This is taken from the My Life In Prayer book; I could not find any copyright so hopefully nobody will mind that I'm putting this online. (The very beginning of the prayer book says, "Any part of this publication may be translated or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher. It was printed in June 1998.) It was initiated December 8, 1944, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Table of Contents
Out of respect for Our Lord and for the edification of our neighbor, we beg women and girls to appear in Church modestly dressed. Slacks, shorts, sleeveless and low-cut dresses do not meet the norm of Christian modesty. Your cooperation is evidence of your love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and respect for the House of God. "Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much." Our Lady of Fatima, 1917.
Marylike Modesty Handbook of the Purity Crusade of Mary Immaculate
Nihil Obstat: Leonard A. Bauer, S.T.D.
The booklet you are about to read is, for the most part, the original copy of the "Marylike Modesty Handbook of the Purity Crusade of Mary Immaculate." This was a movement established and managed by the Reverend Bernard A. Kunkel. Father Kunkel died in May of 1969. After reading the original Marylike Handbook, realizing the research and labor that went into bringing this project to print, it would be difficult not to believe that our Blessed Lady and Her Angels were there to escort Father Kunkel's soul into Everlasting Glory.
Three years before Father Kunkel's death, he made the following statement, not knowing at the time that in three short years it would happen. Father said, "I have a feeling when I fade out of the picture that will be the end of the Crusade. I cannot find anyone to help who will carry out my principles, as I would like them carried out." He added, "Of course we cannot worry too much about these material things; I will do what I can while I am able and after that, if it should continue, it will be in Our Blessed Mother's hands." Father always wanted God's Will to be done.
Just two months before his death, Father was sitting at his death, the layout of the May-June issue of the crusader before him and he said, "This is the last issue of the Marylike Crusader that I am writing. If I am still alive by September, I will be too weak, because I am getting weaker every day. The next issue is in Our Blessed Mother's hands. I have not found a new Director yet for the Crusade. If I cannot find the right one, I would rather see it fold up."
This was the difficult decision which had to be made by the Most Reverend Bishop of the Belleville Diocese who was also President of the Marylike Crusade. Father could not find anyone to carry on this unique Crusade when he was alive. No one could be found after his death to be the new Director and carry out his principles so to respect his wishes, the Crusade was terminated.
Ask yourself: How could it be that no one could be found to carry on this work which was first implemented by the Magisterium of the Church through several of Her Holy Pontiffs?
After reading this booklet, you will see that the writings contained herein are not Father Kunkel's but rather those of the Holy Spirit Himself and materialized by the Old and New Testament, by Our Lady and the Popes. So how comes it, that this work of TRUTH could not be perpetuated?
The devil is the father of all deceit and has, through gradualism, caused humanity (especially the clergy and the hierarchy of the Church) to be lulled into a false sense of security and a lackadaisical attitude about the moral issues of the day and as to what it means to be a True Christian.
If you love God, and you mean it, studying this booklet should change your life. It's going to cost you something. But then, anything worth-while does not come cheap. This booklet will be for many a test. You will know of what cloth you are cut once you have consumed and digested its content.
We said that this booklet is, for the most part, the original copy of Father Kunkel. It would be safe to say that 90% of the copy is the original. We have interjected small bits of copy into appropriate sections to update the text from the 1950s and from private relevelation which we have prayed over for a considerable time and feel comfortably sure of their accuracy. In re-printing this work of Father Kunkel, furthering the cause of Truth, the name of the organization was considered and although the original organization had two names, "Purity Crusade of Mary Immaculate" and "The Marylike Crusade" (one seemed to grow out of the other), the shorter of the two was chosen - The Marylike Crusade.
We have undertaken the reprinting and direction of this noble work and consider it a great privilege to be allowed by Our Blessed Lady to continue this Crusade of Purity started and carried out for many years under the able direction of Father Kunkel. Although it will not be carried on in the same manner as Father Kunkel directed, the organization (i.e., there will be no newsletter) it will be carried on in the original spirit intended. Father Kunkel will be directing The Marylike Crusade from Heaven.
It is quite clear that this little work will meet with much criticism and stubbon refusal just as it did in Father Kunkel's time. Most people who pick it up will not read it simply because they will not waste their time on such a subject or because they don't want to know. We who have enjoined ourselves to the Marylike Crusade are not pointing fingers but are striving to love our fellow man as Christ did. That love must be based on truth and honesty. But in any case the republishing of this little work will be done for the greater honor and glory of God the Father and for those seeking the Truth.
Consider these three sins against the Holy Spirit:
One of the Seven Deadly Sins is Sloth: Laziness to do right or carelessness to do right and to practice virtue because of the trouble attached to it.
Three Spiritual Works of Mercy are:
The Eighth Beatitude: Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.
The content of this booklet is surely required reading for those who love Jesus and our Blessed Mother and those who desire to go into the New Era of Peace. No one will be admitted to this New Era until they are purified and purged of their earthly habits and become meek and humble of heart. Modesty and purity are a major moral problem in the present day, this being one of the greatest stumbling blocks to our salvation, there needs to be a changing of life-styles and a cleansing.
If you accept and implement, in your life, the Divinely guided Truth of the Church concerning purity and modesty expressed in this booklet, you can be assured sufficient grace, in an unbelieving age, to save your soul - even more - to become a GREAT SAINT. But, if, after reading and understanding its content, you decide of your own free will to reject this Truth, pause and consider the Final Judgment Day, when, out of grace and among the goats on the left, our Lord pronounces the words, "Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting damnation, which was prepared for the devil and his angels."
God will not be mocked.
If Our Most Holy and Pure Blessed Mother has arranged for this booklet to be put into your hands and you are reading these words, you have been given a Great Gracethrough the love of God, to change your life to coincide with His Will. The greatest sin man commits is the rejection of God's Grace.
Some 50 years ago or more, a publication known as "The Frenchwoman" presented the following satanic program for the destruction of the virtue of modesty: "Our children must realize the ideal of nakedness...Then, the mentality of the child is rapidly transformed. To escape opposition, progress must be methodically graduated: first, feet and legs naked, then upturned sleeves; afterwards, the upper part of the chest; then, the back...In summer, they will go around almost naked."
Even if such a daring statement of the powers of darkness had never come to light - though "enlightened" liberals have tried to keep it in the dark - we would still know that it had to be planned that way and could not have happened by accident; and we would also know that such a program for immodesty could not have originated anywhere but in the mind of Satan.
May the Grace of God poured out through the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of Our Mother Mary influence and soften your human will to conform to His when reading this booklet.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us, we have recourse to Thee.
Christian modesty is the forgotten virtue today. Yet, it is indispensable for the protection of chastity. It is useless to try to restore chastity to the individual, the family, and society, as long as its safeguard, modesty, is either ignored or violated on such a large scale as it is today.
