your mindset.

        • Annette-371653 June 19, 2013 Reply

          There you go again with the accusational attacks because my opinion differs from yours. And what’s immature is you attributing how naive one must be because their opinion differs from yours. I suppose I’d rather be “young” for having a different opinion than a Nazi for persecuting people whose opinions differ from mine.

          How hypocritical. By your definition, I guess that must mean you are equally an “angry so called liberal Catholic that wants to create your own church” considering you’ve joined the fashion changes among the generations thousands of years after Christ’s times – only difference is you conformed to the fashions 1,970 years after Christ’s time and I conformed 2,000 years after Christ’s time.

    • Espe-410886 June 18, 2013 Reply

      What are you talking about??
      We are discussing how to dress appropriately for church! That goes for both men and women.

      • Annette-371653 June 19, 2013 Reply

        I’m talking about this: you are judging the generations after you for physical trivialities that do not even pertain to them regarding an opinion of modesty. People of your grandmother’s generation most likely did the same, and were equally judged by their grandparents, who were judged by their grandparents, who were judged by their grandparents, etc etc.

        I have decided I am going to be the halt in this pattern and I refuse to be like you and all these judgmental generations. For I remember Christ did not suggest, but commanded: “Love one another, by this everyone will know you are my disciples.” Reprimanding people for falling short (especially for something as ridiculous as their physical exterior falling short of your expectations) is in direct opposition of this commandment. Remember this the next time you choose to make the house of God a people watching experience for yourself.

        • Espe-410886 June 19, 2013 Reply

          So when a person speaks their mind, it’s only the liberals who say, “stop judging,” yet on the other hand you liberal feminists so called Catholic get extremely irate when the “Truth” is spoken.
          Grow up little girl

          • Annette-371653 June 19, 2013 Reply

            a) Age has no bearing on this discussion. Quit using it as a parameter for authority over others. Especially on the internet where freedom of speech trumps discrimination. I could easily belittle you with condescending, “Go home grandma, you lost your mind go find it,” comments, but I have more respect for human beings. Not to mention it seems you have nothing further of substance to contribute to the discussion so you’re attempting to use something as silly as age as a way to discredit my opinion. It’s not only making you look like a poor follower of Christ, it’s making you look incredibly uneducated.

            b) I would suggest you look up the definition of feminism because you clearly don’t know the meaning. If you did, you wouldn’t be using it in this context as my posts have had nothing to do with it.

            c) Do you even know what judging is? It’s “casting the first stone”, being the first person to point the finger. In this case, condemning those that dress differently than you. In your case, you’ve also cast more stones – attacking people for disagreeing, which is very clear by condescending remarks such as “grow up little girl” and “you must not love Christ.” This is accusatory and is different from my respectful disagreement presented factually.

            d) The truth has already been stated – as I listed above it’s Matthew 7:3: “judge not lest you be judged. For the measure you use to judge is the measure that will be used to judge you.”

        • Espe-410886 June 20, 2013 Reply

          Disagreement is not the same thing as intolerance and Jesus did accept people as they were but He also challenged them to “change their lives.”
          I will no longer respond to your comments because you are a very angry young liberal feminist. Goodbye

          • Annette-371653 June 20, 2013 Reply

            “Disagreement is not the same thing as intolerance”

            Except when you’re complaining that priests don’t do anything about peoples’ dress as where you stated ‘On the other hand, I blame the Priests for NOT saying anything to the people in the pews on how to come to church modestly dressed…’ and urging them to reprimand people – that is indeed breeding intolerance.

            “I will no longer respond to your comments because you are a very angry young liberal feminist.”

            Taking your ball and going home eh? Please do, because you’re not only making yourself look incredibly uneducated, but you clearly have nothing of substance to respond with. You clearly don’t know the definition of liberal or feminist, and are discriminating and discrediting me because of something as trivial as age. And especially ANGRY!?!?? You’re the one complaining how people are dressed! I’m standing up for them and saying leave them be it’s of no concern to you. So clearly you’re the one that’s angry.

            Better yet go read your bible, I’ve stated solid scriptural evidence of not judging and yet you’re ignoring it and CHOOSING to remain angry, intolerant, and worst yet – prejudice. How others dress should be the least of your worries considering the amount of work you have to do on yourself before casting that stone.

  25. Paul-658215 June 11, 2013 Reply

    Frankly Erik, I think your views on these matters are chauvinistic nonsense. The women attending Mass are not there to tempt you or distract you. In Mass we come together as a human community to worship our Lord Jesus, who embraced fully both His human and divine nature, and provided us with the ultimate example of a fully lived and yet selfless existence in the passage here we call life on Earth. If you are struggling with thoughts that distract you during Mass don’t expect your female fellow parishioners to resolve the matter for you. That’s your responsibility in your own spiritual journey, and projecting the responsibility onto others will not help you find the path. Rather, these thoughts you are having are opportunities for you to reflect on how you can reconcile your own humanity with the path towards peace and wholeness that Christ’s teachings sets out for all of us.

    • Stacy-910879 June 11, 2013 Reply

      I agree! People need to take responsibility for their own thoughts!

    • Sarah-301223 June 11, 2013 Reply

      THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Paul!!! Some men don’t realize what a devastating effect articles like this have a woman’s psyche and heart.

