Was a priest banned by Twitter for reminding women modestly to cover up at Mass?

It seems that Fr. Kevin Cusick – a prolific tweeter and a columnist at my old stomping ground The Wanderer – was banned from Twitter because of reactions to his comment to women to dress modestly at Mass for the sake of protecting the purity of men.

What set people off?

Frankly, Fr. Cusick’s point was good and needed.

I suppose that one could quibble about the choice of the word “forced”.  Given that word – and we weren’t there – I get the idea that “shoulders” might also be a careful choice that includes more than shoulders.

And that ain’t far fetched given the way that many girls and women dress today.  I often wonder: “Where are these girl’s fathers, for the love of God?!?”  Oh yes… how many fatherless homes are there now?

And may I also remind the readership that leggings aren’t pants?

There is a long history in the collective spiritual wisdom of the Church – the greatest expert on humanity that there has ever been or ever will be – about custodia oculorum… custody of the eyes.  “Custody” in this case concerns “guarding, protecting, shielding” the eyes.  The fact is that what we see we tend to want after a while.   Gaze on something, and your appetites reach out for it.

And we all know that once you see something, you can’t “unsee” it.

Would we be able to agree that, in the wake of the 60’s sexual revolution, the entertainment industry, the contraception industry, the feminism industry, the big-business abortion industry have successfully duped women into thinking that, to be “themselves” and “empowered”, they have to dress in a way that, a couple generations back, would make people think that they were hookers?

And so they show all that they have – or a lot of it – to men and boys everywhere and in nearly every possible setting – and then become incensed when they aren’t properly valued.

Men tend to want what they see and custody of the eyes is difficult.

Turning the sock inside out, Richard of St. Victor, in his work on contemplation, cites the phrase: “Love is the eye and to love is to see”, or more precisely “where your is love is, there is your eye” (Ubi amor ibi oculus – Benjamin minor 13 – sometimes cited as “Amor oculus est, et amare videre est.”).  But, after the Fall, we are wounded.  It is difficult to control our impulses and desires.  Love becomes twisted.   When we see things that we shouldn’t see, our “eyes” twist in the wrong directions.

See what I mean?

Charity is the kind of love that seeks the good of others, even at great cost to one’s own comfort.   We have to be careful of other souls around us.  Since the Fall, a great weight is on the shoulders of women in regard to matters of sexuality.  Yes yes… there is a weight on men too.  But if we are honest, you get my point.

There.  I’ve made some points.

However, I suspect that Father wasn’t banned because of the comment about covering up.  He was banned because of the homosexualist explosion that came down on him afterward.   ‘Cause that’s how they roll.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. JustaSinner says:

    Banned by Twitter? BADGE OF HONOR! I got banned for pointing out Chrissy Tiegen’s foul mouth, and was banned for quoting HER WORDS! She alas, still has 5 million followers. Time for a tweet-like platform for the modest, the chaste, the right, and others…

  2. The Astronomer says:

    Frankly, there are times when our local summer OF Sunday Masses are de facto occasions of sin because at our theater-in-the-round church, many women wear summer minidresses literally too-short-to-sit-down.

    Good grief…

  3. I will take a risk here in saying the following. At many a wedding, I am gazing off in all directions but one, for three reasons:

    1) Custody of my own eyes;
    2) Avoiding an unfortunate photograph of me caught staring…there (it takes only a millisecond);
    3) Avoiding cracking a smile because I think of something wickedly funny at precisely the wrong moment. There is a passage that appears in Isaiah, that is used in the the Ordinary Form breviary, for Morning Prayer. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I will give you no further help. But if you do, you will understand.

  4. Just Some Guy says:

    OK. I should probably know the answer but I’ll ask with embarrassment. Out and about – and even Sundays in church – it’s difficult not to notice attractive women. Often they are dressed in ways that put certain parts pretty plainly out there. It doesn’t prompt me to any illicit plans, but it can be seductive and capture my gave for a few seconds before I catch myself and turn away. But in this society women present themselves like this pretty commonly. Is it a sin every time one comes into view and you don’t turn away immediately? I try, but I don’t always turn away immediately. An inclination is one thing. It can be resisted and overcome. But what about something you’re hard-wired for?

  5. knute says:

    The point unfortunately missed is that if a woman goes out in public dressed in a provocative way, she courts the sin of scandal, which is a topic we do not hear enough about in this day and age (among myriad other such topics).

    Sure, the modernists can cry foul all day and crow about making men take responsibility for sexually objectifying a woman, but the woman is just as responsible if she caused the man to sin through her actions (such as deliberately dressing in a provocative manner).