This handbook of the Marylike Crusade deals almost exclusively with modesty, as we embark on our organized campaign for Christian chastity. There is so little written today on modesty, and most persons who do write on this subject only serve to confuse Catholic women more and more by their many sophisms, their compromise with worldly views on this frail virtue, or even their full acceptance of pagan principles.
Yet five modern Popes have, time and again, issued directives on Christian modesty and refuation of many of these modern errors.
Is this not the reason why Christ established in His Church the Supreme Teaching Authority? To protect the Church from errors and to correct the clergy, the teachers and the parents who, intentionally or in good faith, would propagate errors?
Anyone who today dares to advocate traditional Christian modesty, is considered, even by a large number of Catholics, a scrupulous person, a disturber of conscience, or a crackpot. But did not Christ foretell that this is the price every one of His followers must pay who strives to be loyal to Him and His Church?
The Marylike Crusade holds up Mary as the perfect model for all Christians, and relies on the Magisterium of the Church, the Saints, private revelation and the Popes who are the Supreme Teaching Authority of the Church on modesty. Hence, its two-fold motto: "Whatever Mary approves - Whatever the Church approves."
WHAT IS THE MARYLIKE CRUSADE?
The Marylike Crusade is a movement to promote chastity and modesty through the imitation of Mary, our Queen and "Mother Most Chaste," as the perfect model of those virtues.
It was initiated by Reverend Bernard A. Kunkel (having passed on to his eternal reward), pastor of St. Cecilia's Parish in Bartelso, Illinois, USA, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1944. It received the warm approval of the late Most Reverend Henry Althoff, Bishop of Belleville, Illinois, who also imparted to it his Episcopal Blessing.
Our Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, imparted on two different occasions his Apostolic Blessing to the Marylike Crusade, on July 14, 1954, and on May 11, 1955, "to the members, to their Directors and Moderators, to their families, and loved ones, and to all who further their laudable movement for modesty in dress and behavior."
Yes. It received an official status in the Belleville Diocese at the time of its incorporation in September 1955.
The incorporators of the Marylike Crusade were: His Excellency, the Most Reverend Albert R. Zuroweste, Bishop of Belleville, as President; the Right Reverend Monsignor Leonard A. Bauer, Vicar General, as Vice President; and Reverend Bernard A. Kunkel, as Spiritual Director. The headquarters were in Bartelso, Illinois. There were no branch offices, no representatives.
Yes. Pope Pius XII has asserted, "Mainly through sins of impurity do the forces of darkness subjugate souls."
This same message was given by Our Lady of Fatima in similar words; "The sins that lead most souls to hell are the sins of the flesh."
Following a general breakdown of modesty, impurity has become the ruling passion of the world. It is like a spiritual cancer slowly eating away the spiritual life in souls. It has brought the world to the brink of another Sodom and Gomorra, this time on a worldwide scale. We are facing the threat of "The greatest catastrophe since the deluge." (Pius XII)
This is what the devil would like to have us believe. By our silence we would be letting the entire field of morality in his hands. Pope Pius XII points out the seriousness of the general world situation as well as the remedy: "The threat of this fearful crisis fills us with a great anguish, and so with confidence we have recourse to Mary our Queen." (Oct. 11, 1954)
So also the Marylike Crusade does not rely mainly on natural means, but "with confidence turns to Mary Immaculate." Under her banner, who foretold at Fatima: "In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph."
The Marylike Crusade is assured of ultimate victory, for, the restoration of purity and modesty to a corrupt world is a prerequisite for Mary's "triumph".
Never may we allow ourselves to be disheartened in this "Battle of the Ages," when the serpent dares to fling his final challenge openly and publicly against the Queenship of our Mother Most Chaste."
Not only do we have Mary's prediction in a private revelation, but God's own promise in Scripture that "She shall crush thy head."
Certainly, Mary Our Queen and Mother, will "crush the head" of the most insidious and poisonous serpent, the Demon of Impurity. But God wills that this triumph be accomplished, not by our indifference and lethargy, but by the cooperation of Mary's children marching under her glorious banner.
Certainly not. This is condemned by Pope Pius XI in his encyclical, Christian Education of Youth (December 31, 1929).
Necessary information on the physical aspect of sex is primarily the responsibility of parents; only secondarily and in a limited degree, of teachers and superiors. But always with reverence and modesty. "It is of the highest importance," Pius XI states, "that a good father, while discussing with his son a matter so delicate, should be well on his guard and not descend to details."
Persons who deliberately place immoral books into the hands of our youth make themselves responsible for the moral corruption of numerous youthful readers. "Woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh," warns Jesus. (Matthew 18:7)
The Church has always held that the reading of immoral literature is a mortal sin. Canon law prohibits such reading. Popes and Councils have consistently condemned it. Only two of such condemnations are here adduced, and very briefly:
COUNCIL OF TRENT: - "Books which professedly deal with, narrate, or teach lewd and obscene things are absolutely forbidden...Those who possess them must be severely punished by their Bishops."
HOLY OFFICE - May 3, 1927 - "Let no one make these excuses..." (The very excuses advanced by liberal educators are then listed and condemned.) "Persons who without due permission read a book that is undoubtedly salacious (lustful) commit a mortal sin."
The Marylike Crusade is concerned with the moral aspect of this problem. It strives to point out the many spiritual pitfalls and snares laid by the Demon of Impurity to entrap especially our youth. It is not content with empty and futile denunciations which have so l ong been in vogue, but offers a positive approach to the problem of impurity.
In accordance with the general plan of the Marylike Crusade, our Blessed Mother is presented as the "Virgin Most Pure" and "Mother Most Chaste," as our ideal of purity and modesty, and our perfect model for imitation. Each Crusader strives first after the Marylike ideal in their own life. Only then can they hope to reap results in their efforts to reform family and social life. Prayer and Sacrifice form the basis of all crusading efforts.
Chastity means control of the sex instinct, or sex appetite in accordance with the sixth and ninth commandments. [Thou shall not commit adultery; thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife.] Modesty, on the other hand, is the safeguard of chastity. It is often compared to a wall protecting oneself and others against the frequent attacks made on chastity.
There is a personal and a social modesty. Personal modesty is concerned mostly with the exercising of a strict control over one's own senses, especially the eyes, which are often called the windows of the soul.
Thus, a modest person will not unnecessarily permit his eyes to gaze on any person, picture, printed story, or other object which is apt to introduce bad or impure thoughts into his mind or bad pictures into his imagination. For these, when deliberately entertained, lead naturally to impure sensations and desires for impure acts. The same rule holds for the ears, which must be closed to immoral or suggestive songs, filthy talk, etc. Likewise, for the other senses of touch, taste and smell.
Of course it is a sin, in spite of the wishful thinking of some persons who try to invent a sinless type of immodesty. The removal of the wall of mdoesty admits the enemy, impurity. The weakening of this wall invites him to enter. Personal immodesty has, by its nature, the capacity to be mortally sinful. It may be a venial sin if the immodesty is not serious, and is therefore not a serious threat to one's purity in thought, desire, word or deed. (See appendix on sin at the end of this handbook.)