    • Bernard H. June 12, 2013 Reply

      Do we have any connection to each other? Why did Jesus speak of scandal if it is impossible for one person to have any sort of influence on another? Do you believe in Original Sin? Why did Adam and Eve cover themselves up after they ate the fruit? Are we supposed to love each other? In what sense? Caritas? What does this mean? Why, as shown through the cross, is the greatest expression of love said to be sacrifice?

    • Espe-410886 June 19, 2013 Reply

      I agree that we have to take responsibility for our own actions but does that mean we can come to God’s holy house half naked?? Sacredness in church has truly gone out the window…

  26. Jacey-939844 June 11, 2013 Reply

    To elizabeth and all women: I found the author Hildebrand, Anne to be quite intriguing. Also,modesty falls equally on both parties. There are many times where my older brother would come out of Mass disgusted because a woman was wearing a see through or sleeveless shirt. Also guys, if you can dress up for a festia, a wedding or a cumpleanos, then Mass should not be different. t shirts,unless you have nothing else,really? The Mass is the wedding feast.

  27. Joshua-889064 June 11, 2013 Reply

    Not knowing Erik’s age, I’d like to give my account as a 21 year old guy who is still spiritual growing up in this culture. I know that the street goes both ways, which is why you won’t see my at Mass in anything form tight, even though I can pull it off, and the lowest in dress that I ever go now is a nice button up and clean, whole, jeans when I need to go to work right after, but other than that it is suit and tie with me. Yes its hot, but its my Sunday best, and Christ deserves that and more. He also deserves my full attention. I think that many women on here can back me up when I say that they know to some degree how much attention what they are or aren’t wearing will attract from guys, so while focusing on the female is the sin of the guy, isn’t the intentional presentation of the temptation to sin a sin on the part of the female? Speaking as a man who admittedly, developed self control a lil late in that regard, its not easy to look away from the beautiful body of a woman because its hardwired into us. Its really hard for us to look above your neck when more skin is showing below it, or things below it are made to standout more than let’s say the hair and smile. A woman can be fully clothed but if the shirt is form fitting and the “push up” bra is on she might as well not even have a shirt on in the eyes of former me and most men. Finally. How can I truly respect a woman to the amount that I should if she is wearing clothing that frankly takes her down in a way from the level of prominence that God placed her at? Its really hard to.

  28. Annette-371653 June 11, 2013 Reply

    Am I the only one who thinks this type of thinking is mentally corrupt and just 1 reason so many catholics are falling away?

    To the author of the article, does your wonderfully modest wife cover her hair? If not, she and 99% of Catholic women would be considered immodest 2000 years ago.

    Does she shave her legs and armpits? she and 99% of Catholic women would be considered French prostitutes 200 years ago.

    Every generation is full of the types that say “what is this world coming to” in terms of modesty, followed by a generation with a slightly looser perception of what modesty is, but then grows up to condemn the generation after them for their fashions being immodest according to how they were raised. No wonder we were given Matthew 7:3-5 – this level of judging – judging modesty based on what societal acceptable norms in fashion YOU were brought up with is asinine.

    • Espe-410886 June 11, 2013 Reply

      When one gets defensive it’s because you know deep in your heart that this is “NOT” appropriate to dress (or lack thereof) in this fashion for the House of God. It’s sad that your way of thinking is so wrong. So do you think it’s fine for men/women to attend church in shorts, low cut blouses, cut off jeans, tight jeans, shirts sporting their favorite team?? This is why our Catholic church is in trouble, people thinking the way you do. We are to dress modest for church since we are going to the house of God and not a beach or a bar!
      Our Lord showed His anger with the money changers who were defiling His house and going to His Holy church half naked “in this day and age” is the same thing.

      • Annette-371653 June 12, 2013 Reply

        Defensive? Speak for yourself – I was respectfully disagreeing and not once accused the author of the article of “not loving Christ” lol – what a primitive assumption to make considering we’re all on a CATHOLIC dating site and clearly all place importance on having a Christ centered relationship. We’re supposed to be on the same side here. Differences of opinions are okay.

        “It’s sad that your way of thinking is so wrong.”

        Again, that’s your opinion held up with your opinion of what is modest/immodest. I’m sure if you were having this conversation with an Amish person, he or she would be accusing you of being immodest and you would find yourself making the same arguments I am.

        “So do you think it’s fine for men/women to attend church in shorts, low cut blouses, cut off jeans, tight jeans, shirts sporting their favorite team??”

        What if it’s that person’s only shirt? A stretch, I know – but I would never judge a man unless walking a mile in his shoes. Especially in light of the much needed “Catholics Come Home” program – I would applaud them for prioritizing attending mass and could care less what their shell looks like. Usually I’m too focused on my own prayer to notice anyway.

        “This is why our Catholic church is in trouble, people thinking the way you do.”

        I think it’s much more alarming to attack and condemn someone for having a difference of opinion. Remember the inquisition? Remember the crusades? The attitude expressed is pretty much the attitude of the day which RESULTED in the Inquisition. In fact, weren’t those the types of people that jumped to the idea of crucifying Jesus? Hostile, paranoiac thoughts lead to hostile, paranoiac actions.

        Sadly, your verse example is attempting to fit a square peg into a round hole. I think more appropriate is Matthew 7:3-5:
        “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

        And again – if you were having this conversation with an Amish person, or someone from the middle east who believes all women must wear burkhas – you’d change your tune to sing much like what I’m singing here and thus be labeled a hypocrite.