    Kudos to Fr. Cusick for doubling down on what he said. I think he did a far better job on the follow up than did +Tobin (though he is much in my prayers of late because of the withering attacks he has suffered).

  6. The Masked Chicken says:

    “And may I also remind the readership that leggings aren’t pants?”

    I am pretty sure, in many cases, that they could substitute for long underwear. Seriously, I would like to know what morality-lacking individual thought dance practice attire was suitable for going to Church in. In the old days, men wore ties to attend college classes and women wore dignified dresses. I miss those days, sigh.

    There are few bastions of propriety left, anymore. I have yet to hear anyone show up for a Ph.d defense in legging or cut-offs, but give it time…

    The Chicken

  7. GHP says:

    Fr. Z sez: “…And may I also remind the readership that leggings aren’t pants?…”

    Wait! You mean those are leggings? And all this time I thought they were running around in long underwear. My wife assures me they are called “yoga pants” …. but they still look like long underwear …. or paint-on pants. I joked with my wife the other day saying, “that girl’s yoga pants are so tight you can see her religion.” Heard that one years ago … it is more applicable now than ever.

  8. un-ionized says:

    It depends on how the leggings fit. Mine are loose and leave everything to the imagination. Though I don’t wear them often because I need lots of pockets.

  9. ProfKwasniewski says:

    Thank you, Fr. Z, for this excellent post.

    I have a two-part series this week at LifeSite on modesty, which might be helpful to some readers. Here is part 1:

    Part 2 comes out on Thursday.

  10. Where are their fathers?

    Probably out looking for a clue, like so many parents so engulfed in their own issues that their kids are practically raising themselves. Then there are the poor dads who are stunned into silence by their wives, whose own sense of modesty is little better. One disturbing trend is wearing yoga pants — oh, excuse me, “active wear” — to Mass. When both the mother and daughter are riding on the same trend, some husband/fathers throw up their hands.

    I had a son, not a daughter. God was merciful to me.

  11. Kathleen10 says:

    Generally everybody is going to have to gird the loins and just tolerate pushback. If we want a Catholic culture, even for just ourselves, tough things are going to have to be said and then take whatever comes without apology. Without apology! As a woman I completely agree with Fr. Cusick on his point about modesty and men. I believe even wearing slacks is a bad idea for women in church and dresses are more modest, assuming they cover all the bits they are supposed to and are not form fitting. Modesty is lost on 99% of today’s women, young and old. I have informed female loved ones they are literally wearing tights out in public, without the skirt that used to cover them. Leggings, jeggings, are literally, tights. Where did the skirt go, out the door with modesty.
    In the house of God we dress modestly out of respect for Him more than any other reason, however valid.
    At a Catholic Mass there should be decorum. If people don’t want to ascribe to it, let them go to the Church of Whatever, they are all over the place. If priests are going to “get on their hands and knees to beg people not to leave”, and never say the tough things because the ladies won’t like it then the lost laity is in charge of the church and the culture, and that can’t possibly end well.
    The shrieks won’t last forever, eventually they’ll get tired and stop. Ask Brian Camenker of Mass Resistance. You think they don’t yell at him? But he just keeps going.

  12. RosaryRose says:

    God bless Fr. Cusiak and Fr. Z! Thank you Fr. Z for this. It saddened me to learn years ago that the dress code to merely be in a building where the (human) Queen of England could possibly be, is more stringent than the dress code for people who come to worship before (God) Jesus Christ Himself, present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the tabernacles of the Catholic Church around the world.

    Lust is lust is lust. Fr. Z, your post Is advice for people with SSA as well – Guard your eyes, guard your thoughts. It’s a lesson for all of us. The way to fight lust is mortifications – and guarding your senses and GOING to CONFESSION.

  13. chantgirl says:

    Leggings aren’t pants…. yoga pants aren’t pants….. sports bras aren’t shirts…

    My husband is probably tired of hearing me complain about what I call “living in the age of The Ass”. Three times in the last couple months, my husband and I have gone out for a late bite at three different restaurants, and each time we have been seated by an underage hostess in leggings. Going out to eat used to be something special, and prices have only gone up, but customer service has only declined.

    No, I’m not the mom who wrote the letter to the students at Notre Dame who were wearing yoga pants to Mass, but I was cheering her on in spirit! She was absolutely right but the catholic college girls had a tantrum and tore her to shreds in the media.