Social modesty may be defined as a virtue which seeks to protect the chastity of other persons, or at least not to endanger it. It is ever careful to avoid anything that is calculated to excite bad thoughts and desires in others or to lead them to sinful actions.
Social modesty requires decent attire in the presence of others, even about the home; the avoidance of all undo familiarity, especially with the opposite sex, and suggestive looks, speech, gait, etc.; and in general a prudent reserve in one's whole appearance and behavior.
Again, there are some who try to excuse from sin if there is no bad intention connected with social immodesty. Thus, they see nothing wrong in wearing an immodest dress just to be in style. Yes, it is wrong, and it can be seriously sinful. For in this case, another commandment is involved, the law of charity.
Regardless of one's intentions, there exists an obligation in conscience to avoid unnecessary temptations to others by such immodesty, be it in dress or otherwise.
If one has the intention to tempt others to impurity by one's immodesty, it is always a mortal sin, no matter how slight the immodesty may be. When this bad intention is not present, the same rule applies as for personal immodesty; serious immodesty, causing serious temptations to others, constitutes a mortal sin; not serious, a venial sin.
Social immodesty is classed under the sin of scandal. Not only is serious or grave scandal a mortal sin, but it is a very serious one. This is proven from the awful "woe" pronounced by Jesus against the givers of scandal, and this awful condemnation, "It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and he were cast into the sea." (Mark 9:41)
"How many young girls there are who do not see any wrongdoing in following certain shameless sstyles like so many sheep. They certainly would blush if they could guess the impression they make and the feelings they evoke in those who see them. Do they not see the harm resulting from excess in certain gymnastic exercises and sports not suitable for virtuous girls? What sins are committed or provoked by conversations which are too free, by immodest shows, by dangerous reading. How lax have consciences become, how pagan morals!" Pope Pius XII, July 17, 1954
IS IMMODESTY IN WOMEN'S DRESSES AS IMPORTANT AS IT IS SOMETIMES PRESENTED TO BE?
It is extremely important, far more than most women and girls realize. In fact, it is the necessary starting point for any genuine Purity Crusade.
It was only after the large-scale introduction of immodest fashions in society, the powers of corruption could succeed in flooding the market with highly obscene literature, and clutter the airwaves and theaters with brazenly immoral pictures. How then, can we ever hope to clean them up, as long as we lack the courage to take to task our own Catholic women for marching in the "shameless parade of the flesh?" The first step, then, to social purity is social modesty in our women.
Many refuse to believe that their semi-nude attire is the source of numerous and serious temptations to the opposite sex. Some disclaim any responsibility for leading others into sin thereby. Others try to cover their own guild by nasty insinuations such as, "He must have a dirty mind."
Some women certainly know better. Yet, many others actually are unaware of the fact that the sex urge is much stronger in men than in women. "Scanty attire in men doesn't affect me at all." some women assert, and often with sincerity. The implied question is, Why should men be tempted by the scanty attire of women? Others flippantly remark, "It's only skin," having no suspicion that it is precisely the skin that arouses concupiscence in men.
Some men are afflicted with impure thoughts and desires when only looking at a pretty feminine face, even the woman is modest in attire and behavior. But when the latter is immodest, she becomes the temptress for many normal men, who succumb to such alurements:
"Whoever shall look on a woman to lust after her hath already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:28) Indirectly immodest women are included in this indictment, being cooperators with sins of men.
Not at all. God has made woman beautiful and attractive to man, to fit in with His plan for procreation in lawful wedlock. As a result of original sin, the man must constantly struggle to regulate this attraction. Unless he does, and unless he fortifies himself by prayer besides, sin quickly enters his soul, "adultery in his heart."
This is the reason ascetical writers caution men against gazing intently into the face of a woman. The world would consider St. Aloysius a fool for making a vow never to look into the face of a woman, including his own mother. But the Saint realized that, for a man who is determined to pass through life without stain of mortal sin, "the life of man upon earth is a warfare." (Job 7:1)
The world, including worldly Catholics, ignores the sound rules of asceticism, which were already laid down in the Old Testament, such as: "Gaze not upon a maiden; lest her beauty be a stumbling block to thee." (Ecclus 9:5) "For many have perished by the beauty of a woman, and thereby lust is enkindled as a fire." (Eccus 9:9)
No! But this question is entirely beside the point. Her degree of goodness depends on how faithfully she carries out her God-given role as man's helpmate, rather than his temptress. By her modesty she can use her charm to tame the passions of man; by her immodesty "her beauty becomes a stumbling block" to man.
This makes women the guardians of chastity in the world.
This is why God has given woman a much more delicate sense of modesty than man. Not only to protect her own integrity, but also to protect man against the fury of his passions. When woman is modest, man has only himself to blame if he succombs to the temptation of the flesh. But when she decides to display parts of her body which should be covered, she becomes a seducer, and she shares in the guilt of the man. In fact, Theology teaches that the sin of the seducer is far greater than that of the seduced person.
They have lost it. This often occurs in infancy, when foolish mothers train their little daughters to consider scanty attire as the normal thing.
This sense of shame or guilt is noticeable, though in a lesser degree, in other sins. Thus, when a child tells his first lie, he blushes. After his 100th lie, nothing happens. So also, when a girl appears in public for the first time in immodest attire, she experiences the feeling of shame; the sense of modesty is still present. After repeated performances, this feeling of shame quickly vanishes. But God planted that sense of modesty in every woman's heart.
This feminine loss of the sense of modesty is indicated by Pope Pius XII who says, "How many girls there are who do not see any wrongdoing in following certain shameless styles like so many sheep. They certainly would blush if they could guess the impression they make and the feeling they evoke in those who see them." (July 17, 1954)
Yes, very much so. Many girls want to dress modestly, only to have the vain and foolish mothers discourage them, and often even block them. Take to heart the SERIOUS ADMONITION of Pope Pius XII: "O Christian mothers (and Fathers), if only you knew the future of distress and peril, of shame ill-restrained, that you prepare for your sons and daughters in imprudently accustoming them to live hardly clothed and in making them lose the sense of modesty, you would be ashamed of yourselves and of the harm done the little ones whom Heaven entrusted to your care, to be reared in Christian dignity and culture."
This warning should give parents cause to consider even infant fashions; boy's "rompers" that barely cover the diaper and have only straps and no sleeves - and little girl's "dresses", more rightly called "smock-tops" which leave the diaper fully exposed - the common remedy for which is adding a frilly or lacy diaper cover, which in fact, only draws more attention to unmentionables and does nothing to cover the entirely naked legs. The Bible teaches us, "Train up a child in the way he should go, etc."; is it any wonder then, as these children go, from such shameful beginnings, they have lost their sense of modesty? From semi-nude infant fashions, the tidal wave of immodest fashions swept all age groups and both sexes into even greater degrees of nudity.