        • Espe-410886 June 18, 2013 Reply

          So it’s okay for you to give your opinion but when I give mine you are judging me?? You are very young and so is your mindset. I rest my case…

          • Annette-371653 June 19, 2013 Reply

            I’m responding to your opinion, not attacking you and claiming you “must not love God” – and funny I’M the younger one (despite age being nothing but a number).

          • Jane-978403 September 2, 2013 Reply

            Espe, I’m not quite so young, and I think that she did a fine job expressing an intelligent thought.

    • Barbara-233633 June 11, 2013 Reply

      Are there norms for modest dress? The answer is, “Yes, in accord with the virtue of modesty.” In his Letter to the Galatians, St. Paul lists modesty as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, those “perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory.” (Confer Galatians 5:22-23; Catechism, no. 1832.)

      Modesty in dress and general behavior is governed by the principle of not offending others and not being an occasion of sin for others. St. Augustine said, “In all your movements, let nothing be evident that would offend the eyes of another.”

      A Christian needs to ask, “What am I stating by what I am wearing? In other words, what is the ‘packaging’ advertising? What am I trying to draw attention to?” If the intent is to show off the body and to arouse the sexual feelings of another, to draw attention to oneself and pique the curiosity of another, then one has violated modesty.

      Annette, how do you think people should dress when they go to Mass?

      • Annette-371653 June 12, 2013 Reply

        That’s just silly – you will never be able to please 100% of people because modesty is going to vary from person to person, culture to culture, generation to generation. To one person – a woman covering herself with the exception of her eyes is modest, to another a hair covering is sufficiently modest, to another a turtleneck is modest, to another a tshirt, to another a tank top with 3 finger wide straps, etc – where does it stop? You will go insane trying to not offend everyone, especially in our society today. I’d say it’s nearly impossible to please every person you ever come across – especially in our melting pot of cultures today. And as I mentioned above, chances are even both you and I would be offending someone of strict muslim faith or an Amish person with ourdress since it is something considered immodest in their cultures to have hair uncovered. These are only a few examples of the many varying degrees of modest dress among the hundreds of cultures we run across in our country.

        “Annette, how do you think people should dress when they go to Mass? ”

        I should be asking you – since apparently you have a definite answer of what is modest vs immodest – I’m the one saying it’s up to what is comfortable to that individual. I think if people were truly focused on worshipping – they wouldn’t be so focused on what others were wearing. They probably wouldnt even notice.

        People forget Christ said, “A new commandment I give to you – love one another as I have loved you By this everyone will know you are my followers.”

        It wasn’t a suggestion – but a commandment. It seems this focus on what others are wearing stifles everyone’s ability to fulfill that commandment. Or maybe it’s an excuse not to. Either way, it is absolutely belittling those people by your own standards of what you deem to be acceptable. And if there’s anything you get from this conversation let it be Matthew 7:3:

        “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”

    • Robin-973240 July 2, 2013 Reply

      I don’t understand why people consider this as sexist or chauvinistic, this is a truth. Men who get’s disturbed, close your eyes and pray ,and women must realize that their way of dressing can be of distraction to men and try to be a modest. The same goes with men. Annette , if you were born and brought in the part of the world I grew up, perhaps you would have understood things better. Women do cover their heads in this part of the world (Kerala, India). And please , just because I said India, don’t think of some rural village yet to “develop” and a place where men incessantly rape and control women . No, women here have the sense to recognize that their body can be of distraction to men if they don’t dress appropriately and they feel”shy” when they expose too much. Sadly, many women have lost their sense of shame. I personally disagree with you. Women do need to dress modestly. It is a not a matter of choice , it is a requirement. If you can’t understand why it is a requirement come down to this part of the world where orthodoxy is still there.

      • Annette-371653 July 18, 2013 Reply

        It is absolutely chauvanistic – “women need to watch what they wear because men cannot control their urges” – yet the opposite is not true for men?

        I’m afraid you missed my point, which was that modesty is a perception among different cultures, it’s open to interpretation and what is “provocative” to one culture can be very normal in another, and vice versa. I’m sure even indian women would be considered immodest among an Amish community – bearing arms, showing hair, wearing excessive makeup and jewelry – what then? Now YOU are being judged the measure you have judged others. The amish would say “Your Indian women have lost their sense of shame.” What then? Clearly not even your own culture is fulfilling your requirement.

  29. Anya-974452 June 11, 2013 Reply


    Bravo! I am so glad that a man is saying something about this. Most of the time, it is women saying this, but coming from a man, it is truly refreshing. It is not only in the House of God that women should be dressed appropriately. Padre Pio has said to one of his Spiritual Daughters, “if you will not wear such a dress in the House of God, better to throw it away and not wear it at all… don’t be foolish enough to give it away because you are giving another woman an opportunity to look like a clown and offend God!” Form fitting… low back… low blouse lines… mini skirts… well, can we imagine the Great Mother of God wearing any of these, of course not! Yet we as Catholic women say that Our Lady is the greatest role model there is. There is a wonderful book titled, “Dressing with Dignity” by Colleen Hammond and it is a wonderful read. Yes, one can look feminine sans looking matronly. The bottom line here is, if you can’t imagine Our Lady wearing it, you better not wear it either.