    I’m a married, heterosexual woman, and I find it distracting to see asses everywhere, so I can only imagine what it must be like for men to have to deal with the visual assault every time they go to shop, or out to eat, or even to Mass. A priest I know said he can’t even look down as he distributes Communion or he is assaulted by cleavage.

    Ladies, the majority of men will only treat you with as much respect as you require them to, and like it or not, the way you dress will contribute to the respect or disrespect you are shown. It’s unfair, but reality in a fallen world.

  14. Julia_Augusta says:

    I do not understand the controversy over Fr. Cusick’s tweet. When I was growing up in the Philippines, the priest would not give you Communion if you went up to the altar rail in a sleeveless dress. Moreover, the same people who are angry at Fr. Cusick for telling women to dress modestly at a Catholic mass, would gladly wrap a sarong around their waist if visiting a temple in Bali (they won’t let you in if you are wearing pants, shorts or a short skirt and will insist you use the sarongs at the entrance desk) OR wear a headscarf when visiting a mosque as a tourist. A Catholic priest has no business insisting on modest clothing at Mass? Things are out of control even among Catholics!

    Regarding modesty in dress: women (and men) look much better with clothes on and with most body parts covered. I have spent much time in Japan where women do not wear plunging necklines or miniskirts (except for a few girls in Tokyo), and do not go running with their thighs exposed – they wear beautifully coordinated outfits with scarves and hats, and pretty dresses (not revealing or tight). In most countries it seems as if dressing well means showing a lot of skin – what a mistake.

  15. Lusp says:

    To Fr Cusick and Fr Z: Thank you both for standing up for some basic decency. My wife has been on a Crusade for years to bring some modesty to a Catholic campus in our town. She has gotten pretty direct with some priests and has gotten the same old responses. “They barely come to Mass as it is” is one, “I don’t feel any support to back me up from my superior” is another. Then there’s, “It needs to come from a woman,” and “scantily-clad women don’t bother me” (from a 30-something priest – yikes!). To me it’s so obviously wrong that if a priest won’t protect his parishioners’ souls from it – not to mention God’s sanctuary – it’s hard for me to take anything he says seriously.
    To Prof Kwaskniewski, I am looking forward to part II!

  16. THREEHEARTS says:

    mike hurcum
    does not the or a woman lacking the virtue of modesty not have the responsibility of guarding the eyes of men from thoughts of what may be adultery? Can I write they too the un-virtuos women be complicit in any sinful temptations? Who was it who said holding thoughts of adultery in ones mind is guilty of committing the crime?

  17. roma247 says:

    I have spent the last five years in Flanders’ fields with my daughters over this issue, and they were even brought up right. As long as they were young enough that we could exert some control over who they spent time with, we could exert control over what they wore.

    Ironically, it was when we moved and started attending a (reasonably orthodox!) parish where all the girls wore short skirts, that our daughters thought they would literally die of embarrassment if they had to wear anything that came to the knees.

    Add in the fact that they shot up in height to 5’7″ and it proved nearly impossible to find them any dresses at all that hit all the necessary marks: down to the knees, up to two fingers below the collarbone, with sleeves, not too tight, no revealing cutouts anywhere. Every dress made nowadays (and even most at the thrift store) miss at least one of these criteria, or look like they came from grandma’s closet (a fate worse than death for a teenager).

    We ended up having to make a compromise: no shorter than a hand’s breadth above the kneecap, if it’s sleeveless you have to wear something over it, and the neckline must not show anything even resembling cleavage. Strapless is right out. And even with this compromise, Sunday morning is still a war.

    If we were able to attend a Latin Mass chapel where everyone is dressed modestly and veiled to boot, it would be less of an issue, because they wouldn’t have to suffer the glares and snickers of the other teenagers and being called “Amish.”

    Moreover, I recently visited the local public high school. The only girls I saw who weren’t wearing leggings or jeans as tight as leggings, were a small handful of girls who were wearing miniskirts. Otherwise it was a sea of conformity like nothing I’ve ever experienced elsewhere. I remember in the 80s and 90s we would go wild trying to stand out from the crowd. Now nobody dares to stand out from the crowd for fear of getting mown down, I guess.

    My point? For a teenage girl, wearing leggings and a t-shirt is their uniform. They don’t even think about it. It’s how they avoid being singled out as weird–a fate worse than death. They’d far rather be LGBTQRSTUPID than weird.

    Please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying as defending this point of view. I hate it with every fiber of my being. When my daughters try to wear leggings outside the house (how they buy them I don’t know, not with my money!) I point and laugh and say they are wearing only underwear until they get annoyed enough at me to go change. But for those who can’t understand why most girls are dressing that way, here’s your answer: Conformity.