Consider also, the culpability of parents, who not wishing to be termed old fashioned, eschew the God-given parental authority and permit their daughters and sons to wear immodest or transsexual clothing (that of the opposite sex), saying, "It's just a teenage fad - everyone is wearing it - it's harmless!"
Feminism has made tragic inroads in undermining the lawful authority of the father in the home, deriding his natural instinct to protect and safeguard the modesty and purity of his female offspring. His noble, God-given nature is called chauvinistic and patriarchal -- assistsing Satan to expose women and girls to the lusts and passions of worldly fashion appetites, with no defender to guard their honor! Many loving fathers have been bullied into silence by fashion conscious wives and daughters, when they object to their immodest attire. Sadly, their "peace-in-the-home" compromise is not charity but cowardice! Tantamount to an abandonment of their duty to be Christ-like protectors of innocence and virtue.
YES! One of the most subtle and insidious forms of corruption our children are exposed to are anatomically correct dolls. Especially offensive are the "fashion dolls." Plastics revolutionized the ability of manufacturers to create "life-like" dolls. Unfortunately, modesty was the least of their considerations. Without a thought, foolish parents lined up to ensure their children had the newest and "best" dolls. The wildly popular fashion dolls, however, were an exceptionally effective tool, through which the devil provided little girls with effigies of naked women to play with, not to mention the curiosity it aroused in little boys, sewing the seeds of concupiscence in their hearts. When children play, they imitate life to prepare for adulthood. A child's first impulse is to undress a doll. What parent would give their child a book with pictures of naked women to look through? Yet parents have no qualms about giving their child a little plastic naked woman to touch, look at and act out fantasy with! We should blush to see these "toys" lying about!
To top it off, the immodest fashions these dolls are equipped with encourage our daughters to aspire to wear such outfits. The "glamorous" clothes become a standard for beauty for our precious innocents at a most impressionable age. Honesty consider the type of advertising which promotes these dolls to our children. The doll is always "cool," "in the latest style" and "don't you wish you were like this?" What a diabolically opportune scheme! In this way our blind or naive attempts to offer them entertainment become a two-fold source of scandal!
Yes! Don't buy dolls with anatomically correct plastic bodies. There are many acceptable dolls available with cloth bodies and plastic heads, feet and hands.
Use this opportunity to give your children a lesson in modesty. Have them assist you in glueing on or permanently sewing on modest undergarments. Modify or remove immodest garments from the dolls' wardrobe. Remember - you will be exercising your God-given parental authority for doing this. God will provide you with the grace to be strong and tactful in implementing and maintaining your position!
They cannot unaided. They have developed a faulty conscience, or one that is lax or perplexed. The sense of modesty was to them what a compass is to the mariner on the seas. Having lost this God-given compass, they must seek another to direct their course and, as much as possible, to restore that shame which we term the sense of mdoesty. They need to follow definite standards of modest dress set by competent authority.
There are some Catholic leaders who teach that "Modesty in dress is a matter of custom and convention." Such teaching is false, since it ignores the supreme authority of the Church and vests it in a fallible human society. It leads to all kinds of absurd conclusions.
If custom could make public nudity a virtue, why did God find it necessary in paradise to change the custom of Adam and Eve by Himself providing garments for them to cover their shame after the fall? Custom could just as logically decide that public dishonesty hsa become a virtue.
The opinion which allows custom to decide the question of modesty is refuted by Pope Pius XII in one short sentence, "There always exists an absolute norm to be preserved in modesty of dress." (Nov. 8, 1957) Custom pays little attention to absolute norms, but is a product of another false principle, "The majority cannot go wrong." "Modesty is a matter of custom" is just as wrong as "Honesty is a matter of custom."
Sin is just as nasty and harmful today as it ever was. Do not excuse shortcomings in dress on the plea that everyone is doing it. Evil may never be done even if everyone is doing it. Because it is not fashionable to dress modestly, it cannot be said it is all right to dress immodestly. It is God, not people, Who declares what is right and wrong; He is right and His Church and His Vicars of Christ with Him, even though the whole world may call Him wrong! The misery of the world is due to that selfishness which puts our own pleasure, pride and convenience ahead of God's Will.
Pope Pius XII, again, calls this application of an ancient principle to modesty one of the "most insidious of sophisms." He calls attention to the fact that some use this sophism "in order to brand as old fashioned the rebellion of honest people against fashions that are too bold" (Nov. 8, 1957).
Customary sights may not always register in one's consciousness. Nine successive superficial looks at half-dressed women might fail to stir up seriously the concupiscence of the flesh, whilst the tenth may prove fatal to the soul. Concupiscence may often lie dormant, but it never dies in a normal man.
There is another important consideration. Every conscious look flashes a picture in the imagination. This picture of an indecently dressed woman may fade quickly from the memory. Then, suddenly, perhaps even five or ten years later, it emerges from the attic of the mind and projects itself back to consciousness to plague its victims against holy purity.
These timely lessons of spiritual writers are unknown to, or ignored by, worldly minded persons. Otherwise they would not excuse immodest dress with sophisms as, "Whatever is customary does not affect us."
This is another sophism. It has no solid foundation in Theology. It represents a sugarcoated compromise. Being a relative term, "extreme" can be made to mean almost anything to fit its user's convenience. One might almost as well hold this error, "Sin is not sin until it goes to extremes."
In the first place, it is not true that "Everyone else is doing it." It is a gross exaggeration. Many modest women still "dare to be different" from the "crowd."
Even if it were true, it is based on still another sophism. Sin remains sin if only one person in a million is avoiding the wrongdoing. There is no safety in numbers. The only thing that counts is how God judges the modesty or immodesty of one's attire.
Naturally, just as a dishonest businessman condemns any fair-practices law. A society which has knocked down the traditional standards of modest dress would hardly welcome attempts to set them up again. Even some liberal Catholics oppose specific standards of modesty in dress. For, Liberalism by its nature seeks false freedom from laws, rules, regulations, and all kinds of restraint.
Nevertheless, whether people like to admit it or not, their whole lives are regulated by standards in one form or another. Twelve inches makes a standard foot, and sixteen ounces a standard pound. We have standard colours and sizes, trademarks which standardize quality, and even a standard time dictated by the sun. We have standards of manners and of politeness directing us in the minutest details.
At every turn one is confronted with standards. People accept these without question, even to the point of slavishness and absurdity. Shall only the virtue of modesty be denied the right to be regulated and protected by standards? If we are ready to accept whatever secular authorities approve, much more eager must we Catholics be to accept "Whatever Mary Immaculate Approves," which is our Crusade motto.
This is a very important question. Too many women, or groups, attempt to reduce Mary's evaluation of modesty down to their own level of thinking. They sacrilegiously believe that the Blessed Virgin would be willing to cut off her sleeves and plunge her neckline, and compromise her sublime modesty in favor of the pagan fashion dictators and their nudest trends. Mary approves only "What the Church Approves," which is another Crusade motto.