  30. Megan-742063 June 11, 2013 Reply

    My mom always told me to wear clothes that were tight enough to know that I was a woman, but loose enough (and covering enough) to know I was a lady. That’s my major compass in church and everywhere else (well maybe except the gym because it’s hard to run 6 miles in a cute skirt or dress). Thanks for this article!

  31. Cara-868560 June 11, 2013 Reply

    I def agree that attire needs to be dressier and more modest at mass. However, it drives me nuts when women are accused of causing men to sin by the way they dress. Largely, because a lot of rapists use the same logic. “That woman wanted it, she was wearing a mini skirt!” So wrong. That’s like blaming a fancy frosted cupcake for making someone gluttonous or saying it’s okay to steal a cupcake in a store window because it was so tempting looking.

    • Jessica-930268 June 11, 2013 Reply


    • Chelsea-743484 June 12, 2013 Reply

      Sts. Thomas Aquinas (in his Summa Theologica) and Augustine had some words on the subject:

      ‘As regards the adornment of women, we must bear in mind the general statements made above (1) concerning outward apparel, and also something special, namely that a woman’s apparel may incite men to lust, according to Prov. 7:10, “Behold a woman meeteth him in harlot’s attire, prepared to deceive souls.”

      ‘Nevertheless a woman may use means to please her husband, lest through despising her he fall into adultery. Hence it is written (1 Cor. 7:34) that the woman “that is married thinketh on the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” Wherefore if a married woman adorn herself in order to please her husband she can do this without sin.

      ‘But those women who have no husband nor wish to have one, or who are in a state of life inconsistent with marriage, cannot without sin desire to give lustful pleasure to those men who see them, because this is to incite them to sin. And if indeed they adorn themselves with this intention of provoking others to lust, they sin mortally; whereas if they do so from frivolity, or from vanity for the sake of ostentation, it is not always mortal, but sometimes venial. And the same applies to men in this respect. Hence Augustine says (Ep. ccxlv ad Possid.): “I do not wish you to be hasty in forbidding the wearing of gold or costly attire except in the case of those who being neither married nor wishful to marry, should think how they may please God: whereas the others think on the things of the world, either husbands how they may please their wives, or wives how they may please their husbands, except that it is unbecoming for women though married to uncover their hair, since the Apostle commands them to cover the head.” Yet in this case some might be excused from sin, when they do this not through vanity but on account of some contrary custom: although such a custom is not to be commended. ‘

      A woman may be at fault for a man’s sin of lust in this regard.

      • Jessica-930268 June 13, 2013 Reply

        There’s a difference between dressing to be attractive and dressing to be deliberately seductive.

        It’s okay to do the former. I think it glorifies God when we present ourselves at our best.

        But only do the latter in front of your spouse, whether you are male or female. Some things should be kept private.

  32. Ed-501357 June 11, 2013 Reply

    Unfortunately how people dress when attending mass these days represents how our culture has changed as a whole. People don’t seem to care how they present themselves to the world and one need’s to not look further than a downtown street.

    When I go to mass, I do make an effort to dress nicely—not in a tux mind you, but in a nice shirt and dress pants. However I look around and as was pointed out in an earlier comment, people come in with ripped jeans, low risers, and baseball shirts even baseball caps and some of these were women!!

    I guess one would make the argument is that the Lord accepts all of us warts and all.

    Actually in terms of women showing cleavage or otherwise at mass, I don’t notice it anymore as today it’s so commonplace. On the contrary what would distract me is a properly attired woman, who presents herself as a lady.

    I don’t know if it’s the church’s call to remind people that they should dress appropriately or to risk alienating people given the drop in attendance over the past 30 years or so.

  33. Bernard-568827 June 10, 2013 Reply

    To the women who understand this, who love virtue and our Lady, thank you.

    In some sense, I begin to appreciate more and more Pope Benedict’s statement concerning the “tyranny of relativism.” Maybe it is not clear how it is relevant, but some seem to insist that the pope and the Church have no authority to speak truth to us…while, at the same time, they pontificate and impose their own “truths,” and demand, with the utmost rigor and severity, that those be believed and accepted without question–de fide, so to speak.

    Truth is important. It matters. What a person believes matters. If that doesn’t seem to be the case, remember that in the 1930’s and 1940’s, there were those in Europe and Germany who had beliefs. And those had consequences.

  34. Patrick-955401 June 10, 2013 Reply

    What a great conversation!

    I write about masculinity and how men mature – or don’t. Developmentally, young girls need to know and be affirmed in their beauty and their ability to attract a mate. In a healthy culture, this comes from the masculine voice of the father. However, when the father is absent (emotionally as well), abusive, neglectful, abandons, or simply doesn’t understand his daughter’s need to be seen and affirmed, she will look for the affirmation elsewhere. Dressing provocatively is one way to be affirmed as a woman. Unfortunately, the attention and the leering doesn’t meet the deeper need for affirmation and the striving and the outfits get more and more provocative – as we have in our culture now.

    Fathers love your daughters. Bless them and let them know that you see their beauty (interior and exterior), then they won’t feel the deep need to ask boys/men to tell them who they are. In my opinion, we have fallen so far from mature masculinity that most men don’t know their primary roles as fathers (as men), is to bless and affirm the identity of their children as young men or young women.

    • Bernard-568827 June 10, 2013 Reply


    • Stan-933764 June 13, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Patrick for your insights on this subject in the broader context…..Having raised two daughters (and two sons)…..and having been a single parent for the last several years my daughters were at home and in High School…I can relate to some of your comments….I would be very interested in reading more of your work and perhaps sharing some of my own experience AND rational for my actions with you…. as I’m no longer an active member on this sight please reply to skt99 at ymail dot com if you care to. thanx.