  18. Diana says:

    It should also be said that it’s hard finding cute modest clothes. More and more modest designers are coming out, though, so that’s exciting. But good luck finding a cute pair of pants that aren’t too low rise or tight. They just don’t sell them. Most women’s shirts and dresses have teeny cap sleeves, if they have sleeves at all. I don’t know ANY women who have arms that look good to be shown in a sleeveless top! Lol. “Body con”, aka “body conscious”, aka tight as a potato sack is all the rage nowadays. Most t-shirts are so thin they’re see-through. Don’t even start at how short shorts are. It’s gross and discouraging. Shopping from a woman’s perspective is very difficult and painful when most of the clothes available is immodest. Thank God for online stores that sell modest clothing.

  19. Amerikaner says:

    Sadly many a priest would also suffer the wrath of his bishop if trying to speak out out against today’s junglewear.

  20. andia says:

    “And may I also remind the readership that leggings aren’t pants?” They are not pants, I use them as stockings ( instead of pantyhose) under kneelength tunic tops and still get told I am not modest enought. But then I’ve been told that a mock turtleneck shirt ( just past my hips, so everything was covered) and pants that I wore to a job interview was not “modest enough” with a long sweater jacket ( think border line business casual/ business professional and covered from chin to wrists and ankles)
    And I have been told that my hair is a sin if it does not all fit under a scarf/veil/
    Modest is often in the eye of the beholder and where does it stop? I don’t like seeing cleavage or skirts so short I swear they left their pants at home, but where do we draw a line of reasonableness?

    When I first came back to the church, I really didn’t think about what I was wearing, Some of the twitter priests and I believe Fr Z was among them spoke about why certain types of dress ie sweat pants, and other things were perhaps not the best choice. And while I have never gone anywhere in less than a t-shirt and jeans/sweatpants I did appreciate the food for thought and started dressing more professionally for Mass. Basically I wear what one would wear to a Professional office.

    My point is sometimes a conversation is needed – this priest’s post did not seem to be open to the discussions I was the beneficairy of when I came back. His point would have been taken better if he had ssoftened the tone a bit.

  21. APX says:

    I’m all for modesty, but I don’t think women should be told to dress modestly in order to protect men’s purity. Women should dress modestly out of respect for themselves and their dignity. Men need to be held responsible for their actions and taught how to keep custody of their eyes. [Turn that inside out. Women need to be held responsible for their actions and taught how to avoid being overtly provocative.]

    I made an interesting observation when out shopping. As someone of limited means, let us say, I’m limited to where I can shop. I walked into a high end women’s clothing store to ask for directions and I was bombarded with beautiful modest clothes. High necklines, lower hemlines, etc. That being said. Walk in to your average clothing store and you have to get creative to make clothes modest.

  22. APX says:

    And may I also remind the readership that leggings aren’t pants?

    As one of our former priests would say, “underwear is not outerwear”.

  23. SanSan says:

    Oh my, you should have seen my son-in-laws two nieces at a graduation Mass. Not much left to the imagination. The father and uncle of these girls are scared to speak up.

    Nana has tried to speak to them about modesty before and had to walk the plank.

    I pray that all priest’s be fearless and continue to guide the lost souls.

  24. grateful says:

    Here is a short take by Dennis Prager

  25. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Make Unspeakable Crimes Unspeakable Again!

  26. anthtan says:

    Wait, so some Bishops are *against* their own clergy preaching on the virtue of modesty?

  27. majuscule says:

    I was recently in Jerusalem with a conservative group of Catholics. Most of us women veiled at Mass even when it was NO. Some of us happened to visit the Western Wall. One of our group had on a long skirt and a shirt that was modest except for being sleeveless. (The weather was quite warm.)

    A Jewish lady came up to her and indicated that she must cover her shoulders. And she did, with the scarf she had been using as a head covering in church.

  28. I put up some tweets to defend what Fr. Cusick had said, particularly regarding the “shoulders” part. A sleeveless dress isn’t necessarily immodest – especially if the neckline is high. The spaghetti strap tops with practically no material covering the top of the chest, on the other hand, are a real problem!

    As I pointed out, neurologically men and women are wired differently. Men respond to what they see (hence porn for men is generally visual). For women it is more what they hear (hence the murmuring of sweet nothings into a woman’s ear are what “interests” her… and reading novels is essentially an aural activity because of the inner voice employed – so books such as “Fifty Shades” are porn aimed at women)

    Of course, those who deny differences between the sexes refuse to acknowledge that we are different in how we respond to stimuli. Custody of the eyes is necessary for both sexes – hence I will ditch a book if I find explicit sex scenes described. But modesty is an obligation which, while also necessary for both sexes, is more incumbent upon women, because of the visual aspect of what their clothing choices reveal.