Yes! The Church has issued specific standards. But they were almost completely ignored by our liberal press, so that we were unable to fully establish their authenticity until 1965, more thann 35 years after their publication. We are indebted to Father Jesus M. Cavanna, C.M. (of the Philippino College in Rome) for discovering them in the Bulletin of the Roman Clergy, issue of October 1928. Father Cavanna graciously sent us a translation of the document containing the standards of modesty (dated Sept. 24, 1928), which we proceeded to publish. The discovery of this "missing link" enables us now to publish a fully authenticated history of the Roman Standards. We give here only the bare essentials.
They are binding throughout the world because Pope Pius XI extended this same Crusade for Modesty to the whole world. By his mandate, the Sacred Council issued a letter with special instructions to all the Bishops of the world on January 12, 1930. These instructions were essentially the same as those given to the Bishops of Italy. But they went even further. Not only were they directed to Sisters and to their schools and institutions, as in Italy, but they were extended to include also pastors, parents and the laity in general. This 1930 letter opens with these solemn words:
"Therefore this Sacred Council, which watches over the discipline of clergy and people, while cordially commending the actions of the Venerable Bishops, most emphatically exhorts them to persevere in their attitude and increase their activities insofar as their strength permits, in order that this unwholesome disease be definitely uprooted from human society. In order to facilitate the desired effect, this Sacred Congregation, by mandate of the Holy Father, has decreed as follows . . . (Here the specific instructions emphasize in very serious language and in nine decrees, the obligation of Bishops, Parish Priests, Nuns and parents to enforce the rules of modesty.) It is in number 6 that the Holy Father asks for "compliance with the letter dated August 23, 1928."
Thus, the Roman Standards were implicitly prescribed for the remainder of the Catholic world.
Not only were they made known in North America, but they were posted for years in the vestibules of many churches. Further, a "League of Modesty was formed in Chicago, Illinois, USA, as directed in the Instructions of January 12, 1930, to promote these standards given by "the Cardinal Vicar of Rome." In 1935 this leage issued a folder with the Imprimatur of His Eminence, George Cardinal Mundelein, in which these standards were incorporated.
The central Bureau of St. Louis also distributed large quantities of free folders containing the 1930 circular of the Sacred Council calling for a worldwide Crusade for modesty in dress.
Modesty is a very unpopular virtue in our day, and the general tendency seems to be to search for alibis to evade its practice.
This made it quite easy for the devil, who reaps many souls through immodesty, to bury the document in oblivion.
It seems to be a repetition of the Gospel story, "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." (John 1:11) We Americans like to boast about our loyalty to the Vicar of Christ. Yes, we are very loyal - when it costs us nothing.
In spite of all the warnings of the last five popes, we persist in the mass rebellion against Christian modesty, preferring to submit to the disgraceful slavery of the pagan fashion dictators, and to abet the disciples of the nudist cult, the "powers of corruption," the "Goddess of Reason."
Long ago did these disciples publicly raise the nudist banner of rebellion against the Church's teaching on modesty, inviting Catholic womanhood to enlist under it. It was on December 10, 1793, that an angry mob rushed into the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, seized the statue of the "Virgin Most Pure", and dashed it to the floor. Thereupon, as a symbol of the nudist program, they enthroned in Mary's place on the altar a nude woman, the "Goddess of Reason."
How well have their plans succeeded! In how many Catholic women's hearts has this "Goddess of Reason" been enthroned! The Marylike Crusade aims to reverse this awful sacrilege, and to re-enthrone in feminine hearts the Virgin Mary's glorious banner, on which are inscribed in bold letters THE MARYLIKE STANDARDS.
No. The Marylike Standards are the identical standards issued by the Holy See, differing only in form. In their present form they have received specific Episcopal Approval as conforming as closely as possible to the official document of Rome. Because they represent the Christian tradition on modesty in dress, they satisfy the motto, "Whatever Mary Approves." Hence the name, "Marylike Standards." Not only are they approved, but they are the only minimum standards that have been given formal approval by members of the Hierarchy. This insures their conformity with the "Teaching Authority of the Church."
"Besides the lawful successors of the Apostles, namely the Roman Pontiff for the Universal Church and Bishops for the faithful entrusted to their care (Cf. Can. 1426), there are no other teachers divinely constituted in the Church of Christ." (Pope Pius XII, May 31, 1954)
Accordingly, the 1930 instructions from Rome placed the problem of social modesty in dress into the hands of the Bishops as the only Official Teaching Authority in union with the Pope.
No. None of the Bishops have officially approved this lowering of standards issued by the Holy Father's Cardinal Vicar, in spite of claims made by some people. For this reason the Marylike Crusade refuses to accept watered-down standards.
Unfortunately, they do. But they are exceeding their authority, since they are not a part of the Official Teaching Authority of the Church. Theirs is a delegated authority, which must conform with the Official Teaching Authority. As Pope Pius XII defines it: The Supreme Teacher and the Bishops "delegate to them the faculty to teach, either by special grant, or by conferring an office to which the faculty is attached. (Cfr. Can. 1328) Their faculty always remains subject to that authority." (May 31, 1954)
Theologians are not lawmakers, but interpreters of the law. As such, their opinions, too, must conform with the Official Teaching Authority of the Church. Again, Pope Pius XII explains: "Theologians . . . do not carry on their work through divine right, but through delegation of the Church, and hence remain subject to the vigilance and authority of the legitimate Teaching Authority . . . So the divisive factor is knowing the truth is not the 'opino theologorum' (opinion of theologians) but the 'sensus Ecclesiae' (the mind of the Church). To reverse the matter would be making Theologians practically the magistri Magisterii' (Supreme Teaching Authority) which is obviously an error" (Sept. 14, 1956).
Times and customs may change, but God's laws never change or become outmoded.
Neither does concupiscence change.
"There always exists an absolute norm to be preserved, no matter how broad and changeable the relative morals of styles may be." (Pope Pius XII, Nov. 8, 1957)
The standards of 1930 have not been changed. If there are any future adaptations allowable because of peculiar circumstances, this is not a question to be decided by individual Catholics, but by the authority that issued the standards - the Pope or the sacred Council.
This is in agreement with the stand taken by His Eminence Rufino Cardinal Santos, Archbishop of Manila, December 6, 1959. On that date was issued a lengthy and masterful Pastoral Letter to "confirm once more and declare in full vigor in our Archdiocese what the Holy Father and the Catholic Hierarchy have stated on different occasions."
The Cardinal then repeats the "Church's stand concerning modesty in dress" by quoting the standards set by Pope Pius XI; "A dress cannot be called modest which is cut deeper, etc." (which we quoted previously)
To wear garments proper to the opposite sex is wrong, bevcause it is suggestive, even when the garments are otherwise modest. While custom cannot make modest an immodest garment, custom can and does decide the type of garments proper to either sex. Thus, in the time of Christ men wore garments which today would be considered proper to women.