    • Jane-978403 September 2, 2013 Reply

      Patrick, I like how you took this to a different level. I did not have a father like you describe, and I do feel the lack. Fortunately, I have been blessed with other Godly influences that have helped me catch up, so to speak! I do think the problem of inappropriate dress in church is a combination of poor upbringing and lack of awareness of the message people send. Nonetheless, I am glad they came to church at all!

  35. Michelle-975899 June 10, 2013 Reply

    It’s too bad you’re afraid of your own feelings. God made sex, too! Lol!

    • Jaime-556629 June 10, 2013 Reply

      what lol

    • Maggie-918313 June 10, 2013 Reply

      Pretty clear that he’s not afraid of his feelings…read his description of his wife and their relationship. There’s an appropriate time and a place for everything, though.

    • Bob-59786 June 10, 2013 Reply

      But did He make sex to be primarily a toy?

  36. Richard-143340 June 10, 2013 Reply

    Stop looking at female anatomy and get thee in worship. Just sayin’

    • Jessica-930268 June 11, 2013 Reply

      Protestant evangelist Billy Graham said that it’s not the first look at a woman’s legs that is the problem… it’s the second look.

  37. Naomi-825244 June 10, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for a good article, Erik. As per usual, this article has certainly sparked some discussion. It is a hazy, hot, and humid day down here, and I was shocked by the amount of skin I was seeing.

  38. Maria-968666 June 10, 2013 Reply

    I like one of the old Churches in Bohol, Philippines where they are very strict about the dress code. It’s a tourist destination and people aren’t aware that it’s part of a beach hopping tour package so they tend to wear summer clothes like shorts, sleeveless shirts, etc. What the church did was to provide shawls to cover up the revealing clothing. Our parish is also going to adapt a similar practice as we struggle to control people who visit the church (despite the posters and constant announcements about the dress code).

    I think the shawl can also help in situations where people suddenly wanted to go to church while they were out and they had no way to change their clothes.

  39. Jane-933948 June 10, 2013 Reply

    In the church that I attend there are posted reminders in the vestibule of how to dress and act in church and at mass. Our bulletin carries a reminder and our priests make an announcement at every mass. If there are those that want to cover up ~ or need to ~ they offer the clothes at the back of the church. That is for both men and women alike. It is refreshing.

  40. Chris-427945 June 10, 2013 Reply

    Modesty usually isn’t a problem at the Traditional Latin Mass. I’ve found that modesty issues are fairly typical at any Novus Ordo mass, which is another reason to go to the TLM.

  41. Cyn-953002 June 10, 2013 Reply

    Everyone’s comments are dead on. I wonder at times the exact date and time as a society, we decided Church/Mass and going to the mall/movies required same outfit. We place more effort in our outfits for a party than mass. Smh

  42. Jacey-939844 June 10, 2013 Reply

    Our bodies are temples of the holy spirit. I pray for those that are dressed immodestly and cause myself and those around me to be tempted. On the same note, I hope that they might also pray for me in my daily struggle to heaven as we are all a part of the Body of Christ. God bless! ( :

  43. Erlin-960021 June 10, 2013 Reply

    thanks for bringing up this topic. i come to attend mass and i sin in my thought because i see people dressed like they are going to a club. i always taught my children to dress not very open in front or showing their belly button or very mini skirt. when i go to church and i wear a sleeveless top or dress i have to cover it with something a bolero,shal (not sure the spelling) to cover my shoulder. in the country i grew up the one who do the readings has to wear a skirt below the knees or a dress and even have to wear a veil and for men button front and collar shirt. i have seen the lector wearing a spaghetti straps. there should be a dress code.

  44. Chris-248818 June 10, 2013 Reply

    I agree with all your comments. I see men, women, and kids in shorts at Mass, I am like that is inappropriate for Mass. I for one wear Khakis and a nice polo shirt (need to get some different polo shirts for Mass…btw 🙂 ) I think jeans, shorts, sandals, t-shirts, etc…. are not appropriate for Mass. Kids come in their soccer, baseball uniforms, I don’t care if they have a game after Mass. They should have time to go home and change into their uniform.

    • Marian-83994 June 10, 2013 Reply

      Tonight I saw a young girl go up for communion in a pair of short shorts. Every summer we have a reminder in our various bulletins at our parishes telling the ladies that we are not going to the beach when we attend mass… In my area of CA we have tghis problem because our summers are hot.. The cantor had a skirt on that from a distance looked ok but when she paraded up to sing the psalm was not really a good choice. It was vivid blue and sheer material which was short in front and long in back and then there was another skirt under it. It was too much… Sometimes modesty is also not drawing attention to yourself or your body. It is knowing what fashions are pushing the envelop and when it is time to wear something that covers you. This is for both genders…
      Personally I look down a lot at mass or at nothing. I take off my glasses so I can’t see anyone- especially after communion. I am going to call the office tomorrow and talk about the shorts to someone. We never would have dreamed of wearing shorts like that to mass. Even the schools have dress codes.

      • Alejandro-159799 June 11, 2013 Reply

        This is not about modesty, this is about disrespect for Holy Mass and Jesus Christ. Women should respect more at Mass. Imagine yourself in a job interview or at an important meeting. Why if you can dress appropiate for the ocassion, you disrespect so much Holy Mass?