  29. Ellen says:

    I’m almost 70 but I still work and I work on a college campus. It is almost impossible to see a woman student wearing tight jeans or leggings all the time. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even notice it, unless it’s really bad (leggings so tight they are almost transparent).
    I often go to a quite orthodox chapel and even there most of the young women wear leggings, but they do wear a long shirt or tunic with them and I like that combination.
    As for sleeveless….I don’t mind at all, but spaghetti straps are not suitable.
    The male students tend to wear cargo pants and tshirts, but there are a few of them who wear skinny jeans and man buns. Ick!

  30. Our Sorrowful and Immaculate Mother, who in all her apparitions is fully covered, is presented by her divine Son to us as the perfect model of modesty and purity. She is terribly saddened by the immodest and impure conduct so prevalent in our society. Our Lord speaks to us through His Blessed Mother in condemning the modern trends of uncovering the body. In fact, Our Lady came down from heaven to warn against this disrobing trend. Listen to what she revealed to little ten-year-old Jacinta of Fatima while she was dying in a hospital in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1920: “Certain fashions will be introduced which will offend Our Divine Lord very much. Those who serve God ought not to follow these fashions. Our Lord is always the same.” And she also revealed to Jacinta that “the sins that lead most souls to hell are the sins of the flesh.”

    St. John Chrysostom (347-407), the illustrious Bishop of Constantinople and one of the 32 doctors of the Church, had this to say about women who dress immodestly: “You carry your snare everywhere and spread your net in all places. You allege that you never invited others to sin. You did not indeed by your words, but you have done so by your dress and your deportment. And much more effectively than you could by your voice. When you have made another sin in his heart, how can you be innocent? Tell me whom does this world condemn? Whom do the judges in court punish? Those who drink poison or those who prepare it and administer the fatal potion? You are more criminal than those who poison the body. You have given the death-dealing drink. You murder not the body but the soul, and it is not to enemies do you do this nor are you urged on by any imaginary necessity nor provoked by injury. But you do it out of foolish vanity and pride.”
    Woe to women who dress immodestly! Woe to fathers and husbands who do not correct their wives and daughters! Woe to pastors of souls if they remain silent! Woe to us, for this is one of the sins which causes most souls to go to hell, sins of the flesh. “O that they would be wise and would understand and would provide for their latter end.” (Deut.32:29)

  31. Anneliese says:

    A good portion of the parishes in St. Louis tend to have a laxed attitude towards attire for their Masses. The only actual parish that addresses the issue of clothing is the Cathedral Basilica, which usually lists clothing guidelines in their bulletin, along with appropriate behavior (which shouldn’t have to be addressed at all) such as not chewing gum and arriving on time. Unfortunately, there are lot of visitors and tourists who visit the Basilica and don’t know or don’t care about dressing guidelines. I sat one afternoon before Mass when people were still milling around taking pictures. I was appalled to see a young woman wearing essentially a bikini top taking pictures of her BF in front of the communion rail.

    We’re living in a time where people are morally and spiritually lazy.

  32. Jacob says:

    Father said the right thing in that women should cover up when they go to Mass, or at any time really.

    But he said the wrong thing (I cringed when i read it) when he said they should do it for the purity of men.

    No way should we have to feel like we should need to placate the feminists of the world. Tempting men is definitely a thing that needs to be fought. But phrasing the advice in a way that calls to mind Islamic oppression of women, women must cover themselves because it’s ON WOMEN, is bound to not end well.

  33. Father G says:

    Posted on Steve Skojec’s FB page:
    “For those asking, I can now confirm that Fr. Cusick voluntarily shut down his Twitter account “for the good of the Church.” He writes for The Wanderer and they may have something on this story later.”

  34. John21 says:

    I literally have to stare at the sky sometimes when I’m walking to class or work where I go to college. This is all a matter of what parents allow in the house and how they teach their kids. I’m a guy, but my mom and dad always hammered home the point to dress according to the occasion. So I do it, even to this day, at the old age of 20.

    I’m not mad at the girls themselves for dressing the way they do. My anger is directed at the “empowerment ideology” that a lot of them follow. Quite frankly, it’s not empowering. I don’t need to see your generally uncovered body to know that you have inestimable worth and dignity as a human person.