By applying the general principles of Moral Theology, it would be hard to see how, objectively speaking, one can escape venial sin by wearing ANY of these garments in public. It cannot be denied that these immodest garments can easily, and often do, bring serious temptations to men. Further, they promote the nudist program. It cannot be repeated often enough or strongly enough, that regardless of the garment or occasion, proper concealment of the body is the sole objective!
Very many are not. Mortal sin is such a terrible thing that it is not committed unless all of these conditions are present:
Thus, if a woman or girl, through no fault of her own, is sincerely unaware that her attire seriously offends against modesty, one of the essentials for mortal sin is missing. She is said to be "in good faith."
True happiness comes from God. It fills your heart if you live according to God's plan and His commandments. Unhappiness comes from breaking these Commandments by sin. Disobedience is the spirit of Lucifer; "I will not serve! God and His Church can't tell me what to do!" Since mortal sin is a grevous offence against the Law of God, it is the greatest tragedy in the world. The emphasis is on God. He made you His child and friend in baptism. He gives you His Life, the supernatural life through the Sacraments and then through selfishness you turn your back on Him. Do not try to make yourself believe that hurting those around you is the only possible evil. God does not agree with that view. When you break God's law you hurt God - and yourself by severing your love relationship with Him! "The wages of sin is death." (Rom. 6:23) Breaking God's law by impurity spells death; death of the soul through the loss of sanctifying grace; death of the peace of conscience through the crushing remorse for sin; death of high ideals; Spiritual death through mortal sin brings misery and unhappiness in this world and eternal damnation in the next.
No. Parents and teachers have the obligation to give thorough instructions on the obligations of our Holy Religion. Otherwise people would soon lose all sense of sin. The devil has already made use of this trickery on a grand scale, by keeping responsible persons silent. For, as Pius XII has said, already "the world has lost all sense of sin." (See appendix on the Spiritual Works of Mercy.)
"A woman shall not be clothed with man's apparel: neither shall a man use women's apparel. For he that doth these things is abominable before God." (Deut. 22:5)
The purpose of this Old Testament Law will never change, because undue promiscuity of the sexes will always be a source of sins against chastity.
Hence, in the absence of any Church approval, we cannot approve the feminine trouser type garments, until it is proven that trousers are no longer a distinctive male garment.
Are we sure that this modern innovation was not an invention of Satan? We are aware of his hellish program of disrobing womanhood in order to more readily carry out his goal of moral corruption of mankind. If feminine trousers were not the invention of the devil, we now know definitely that he is using them very effectively for his purpose. Very gradually did he proceed (1917 to the present day), so as to avoid detection and to forestall a mass rebellion of womanhood had she even suspected in advance this inch-by-inch development: ankle-length slacks, above-the-ankle slacks, below the knee bermudas, knee length shorts, above the knee shorts, shorts (still called bermudas), medium shorts, short shorts.
Our Lady of Fatima did know in 1917 this pending denuding program. It should FRIGHTEN US to recall the prophecy she revealed to Jacinta,
"Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much."
The following is most important:
It was in 1917 at a Legion of Mary meeting in Baden (Black Forest), Germany that Father King from the Church of Miuester spoke to the women at that meeting in regard to Our Lady of Fatima's prediction of that same year: . . . "Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much." He had consulted the fashion designers of Paris, France, concerning the next fashion for women to be introduced. He reported that it was "pants."
Being a holy priest and concerned about the spiritual welfare of the women in his Legion of Mary group, he asked them to promise never to wear pants.
Since a woman wearing a man's garment is abominable before God, the mere use of the word "abominable" meaning hateful; offensive; unclean; it certainly is worthy of our attention and study.
If a woman really loves Our Blessed Mother and Our Blessed Lord, why would she hamper the "Triumph of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart" and offend Our Lord very much by wearing "pants"?
WHAT ARE THE MARYLIKE STANDARDS?
"A dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers' breadth under the pit of the throat;; which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows; and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knees. Furthermore, dresses of transparent material are improper." (The Cardinal vicar of Pope Pius XI)
This set of standards avoids a long litany of rules and details, which often only serves to complicate matters and add to existing confusion. Its form is concise, resting on the two fundamental rules of modesty: sufficient coverage and proper fit.
Therefore, a few added points of clarification are here in order.
MARYLIKE -- The first standard seeks to re-enthrone Mary, the perfect model of modesty, in the hearts of her children.
TWO-INCH CUT-OUT -- "Two inches" is the equivalent of the measure given by the Cardinal-Vicar of Rome, "two fingers' breadth below the hollow of the throat."
TRANSPARENT FABRICS -- Many women fail to realize that transparent dresses are suggestive and cause serious temptations to men. In some cases, because of the emphasized seductiveness of a pretended coverage, they are even worse than the bare skin. They tease the passions. Hence transparent fabrics are outlawed for those parts of the body which require coverage unless they are backed with sufficiently solid material to conceal the flesh.
Marylike women will refuse to become the pawn in Satan's hands to promote this modern ruse for seduction, which he uses on an extensive scale. Marylike brides and their attendants will not dare to stand at the bridal altar, in the presence of their Eucharistic Lord, attired in gowns of flimsy material, thus placing in jeopardy the blessing of God offered by the Church for the marital life.
Marylike mothers will never permit their innocent daughters to don the flimsy and transparent First Communion dresses now flooding the market, which are an insult to the King of Kings Who deigns to enter their innocent little hearts for the first time in their lives; and which causes them to lose their "sense of modesty" in tender years, even for the House of God.
FLESH COLOUR -- This color is not considered objectionable in itself for dresses, but only when used to suggest the bare skin in parts of the body requiring coverage. Thus, flesh color would be highly objectionable when used as trimming on the chest, the midriff, etc.
CONCEAL THE FIGURE -- Dresses which provide sufficient coverage may still be very immodest by reason of the fit, which renders them suggestive. Thus, a tight or form-fitting bodice is highly objectionable. On the other hand, a fit which is too loose at the two inch neckline allowed in standard number 3, especially over the shoulders and on the chest, does easily "reveal the figure" of the wearer of the dress, especially in bending or stooping.
BRAS AND SLIPS -- Modest women always wear slips that conceal, and bras of proper fit. The most Marylike dress can become very immodest, e.g., if worn over pointed or uplift bras.
CHAPTER IV -- QUESTIONS ON MARYLIKE STANDARDS
IN TRYING TO IMITATE MARY AS OUR MODEL, MUST WE NOT BECOME OLD-FASHIONED?
Mary does not ask any woman to wear the STYLES of dresses in vogue in her day, but "Whatever Mary Approves" for our day. Modesty is not directly concerned with the type, style, or cut of the dress, but with proper covering for the body.