  45. Elizabeth-384374 June 9, 2013 Reply

    And what about a woman’s eyes? I’ve seen men come to church in ripped up t-shirts and dirty jeans. Is this somehow appropriate simply because they are men? This blog post re-inforces the ludicrous sexist notion that men only are allowed to be offended by what women wear and that it isn’t a two way street.

    • Stephanie-450440 June 10, 2013 Reply

      Thanks. I was thinking the same thing. It’s not just women. Lots of people are inappropriately dressed for mass. I doubt most people would go dressed in shorts and flip flops to meet the President of the United States (whether you like him or not) but they seem to think it’s OK to do that to go and meet Jesus every Sunday.

      • Richard V. June 11, 2013 Reply

        I couldn”t agree with both of you Ladies. I’ve seen way too many men dressed inappropriately for Mass.

    • Chelsea-743484 June 10, 2013 Reply

      There’s nothing sexist about the blog post. Women seem to have a problem with the notion that they are a separate sex and tend to reject natural roles (Romans 1:26), dressing either as men or as prostitutes.

      Women have a different mode of reaction to what they see than what men do. The way men are built, they have a biological pre-disposition to stronger reaction to what they consider beautiful in women: when men see a pretty woman, their biological response in their brains is the same as to a shot of cocaine. Women do not react that way to men or to other women.

      The point that women typically don’t know their place, their worth, or their relationships (which is manifest in how they attire and comport themselves) has nothing to do with the relatively rare occurrence of male immodesty at Mass or in the Churches. Just go to a so-called “catholic” wedding: the men tend to cover from neck to foot, whereas the bride and female attendants tend to have a skin-fest.

      Women, by far, take the cake in their offences against themselves, their fathers and their future husbands in their immodesty.

      • Elizabeth-384374 June 10, 2013 Reply

        There is so much wrong in this it’s disturbing. Men are no more “biologically” predisposed than a woman is. It’s a CULTURAL issue due to the revolting way women have been treated in the patriarcal society. Read up on matriarchal societies to see how much cultural influences thought and behavior.

        Men are not off the hook in the way they dress and should never be. By the same token, if a man is incapable of looking at a woman without seeing her as a sexual object, then he needs to confront that sin and but the sin squarely where it belongs, on himself.

        • Chelsea-743484 June 10, 2013 Reply

          It sounds like you’re merely invested in your position for whatever reason.

          Women have a biological response to infants that men do not have. Men ought not fault women for that, or say it doesn’t exist, merely because they don’t experience it themselves. It’s a neutral event which is sex specific. Having a sex specific biological response (which you deny they have, probably because you have no idea what it is like for men being a woman) is not the same as intellectually apprehending a woman as a sexual object (in the sense that a sexual object is merely one made only for the purpose of fulfilling the sexual angst or desire of a man). There is no sin in a biological response. It can, though, line things up easily for a man witnessing the beautiful private and intimate parts of a woman to sin.

          Men are not off the hook in the way they dress, you’re right. However, the way they dress doesn’t put women in the same danger as the way women dress can put men. Women CAN and DO sin by the way they dress, and they sin doubly if they cause another to sin by it. This doesn’t relieve a man’s burden of modesty, merely points out the serious obligation women have to care for their brothers in Christ.

          • Bernard-568827 June 10, 2013 Reply

            Thank you, Chelsea

          • Alexandra-892137 June 11, 2013 Reply

            Please cite your “facts” about biological responses, especially the extreme differences you claim men and women have, with scientific studies. There is also no scientific evidence for any instinct in humans, which includes the so called “maternal” instinct. I’ve done quite a lot of my own research into the topic myself, and if you can present studies to contradict this, I would be very interested to read about it.

          • Dean-1150250 November 28, 2014 Reply

            Alexandra, so you don’t have a problem with homosexuality? Obviously you think there is nothing different between men and women, except body plumbing, right?

            How many people in the USA think men and women are identical, except genitals? If that were true then what difference would it really make regarding homosexual, bisexual, etc? Everyone is the same, except for the shape of a piece of meat on their bodies, right?

            The differences between men and women are enormous. It seems that some women, for whatever reason, often have a bent toward wanting to believe there are no differences. Perhaps being taught their entire lives that being like a man should be their goal in life, this might explain the rampant cross dressing on the part of women, to the extent that the term “cross dressing” only applies to men now, as women have completely normalized cross dressing for themselves.

            Fish and giraffes are not meant to be equals, just as men and women aren’t. They’re meant to be different.

          • Jessica-930268 June 11, 2013 Reply

            I’m a woman and I find infants annoying and I do my best to avoid being around them. I sit in the front row at Mass so I don’t have to be around them, as most of the time parents sit further back with their shreiklings so they can step outside during a meltdown. I do not have a maternal impulse towards them, sorry. I guess God must have wired me differently than every other woman. Either that, or everyone is wired differently from everyone else, or perhaps everyone has free choice about what to think and how to behave.

            At my parish we don’t have a problem with women wearing skimpy clothing. We have, in my opinion, a problem with the women no longer caring at all about their appearance. Ladies, I don’t think it’s fair to have men promise to only make love to you and to no one else for the rest of their lives, and then just allow yourselves to get sloppy. Trim the frizzy split ends out of your hair and be sure to wash it regularly. You don’t need to dress like an orphan in “Oliver Twist” in order to be modest.