  35. Elizzabeth says:

    John 21 I feel for you. Men, young or old, shouldn’t have to put up with the flaunting of women’s bodies left right and centre. I do think though, that it’s not always the parent’s fault. I know one very traditional family whose daughters were all brought up in lovely feminine clothes. Unfortunately, when the eldest two got to the age where they wanted to start being “in with the in crowd” and wearing trousers, the Priest advised them (possibly not knowing that this was entirely contrary to their parent’s wishes) that it was permissable. The younger girls followed suit, and now they all turn up in skin tight, ripped jeans, leggings etc. The parents feel they were undermined…

  36. THREEHEARTS says:

    mike hurcum
    Diana you make a good point about what can be purchased. What a pity that young girls today spend more time being spiritually destroyed by facebook et al and not learning to sew. They would, I think, be surprised of how their new found beauty would attract admiring glances,

  37. John21 says:

    I agree, the parents can only do so much (the kids have free will, after all), but I was more talking about the parents allowing the type of dress (or lack thereof) that’s common these days and not putting up a fight.

    This issue is, yes, about helping men protect their eyes, but it’s also about the girls, too: a) their own virtue, and b) protecting them from the sort of men that immodest dress usually attracts.

  38. Hidden One says:

    Not so long ago I passed through an area populated with plenty of Mennonites (multiple varieties). I was pleasantly surprised, although perhaps I shouldn’t have been, to see that most of the young women out and about, whether alone 9r in groups, were in very colourful and perfectly modest dress, and this was on warm summer days. Insofar as their moods were evident, they were also quite positive.

    The commenter above who remarked that in her area a relatively upper class clothing store had more modest wear than the others does not surprise me at all; “class” is that one desirable attribute that gravely immodest attire for both sexes inarguably lacks even from a secular perspective.

    Not being a fashion designer, my instinct is that such, in the long run, whether possessing a sense of modesty or not, really ought to prefer to design clothing that contains a good deal of fabric relative to the stuff complained about in this thread: more material means more material to work with. Masterpieces take space. And anyone can wear tremendously beautiful/handsome attire, whatever one’s looks may be.

  39. Greg Hlatky says:

    Abel also offered the firstlings of his flock, and of their fat: and the Lord had respect to Abel, and to his offerings.

    – Genesis 4:4

  40. Mightnotbeachristiantou says:

    Leggings are pants. The problem is that people wear tights and think they are leggings. If you can see skin, they are not leggings. If there is no seam on the inner leg they are not leggings. Yet, you should still wear a top that covers the bum. Or you can wear a mini dress. Mini dress = long top. Not with tights, but with leggings.
    No you should not wear a halter to church, unless you have a jacket. It simple. There is a sign outside of the Vatican that shows what men and women are allowed to wear.
    If you are going to Mass, would you you wear this when going to see the Queen of England? Why you wear it to a formal event(Mass) to meet the King of Heaven?

  41. Elizzabeth says:

    I agree entirely John 21. I started covering my hair at Mass (when I was still attending the new Rite) even though I felt like an oddity, as an act of reparation for the extremely immodestly dressed altar girls (wandering through the Church with their bellies and underwear showing, prior to donning their server’s “gowns!) The Mum felt helpless to do anything about her daughters (“you have to choose your battles”). I started a small business sewing modest clothes, and have tried to help teach children (and their mothers) to sew. But there is such a strong feminist undercurrent of thought, that young people just don’t seem to get the need for modest dressing. (And yes, men need to be modest too..)

  42. roma247 says:

    Part of the problem in how the parents are or aren’t able to get involved in controlling how their children dress, is the sheer amount of dissonance between what is right, and what the world around them promotes.
    I am anything but a pushover, so I have never just laid down and allowed my girls to trample me underfoot in the wardrobe department.

    Unfortunately, once we stopped being able to homeschool due to my health, we had to find a suitable school for our kids, and even though it was solidly Catholic, and they wore uniforms that covered the knees, there were always “jeans days” that were given as a reward. My kids begged me to let them wear jeans, because they would be mercilessly teased if everyone else showed up in jeans and they had to wear uniforms or (worse) skirts.

    This began the slippery slope, because not only did it prove nearly impossible to find them jeans that weren’t unacceptably tight (I managed) but when they wore these, they were teased just as much for not wearing the typical skin-tight ones.