"Old fashioned" is a very effective bogie-man set up by the Demon of Impurity to scare the wits out of many women. He even succeeds in enlisting Catholics in responsible positions to flash this scarecrow of ridicule before the eyes of feminine slaves of the pagan fashions. Here is an illustration:
A writer in the Homiletic and Pastoral Review of December, 1955, made the following sneering remark about a Catholic school trying to popularize the "Marylike" look: "Indignant correspondents wrote to TIME - to protest the sinister popish plot to clothe American womanhood in Mother Hubbards..."
It will be a revelation to many persons to learn the correct meaning of "prudish." In Webster's Unabridged Dictionary it is defined as "discreet, modest," and "from F.prudefemme, an excellent woman." As a synonym for "modest," prudish is being used also by some Church Authorities.
The devil hates "discreet, modest and excellent" women. So, he resorts to another bogie-man for modest women, seeking to drive them into accepting immodest garments by ridicule. He clothes the respectable word "prudish" with a "Mother Hubbard Dress" and tries to make them believe that the Marylike Crusade advocates skirts reaching down to the ankles - not one half inch less - and collars up to the chin.
Many Catholics have a morbid fear of ridicule, and will let the devil lead them by the nose to escape it. Yet, ridicule is no argument at all. It is often the only resort of persons who are not conversant with the matter they are treating, or do not wish to see the truth. Mary's Crusaders, defying this deadly weapon of ridicule, "dare to be different."
It is not accurate rules that usually make persons scrupulous. Rather, it is the confusion caused by those who would abolish all standards, that leads to scrupulosity and confused consciences.
The Marylike Crusade does not ask women to carry a yardstick with them when shopping for a dress, as some writers have foolishly insinuated by referring to the Marylike Standards as "yard-stick modesty." All that women need is common sense combined with a serious conscience in applying the Marylike Standards when buying a dress.
The Marylike Standards are intended to serve as a guide. Because of the many kinds of cuts, and the various degrees of angles and curves found in the assortment of styles appearing on the market, mathematical accuracy in applying the Marylike Standards is not always possible. In such cases, the "letter of the law" must be interpreted by the "spirit of the law." Thus, a V-neck cutout may extend lower than the two-inch limit; but if it is very narrow, it may be more modest than a broader two-inch cutout. A woman with a normal Christian conscience will hardly suffer scruples in this case. If she is sincerely trying to comply with the Marylike Standards as closely as possible, she will have no qualms of conscience about a slight deviation. On the other hand, she will not allow herself any intentional deviations from the Marylike Standards.
Let it first be noted that to the slaves of fashion, "attractive" and "latest style" are synonymous. To such, the most outlandish dress is considered "attractive" provided it is the "latest style."
Before the mid-sixties the Marylike quarter-length sleeve was sneeringly greeted with, "Who wants to be seen in such a 'Mother Hubbard' dress?" Only sleeveless dresses were considered "attractive" by many. Then, overnight full-length sleeves appeared on the market as the latest style, and this "Mother Hubbard" was once again declared "attractive" and was accepted as such.
A decade or two previously -- and this would be incredible had it not actually happened -- the ankle length "hoop-skirt," the most exaggerated "Mother Hubbard" of the last century, was dug up and declared "attractive" and "the latest style" in our own day. Thereupon, for many years, the fashion-worshipping bride believed she could not be attractively attired except in this "Mother Hubbard."
Thus, the word "attractive," as used by fashion-worshippers, is a cover-up for sinful vanity. Of course, a well-designed MODEST dress is always attractive to the eyes of modest persons. Of course, an immodest dress is always "attractive" to immodest eyes -- provided it is the "latest style." For, as St. Paul writes, "The sensual man perceiveth not these things that are of the spirit of God." (1 Cor. 2:14)
The Marylike Standards were issued by the Cardinal Vicar of Rome to be applied to dresses. Certainly, men are as much bound to modesty, as are the women. However, there is a difference of standards based on the natural difference of sex. Thus, a basketball suit which is somewhat too scanty for women, may be modest for men.
The so-called "equality of women with men in all things" is a myth. Equality of the sexes in conformity with the natures of the respective sexes, by all means let it be respected. But not the false "feminism" which is promoted by Naturalism and which ignores the natural differences of the sexes.
The reason for the variation in standards bears repetition: woman's attraction to man is more psychological; man's attraction to woman is more physical. Hence, man is much more easily tempted by scanty feminine attire than vice versa.
By no means, however, is a man exempted from the virtue of modesty. Masculine modesty is needed today as much as feminine. But the fact remains that the Marylike Standards were prescribed specifically for women and girls. The Holy See has not yet found it necessary to prescribe standards for men and boys. Although, again private revelation, which given for our direction in a time when it is most needed, has been very explicit about men's clothing. Our Blessed Mother has stated that tight fitting clothing that reveals the body is not to be worn. Our Lady has also stated that men should wear darker clothing and loose fitting. Bright or loud colors in shirts and pants are not to be worn by men. She also warned against such attire as checkered and flowery pants and shirts. Men should wear the darker colors and plain material. The bright and patterned material belongs to the attire of women.
Yes. The Holy Father has insisted that girls be "fully dressed" for games and contests, in the special instructions of January 12, 1930: "Let parents keep their daughters from public gymnastic games and contests; but if their daughters are compelled to attend such exhibitions, let them see that they are fully and modestly dressed. Let them never permit their daughters to don immodest garb."
All orders from Rome notwithstanding, the gym suits in most Catholic schools are scandalous in their scantiness; and anything but a credit to our Catholic school system, in which the Pope commands that "the Superioresses and teachers do their utmost to instill love of modesty in the hearts of maidens confided to their care and urge them to dress modestly." (Ibid.)
To such an extent had even our Catholic schools begun to ape pagan fashions, that by 1956 Marylike gym suits were no longer available on the market, having been labeled as impractical or an impediment to effective sports play. The extent to which pagan nudity has grown in sports is easily seen in the body-conscious attire at international sports meets [Corinne: just look at the female gymnasts, swimmers and skaters at the Olympics!], in the name of aesthetics (figure skating), more accurate judging (gymnastics), lowered wind or water resistance (track and field, cycling, swimming). One should also consider the scandalous attire of other popular recreations, such as aerobics, yoga, ballet, etc.
The same two basic rules as apply to dresses: sufficient coverage and proper fit. Two-piece bathing suits are eliminated as a matter of course. As to coverage, the Marylike ideal requires the same amount of coverage, no matter what type of garment is concerned. It is not primarily the type of feminine garment that makes it modest or immodest, nor the style. Rather, modesty is concerned with the proper concealment of the body. In this regard then, EVERY modern style of swimsuit violates the Marylike standards of modesty in dress!! (Especially offensive is spandex.) Further to this, public bathing is a violation of modesty as it becomes a diabolical feast for the eyes, fueling concupiscence brazenly, as any attire, no matter how modest becomes immodestly clingy and physically exposing when wet. In the Catholic ideal however, private family swimming is acceptable, if undertaken in a loose fitting shirt and bermudas or similar garb. There is nothing objectionable about private family recreation, as opposed to the worldly public exhibitionism so widespread today.
