|Jean-Marie Rodrigue Cardinal Villeneuve (1883-1947)|
(…) 9. It is first held in generally that manifests carelessness that too often, unfortunately, leads to impurity.
What people are slaves of those modes ignore the basic rules of modesty and sometimes constitute direct incitement to evil.
10. Thank God, the Christian women of our community do not seem to church and generally in the public assemblies, which decently dressed. Also we like to see that most women go on the street properly implemented.
But what will it be tomorrow, if we consider the increasing popularity of “those cramped or if such clothes they seem made for rather put more into relief what they should hide,” as Pius XII observed ( 1).
Too many girls readily accept indecent shortcuts, sometimes provocative, daring necklines they sometimes have the impudence to place the cross of our Lord, Master of purity!
Too many of them are exhibited in ” shorts “, yet timidly on the street, but with slip-in game! Often they further reduce their beach attire. Immodest their nature, these clothes should be banished from our customs, even in sports (2).
Note further that wearing pants on the slightest pretext, or, what is worse, in order to show off in public, is not worthy of a true Christian.
11. undressed and letting go of the outdoor life is added the deplorable and too widespread use among even Christian practitioners circulate inside their homes in lighter garb. How far we are delicacies of our Christian mothers of yore!
12. Women complain of questionable morals who would accept these shortcuts, these necklines, these stripped. But a Christian, a wife, a mother, a young girl, far from reacting against these perverse currents, engage in it too often to their heart gradually unlearn modesty, ignorant, even despise, how do not be stunned and saddened to tears!
13. The man himself does not escape the taste of the exhibition of his flesh, we are going topless in public, is wearing pants or a shirt sticking too abstract. It thereby commits violations of the virtue of modesty, when one is not opportunity to sin in thought or desire, for the next.
14. What seems to us even more serious, certainly not as a provocation to evil, but rather as destructive habit and can lead very far, it is, in the costume of the girls, too shorter dress, full nudity arms and legs, when it does not go to the torso.
Unknowingly, these poor children scandalized and, often, their little brothers. How can a Christian mother forget? If these children perceive the street some cassock sign guardian of modesty and morality, they hasten to take their remaining clothes to cover himself.
These girls grow older. To be modest, and often to be pure, they will assemble all a current driven them before. The will they? Poor mothers, you are violating, behold, your grave duties of educators.
15. Immorality thus uses fashion to corrupt the souls; it also uses the sport, yet so useful and necessary for the health of the body.
It is a trick of Satan to distract from their end games, fun, entertainment, amusements whose primary purpose is to rest the body making it more pleasant life in society.
Satan welcomes these “sports parts that unfold under conditions of clothes, exhibitions and camaraderie irreconcilable with modesty even less demanding” (3) .
Indeed, as one puts care to create for sports clothing that undresses or seduced, and, indeed, under the most false pretenses; we participate with such carelessness in these parts of pleasures that make boys and girls living companions one day, out of sight and protective eye; camaraderie moved quickly becomes familiar, and alcoholic liquors helping, familiarity turns into companionship shameless.
Thus excursions, parties or ski chalet, exercise skating in all its forms, other amusements yet become directly or indirectly from faults opportunities even more enticing they occur under cover of a legitimate self-relaxation.
42. Such is the judgment of the Christian in this distressing problem of modern immorality. Conscious of his human dignity and Christian, aware of the fatal consequences of immorality on the family and civil society, he believes a higher price the beautiful virtue of purity and practice as required by his state of life .
He understands that morality is superior to pleasure and fashion, it limits it is never allowed to cross without an insult to his conscience and his faith. For him, morality, and especially the purity, are treasures that must be protected against any violation. By protecting them, by all necessary sacrifices, he has the joy of increasing the glory of the Church’s Mother and the satisfaction of helping his brothers.
51. The fight is inevitable. You courageously accept, and to emerge victorious, you will monitor the occasions of sin, you will avoid with the grace of God, you will maintain no bad thoughts, you can warm any shameful desire, you shall flee bad company, you refuse to be corrupted your mind by an obscene literature and provocative illustrations, you will keep your heart strong and right avoiding risky dating, immoral dances, e corrupting cinema, pagan social gatherings, idleness, the mother of all vices, and intemperance in the use of intoxicating beverages.
In short, to practice purity, you cultivate modesty, which is an instinctive fear of soul to the first approaches of evil; you cultivate modesty, which is moderation, sense of proportion, which usually avoid anything that is likely to excite in yourself and other sexual passion. Modesty and humility, are the ornaments and the guardians of purity.
57. Your [the fathers and mothers] educational activities will be exercised early age, in this period where creating habits that will influence all life. Please do not accustom your children to undress, we dare say, in nudism. “O Christian mothers, exclaims the Pope, if you knew what a future of anxieties and perils of evil contained shame you prepare your son and your daughters in imprudently accustoming them to live barely covered, and making them lose the sense of modesty, you blush of yourself and you redouteriez insult you made to yourselves and the damage you cause to the children that heaven has entrusted to you to raise them as Christians “(4 ).
(1) Pius XII, Fashion , Speech of 22 May 1941, ESP
(2) Synod of Quebec (1940), Decree 102, notes: “What if we ask what is a modest and decent outfit for a Christian, it is understood that this is the one that covers the chest and arm non-transparent fabrics, coming down at least mid-leg, and whose cup a suitable extent protects modesty hiding body lines “(Cardinal Rouleau,December 8, 1930 , Mandements of Bishops of Quebec , vol. XIII, supplement 45) [in fact: 36].
S. [is] E [xcellence] Cardinal Villeneuve, Communications of the Archdiocese of Quebec against the pagan modes , June 27, 1945 .
Religious Week of Quebec , 57 th year, No. 44, July 5, 1945. p. 690.
HE Mr. gr Arthur Douville, Mandements of Bishops of Saint-Hyacinthe , Vol. XXI, p. 354.
(3) Pius XII, Fashion , Speech of 22 May 1941, ESP
(4) Pie XII, ibid.
Archbishops and Bishops of the Province of Quebec, “Crusade purity” Joint Pastoral Letter , No. 114, May 5, 1946; appeared in: Mandements, pastoral letters and circulars of Quebec Bishops , Volume 17, 1943-1954, Chancellor of the Archdiocese, Quebec, 1955, p. 241 -243; p. 253 -254; p. 257 ; p. 259 .