    So we were put in an impossible situation that only continued to get worse as they got older. If I was too rigid about my expectations, they would simply find a way to get around them behind my back. I decided it was better to find ways to compromise (and yes, that meant allowing the skin tight jeans, I’m afraid) than it was to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

    Some of you may be asking, how can immodest clothes ever be good? Well, in theory, I’m with you on that. But in practice, the reality is that literally everyone is wearing this garbage, and it was easier NOT to draw attention to themselves by wearing stuff that was at least close enough to what everyone else was wearingthat they could pass under the radar. The dresses that came to a hand’s breadth above the knee looked enough like their shorter counterparts to be able to make both parent and child reasonably happy. Wearing skin tight jeans with shirts that covered the butt allowed them to look “normal” without being completely unacceptable.

    So to SemperFiCatholic, I don’t disagree with you in spirit. But in practice, forcing teenagers in our culture to be as completely covered up as the Blessed Virgin is a recipe for one of two things: either 1) ensuring that they will go as far to the opposite extreme as they are able, once they get away from you; or 2) completely breaking their spirit, so that they do not have the inner strength to be the salt and light that this world needs. Either one is a tragedy.

    I don’t like making compromises with the world one little bit. But we have to be gentle as doves AND wise as serpents. We can’t afford to naively insist on something that will completely ostracize a young person at a crucial stage in their development where they need figure out where they fit into the pecking order. Sometimes we have to use our discernment to see where we need to give a little in order to achieve the end we are really seeking, which is strong, vibrant young men and women who understand and revere their faith AND can find ways of being in the world and not of it…and hopefully set a good example of how to do that for others.

    So yes, I’m not proud to say it, but my daughters wear skinny jeans and dresses that don’t come to the knee. But if they cross the compromise line, they hear it from me before they would ever have to hear it from our priest. And not only can they defend their faith (because they understand it); they WANT to defend their faith because they don’t see it as their enemy. And most importantly, they are LIVING their faith.

  43. Elizzabeth says:

    Most pants/trousers are cut too tight to be modest. Most women look fairly grotesque in them. They look stupid and ungainly in leggings…(Think Max Wall…an English comedian!) and some leggings, seam or no seam are made of such thin fabric that they are “see through” yet it’s not just that, but the fact that the whole form is being shown, that is immodest. The number of times I’ve had to bite my tongue to stop myself from asking “Did you forget to put your skirt on”…

  44. Charles E Flynn says:

    Father Cusick has posted an update:

    When The Twitter Mob Came After Me

    June 6, 2019


    [First paragraph]

    Twitter has a dark, demonic side, raging against God and the Church. That brood of vipers and braying, bloodthirsty hounds lurking in readiness was visited upon me with nearly unrelenting fury and incredible magnitude last week. Wave after wave of calumnious, blasphemous, and obscene memes, gifs, and messages were posted with comments, likes, and retweets ranging up to the tens of thousands. Those who styled themselves my enemies crowed with pleasure that I had been “ratioed” — when negative comments outnumber likes and retweets. Many called for me to delete my account when they weren’t wishing a more horrible fate upon me. Blue check mark accounts with nearly 200k followers piled on.

  45. Bonaventurian says:

    It’s particularly unsettling when you just get absolution before Mass and then have women in immodest clothing at Mass, especially during summer. It’s much, much less of an issue at more traditional parishes or SSPX chapels.

  46. KT127 says:

    It is a difficult conversation to have, especially in mixed company. There are so many factors working against all of us and most of them have been mentioned here.

    But what an overreaction to a very mild comment.

    Like most women, I get a bit exasperated by the modesty/custody of the eyes argument. That being said….while I do not fully understand the male perspective, it is consistently given. So I have to accept it is more likely to be true than not. If it is true, “It is not my responsibility” is hardly a Christian response.

  47. jhayes says:

    In the article that Charles E. Flynn linked, Fr. Cusik explains that he was not banned from Twitter but decided on his own to deactivate his account.

    When my account disappeared on Wednesday, June 5, many wondered if Twitter had banned me, which was not the case. I was informed the previous evening that some of my account features would be limited for roughly twelve hours. That was not a factor in my decision, after prayer and discernment, to choose the high road as a Catholic Christian and a priest. Deactivating my account eliminated what had become the fulcrum for the demonic waves of rage targeting the faith. The good of the Church and the needs of the faithful must always come first, in particular for a priest. In the final analysis Twitter ain’t all that. It was entirely my own decision to deactivate and I was not compelled by anyone else in any way.

  48. teomatteo says:

    I brought up the immodesty thing to my wife a few years ago. She said, “don’t look”. I haven’t brought it up since.