            The other problem we have is with the men. I’m getting the impression that the men in our parish think that having facial hair somehow makes them holier or more virile. These men are not Orthodox monks but are well on their way to looking like it. They don’t keep them trimmed next to their faces, but let them get bushy, rising off of their faces higher than their noses. Sorry, you’re distracting me because you’re grossing me out. Keep it together.

            I attend Latin Mass, wear a chapel veil, and dress modestly but attractively. Under the veil, my hair is clean and smells nice. I’m not looking to impress any of the guys in my parish because they’re either looking like they’re in the band ZZ Top or they’re the fathers of five or more children and I’m not interested in being an unpaid governess and housekeeper.

      • Dave-146273 June 10, 2013 Reply

        Chelsea,, i think a lot of what you said has some truth to it.. People that respect themselves don’t have to dress immodestly. While there is nothing wrong with trying to look attractive and appealing,,a woman simply has to ask herself why the first impression she wants to make on a Man is how “sexy” she looks.

        • Chelsea-743484 June 11, 2013 Reply

          Alexandra – there was a study lead by Dr. Hans Breiter based at Massachusetts General Hospital whose results were published in 2011 regarding female faces triggering the “reward” center of the male brain, just as cocaine will do. I do not recall the name of the study and do not know if it’s available online to the general public.

          Your notion that there is no scientific evidence of instinct in humans smacks of materialism. There is more to science than that which is gathered empirically, such as logic, metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, criteriology, etc. Without these as foundation, what we gather empirically is silliness. Instinct is observable in humans, whether it’s materially measurable or not. Case in point is a newborn infant sucking at it’s mother’s breast. It has no chance to learn to do so either by observation or rational teaching; it’s not capable mentally of those processes as of yet.

          Jessica – finding ill-behaved children unpleasant doesn’t mean that you would not experience a sex-specific female response to your own infant.

          • Alexandra-892137 June 11, 2013 Reply

            Just because it also triggers the same area if the brain as cocaine does not make them comparable. There are many things that trigger the same area.

            Regarding instinct, I have no idea how you drew materialism from my response. Infants sucking is a reflex, not an instinct, of which there is a great difference. There are many observable reflexes in humans, but no true instinct such as the “maternal” instinct. The responses that a woman has to her child can just the same be seen in a man. Much of the perception of women being better caretakers is socially constructed, not biologically. Perhaps some women are better caretakers, simply because of the way our culture raises the genders differently. However, this is not biologically inherent; it is socially constructed. There is nothing inherent that would make a woman a better caretaker than a man. To say so is insulting to men.

          • Jessica-930268 June 12, 2013 Reply

            I can assure you, I will never have my own infant.

          • Bernard H. June 12, 2013 Reply

            Is there scientific evidence that men and women are different? I wouldn’t think an NIH-funded study would be necessary to verify that, at the very least, our bodies are different. If that is so, is it, perhaps, probable that there are other differences as well? But if we are different, at least in that way, then why is that so? Can random chance, a roll of the dice, explain this? But if we believe that God is the creator–saving that we don’t believe in him at all–then why are there these differences? I cannot believe that it simply escaped him of their existence; not when the entirety of the universe–from the structure of protons, to the tiny fluctuations evident in the CMB that resulted in all the structure around us– is created with such order, such precision, such deliberation–as though it were authored. Was it just an oversight? Or was there a reason he designed it this way?

    • Chris-906154 June 10, 2013 Reply

      I don’t think they’re talking broadly about dressing in an ‘inappropriate’ manner, but specifically about dressing modestly. Dirty jeans might be inappropriate in the sense of ‘slobbery,’ but it’s not really immodest in the classical sense.

      • Elizabeth-384374 June 10, 2013 Reply

        What about, then, the if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off? If a man is incapable of seeing a woman as anything other than a sexual object due to the way she is dressed, as this post suggests, then isn’t the fault upon the man? Shouldn’t he, figuratively, cut his eyes out? Put the sin where it belongs.

        • Chris-906154 June 10, 2013 Reply

          Well, if she goes in there in cutoffs or a bikini or an extra low-cut dress, she bears some responsibility for other people’s reactions. To take an extreme case, does a stripper sin by plying her trade? Certainly, because it tempts the morons who go to see her. Just because they wanted to doesn’t mean it’s okay for her to do so. Same principle, just a difference of degree.

        • Maggie-918313 June 10, 2013 Reply

          We are not responsible for the independent sin of another, but there is such a thing as participating in the sin of another. Being an occasion to sin by dressing immodestly is one example. I would never want a man to commit a sin–even a sin of thought–because of having looked at me. Modesty is a way for us to love men–to help them see US, not our packaging.

        • Alejandro-159799 June 11, 2013 Reply

          Now a days women think that looking like Kathy Perry, Madonna, or some movie star is hot. Well, let me says women standards are low these days. Of course you will get men attraction if you walk half naked on the street, but men will treat those women like “easy women”, because that is in the end what they are saying by the way they dress.