This is one of the principles advanced by the disciples of the so-called "relative modesty." It makes modesty depend less on its real basis -- concealing the body -- than on the circumstances of time, place and occasion. It provides a sliding scale for measuring modesty, which gives it a strong flavor of sophism. It is often used as a handy mechanism of escape from the natural requirements of modesty.
Some liberals interpret St. Thomas Aquinas' prescription to dress according to the circumstances of time, place and occasion as an approval of modern semi-nude fashions. They should know better. St. Thomas was referring to the modest feminine garments in vogue in the thirteenth century. It is stupid to claim that he was referring to our strapless gowns, shorts, bikinis, etc. How could he, since these are products of the twentieth century?
The Marylike Crusade challenges the soundness of this principle. Its proponents should either come forward with a sound argument for it, or relinquish it as another sophism.
Yes. This mechanism sets up a double standard for public modesty: one for bathing shorts, another for street shorts; one permitting only halters, another requiring more coverage. Double standards are bound to lead to confusion of standards, or a pulling down of the higher standard to the level of the lower. Even now the tendency is growing to establish as a "custom" the appearance on the street in beach attire. Here you see the "mechanism of escape from the natural requirements of modesty" in action. The pronouncements of the Popes seem to make no distinctions for various types of garments. Thus, Pope Pius XII states that "An unworthy and indecent mode of dress has prevailed," without indicating any distinction of place, 'on the beaches, in country resorts, almost everywhere, on the streets, etc.'" (Aug. 20, 1954)
Further, His quotation of the "ancient poet" as saying that "vice necessarily follows upon public nudity" (Ibid.) applies to all places, beach or elsewhere. American modernists will be shocked to learn that His Eminence Enrique Cardinal Pla y Daniel, Archbishop of Toledo, Spain, issued the following directives in 1959: "A special danger to morals is represented by public bathing at beaches, in pools and river banks . . . Mixed bathing between men and women which nearly always is an approximate occasion of sin and a scandal, must be avoided."
The argument, "Bathing suits based on the Marylike Standards are not practical," does not hold. They were practical enough years ago, before the style dictators dared to make them more scanty. Why should they be considered impractical today? Experience shows that, if the fashion designers would dictate sweaters as "the style" for July and August, skimpy shorts for January and February, many women would slavishly accept their unreasonable decisions. But when the Church demands only the sensible rules of Christian modesty based on nature, they immediately object and have recourse to all kinds of excuses.
Finall, this theory of double standards pushes concupiscence far into the background. Sound Theology always emphasizes it as the important factor in making decisions on the modesty of garments.
By the pretense that in men, who are seriously tempted by the sight of a woman in shorts parading the streets, this temptation suddenly diminishes, sleeps, or perhaps dies, as soon as that same scantily dressed woman sets foot on the beach. And this, in spite of the added license of rolling around on the beach, and assuming other suggestive postures which would be condemned in any other place as downright seduction.
King David was a Saint, a man "according to the Heart of God." Yet, it took only a "bathing beauty," Bathsheba washing herself, whom he spied from the roof of his palace, to smite him down. It was this "bathing beauty" who so kindled in his heart the fire of concupiscence, as to lead him to the double crime of adultery and murder (2 Samuel, Chapter 11).
Today "bathing beauties" continue to smite their victims, regardless of all loud professions of good intentions. So alluring is the bait of these "bathing beauties" which is dangled before the eyes of concupiscence, that Church Authorities find it necessary, at times, to threaten Catholics, who are brazen enough to enter "bathing beauty contests," with denial of Sacraments.
Add to these considerations the testimony of letters written by men to the Marylike Crusade headquarters, lamenting these conditions as preventing them from enjoying the innocent pleasures which a beach could afford -- and there should be ample reason for abolishing all double, or multiple, standards of garments.
Canon Law requires a proper head covering for women and girls in church. A Piece of Kleenex, a handkerchief, or any skimpy substitute for hat or full veil, do not carry out the spirit of the law.
Only dresses with the Marylike Standards should be tolerated in church and other sacred places such as shrines, convents, rectories, etc. It should not be necessary to add that the wearing of slacks, tight pants, shorts, and similar garments in sacred places is a horrible insult to God, a sacrilege.
Pope Pius XII on IMMORAL READING:
Pope Pius XII condemns the following opinion as vain and presumptuous: "I am no longer a baby girl; I am not a child anymore; At my age, sensuous descriptions and voluptuous sights no longer mean anything."
His reply is: "Are you sure this is true? If it were, it would be the indication of an unconscious perversion. But do not believe, young men and women, that you may sometimes allow yourselves, perhaps in secret, to read condemned books; do not believe that their poison can be without effect, by not being immediate, should be all the more malignant.
"There are times when the dangers of bad reading are even more tragic than the dangers from bad company." (To the newly married August 7, 1940)
Prayer and sacrifices are essential to the success of the Marylike Movement in general, but especially the Marylike Crusade. For, the Demon of Impurity has dared to challenge the Queenship of our "Mother Most Pure" with unusual cunning in our day, and to set himself up as the dictator of immodest fashions and of an impure body cult. It would seem that this Demon of Impurity is one of those fallen angels of whom Jesus told His Apostles: "This kind of devil is not cast out but by prayer and fasting." (Matthew 17-20)
THE PRAYER PROGRAM (for men, women and children)
This program includes the following:
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee I come; before thee I stand sinful and sorrowful, O Mother of the Word Incarnate. Despise not my petitions, but in Thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
The Commandments of God are these ten:
The free transgression of a divine law is a sin. Since every law is derived from the divine law, natural or positive, every transgression of a punitive law of legitimately constituted authority, is a sin.
Sin may be mortal or venial. It is mortal when the transgression is of a divine law in a matter that is serious and when the consent to sin recognizes both the law and the serious matter. [Corinne: it's a sin of grave matter, committed with full knowledge of the sinner and with deliberate consent of the sinner.] A sin is venial when it is either committed out of imperfect knowledge and consent, when one transgresses a law that does not bind seriously, or when a sin is actually grave but, because of an invincibly erroneous conscience [a conscience that has not been properly formed in the knowledge of good and evil], the one committing it is ignorant of its gravity. Sin is also classified as to type: internal sins are those committed through use of the spiritual faculties, e.g., imagination; actual sin is any sinful act or omission of a prescribed good act; habitual sin is the state of sin of one who has not repented. The sin is formal when it is deliberate against a law, even if the law is only supposed to exist; it is material when the transgression is against a law, but when knowledge of the transgression's sinfulness is lacking it is actually no real sin because it lacks consent. (Cf. Commandments of God; Precepts of the Church.)