  46. Peter-793888 June 9, 2013 Reply

    A friend of mine was at the Confirmation preparation meeting at our Parish with the Associate Pastor, and told me what happened. The Associate Pastor (young priest) stood up, specifically addressing the young ladies preparing for the Sacrament and said “Let me remind you, this is a Mass, so dress like you are attending Mass. If you have to adjust your skirt or dress every time you get up, it’s too short, go and change! If you look at yourself in the mirror before you leave the house and you’re dressed like you would to go to a club with your friends – GO AND CHANGE! You’re going to Mass, dress like!” My friend commented that he loved the comment, and I couldn’t agree more with this dear priest.

    • Dave-146273 June 10, 2013 Reply

      Nice comment Peter. When i see some women dressed like they’re going to a Club.. it just makes me wonder what importance do they place on going to Mass?!

  47. Steven-94269 June 9, 2013 Reply

    I see so many young girls and who wear shorts that are far from modest dress and sometimes they come in with their parents and if they don’t see anything wrong with it I have to say why. I don’t think women should dress in a Burka and men in a suit and tie but I say dress like you would dress like you would go for a job interview.

  48. Bernadette-874299 June 9, 2013 Reply

    Everyone should dress modestly, wherever they are. The beach and the bbq might be places where one thinks it’s ok to “bare” a little more, but they are not. Men walking around in bathing suits, bare-chested, is not modest, but it’s not a monstrous issue among women because we are not as visual as men who, as Eric said, “look all the time” – unless they were taught (or are training themselves) custody of the eyes. Until this culture experiences a major turn-around, decent Catholic men must learn to constantly practice that virtuous habit, just as ladies must learn to dress modestly to protect themselves from indecent glances. Now, speaking for myself, I dress modestly because 1) I was raised that way from my earliest years, I was taught how to sit like a lady, etc. and 2) I choose to continue with modest dress, because I know my worth as a daughter of God and child of the King. So many other young people today don’t know that, and I know it is because they were not taught the true beauty of modesty.

    • Greg-720128 June 11, 2013 Reply

      Great comments! Had to check out your profile. Cute, modest, smart, good taste AND a pref for trad mass. You are the whole package! Got a much older sister? 🙂
      But seriously – I hope this site finds you the great man you deserve. Stay good. (Had a feeling you’d like St Philomena.)

    • Bobbi-973848 June 14, 2013 Reply

      No one could have put it better, You hit the nail right on the head…Parents need to teach their children modesty, but a lot of parents are not modest them selves, and children learn what they live….It is not bad enough we crucified Him with our sin, we keep doing it…I pray for the world to change and put God back in School, Never heard of a shooting in a school when the day started with prayer and the Pledge…. People have become a sorry lot…..

      Dressing modestly is just one thing and women who dress provocatively are partly the cause for a mans lust… both are equally to blame…..

  49. Cara-868560 June 9, 2013 Reply

    “To leave room for the imagination,” as if the point of modesty was that surrounding men imagine you naked.”-Marc

    An interesting blog post on the same subject-

  50. Marita-847688 June 9, 2013 Reply

    I couldn’t agree with this article more! When we are dressed modestly, we are giving glory to God. Our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. It is GOD’S temple and therefore we need to respect and glorify it by dressing modestly. We can show complete respect for God this way, and I believe we honor Mary when we do this as well. Before we leave the house each morning, we should ask ourselves if our outfits bring him glory.

    • Bob-59786 June 10, 2013 Reply

      Walked into Mass yesterday and saw a married woman dressed immodestly. I would not be pleased if I was her husband. Also when a woman shows clevage (a relative told me “that’s the fashion”), I conclude she’s very unlikely to be the kind of woman I would pursue. An attractive woman dressed modestly is noteworthy.

      • Bobbi-973848 June 14, 2013 Reply

        I agree with Bob, Amen.

        • Esther E. June 23, 2013 Reply

          100% in agreement with you !!

  51. Hayley-796302 June 9, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for the great article Erik..I share your viewpoint as well..
    Being a woman myself, I am so embarrassed at the way women are dressed to church at times..Many don’t seem to have any morals or respect for their own bodies. Its sad that they don’t realise that their body is a temple of the holy spirit and we must use it to honour God 1 COR 6 19-20. More-so when we are in His presence…
    As Christians/ Catholics we are called to live in His image and likeness and like Mary we must radiate Christ within us.. Its only when women realise the true meaning of this that they will know what it means to be dressed ‘modestly’ always!

    • Anna M. June 11, 2013 Reply

      Well, you have made your point, however, our young women and I mean the world all over have no real role models like the young women of my generation (now 58). The best comes from the tv, internet and friends: the friends also have no role models.

      We as parents must put our act together, tell the children the truth instead of leaving everything to teachers/friends/tvs etc. Although the children’s act has become the order of the day for so many countries, a responsible parent should not throw away the responsibility of parenting.

    • Les W. June 12, 2013 Reply

      i notice the tight fitting jeans, leggings, cleveage and much much more, but what I try to do is not be the one who makes judgement on another, that is GOD’s position not mine. Also, I use to look down at people who dress like the are going to the beach and we are 4 hours away from the nearest one, but I’m sure that God says at least they are in church. We should not judge, it’s hard not to. But I developed a trick, look up at Jesus on the cross and remember that he died for all of us, not just the puritans. We have to be patient that the rest of the world will come around, b/c God said no more floods or fire to destroy a unruly generation. We make our beds and we must sleep in them, Amen.

      • Bobbi-973848 June 14, 2013 Reply

        God did say he would not flood the world anymore but he said in Rev, the next end will be fire, it ready the skin will fall of the bones before they hit the ground…..

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