  49. We are living in the ruins of civilization. Culture has disintegrated to lower than paganism – even pagans have a sense of self-worth and a love of beauty.
    Modesty in church wouldn’t be the issue so much if everyone stopped running around like naked barbarians. This is everywhere. And now in our present age, not even the Church remains as the bastion and promoter of beauty and true culture.
    Everything is ugly.
    In general people don’t even really ‘see’ themselves as they appear, sloppy, poorly-made clothes, t-shirts everywhere, toeless shoes, nothing ‘becoming’ that enhances the beauty of oneself. Dress everywhere is so depressing – even in nice restaurants where $100 is spent on one’s dinner patrons show up in tee-shirts, shorts and flip-flops. A jacket? Hard to find.
    Apparently people are AFRAID to stick out by looking nice!
    Sometimes I watch old movies and news reels just to sit in bewilderment at the beautifully-made clothes created by men who actually liked women and enhanced the appearance. And oh, gosh, the hats. There was a day when everyone wore suits to a baseball game, or dresses to the grocery store.

    Our Lady of Good Success [of Quito] predicted that in this era customs and culture would disintegrate, among her other accurate predictions.

  50. adriennep says:

    Y’all should remember Father Dominic Mary’s searing homily on EWTN a few years ago on Modesty in Dress at Church. It is available on YouTube video, exactly 14:58 long. In it he makes so many specific points, including that the priest has a right to expect proper behavior at Mass. He says, if I showed up for Mass with shorts and flip-flops on, I’d be run out of town. We demand they follow the rubrics, and we (mostly) want them to enforce liturgical norms as well. Like hey, just because it’s gotten warm outside is no excuse for Eucharistic Ministers to gather around the sacred altar in their capri pants. So, as a woman, I am equally offended by immodesty in dress at Mass. It distracts everyone. I continue to speak to the offenders about it, and continue to speak to the pastor about solutions as well. Vatican dress rules should apply. There are parishes that put out signs before Mass. We should have Philippine women out in front of church handing out shawls to cover women and even long paper pants for men. That’d stop them. No one has a right to offend God, priest, and parishioners by flagrant display of flesh, much less bad taste.

  51. adriennep says:

    Y’all should remember Father Dominic Mary’s searing homily on EWTN a few years ago on Modesty in Dress at Church. It is available on YouTube video, exactly 14:58 long. In it he makes so many specific points, including that the priest has a right to expect proper behavior at Mass. He says, if I showed up for Mass with shorts and flip-flops on, I’d be run out of town. We demand they follow the rubrics, and we (mostly) want them to enforce liturgical norms as well. Like hey, just because it’s gotten warm outside is no excuse for Eucharistic Ministers to gather around the sacred altar in their capri pants. So, as a woman, I am equally offended by immodesty in dress at Mass. It distracts everyone. I continue to speak to the offenders about it, and continue to speak to the pastor about solutions as well. Vatican dress rules should apply. There are parishes that put out signs before Mass. We should have Philippine women out in front of church handing out shawls to cover women and even long paper pants for men. That’d stop them. No one has a right to offend God, priest, and parishioners by flagrant display of flesh, much less bad taste.

  52. bonhomme says:

    I always suspect that ladies who do not dress appropriately when entering a Catholic church would not fail to observe Jewish or Muslim norms if they went into a synagogue or mosque. I do not understand why they cannot respect their own church.

    I recall once as a young teenager I stopped at church as I was passing and went in to pray. As I came our Father grabbed me by the arm and reprimanded me because I’d gone in wearing a pair of shorts. I never forget feeling really annoyed that he wasn’t pleased I’d gone in and prayed. That wouldn’t happen today and far worse goes into church.

  53. KateD says:

    Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, yada, yada….have been great for making the people of our world closer. And the voice of the irrelevant (ie, me) heard.


    They are liberal bastions that edit away the voice that opposes their group speak.


    Why not a more egalitarian version of all of the above? The liberals will join to argue with us, because they cannot stand the thought of original thought being expressed, or Republic, democracy, free markets, entrepreueralship, liberty, 2A….1A, any of the Bill of Rights…equality….(we could go on like this all day…ad infinitem). However when they start using our platform, the popularity of the others will diminish and then with any luck…go away! Hurray!

    Anyone have the know how? Give it a whirl. It’s a cheap startup that has the potential to make you billions. And you could integrate the best of them all on one site. And be Apple-esque in the defense of privacy of users and have a canary so all may parachute out in time….except the liberals….bwahahaha

  54. grateful says:

    Here is the link referred to by Adriennep regarding Fr Dominic Mary’s homily from EWTN

  55. Nicole Doveikaite says:

    Unfortunately, I don’t see how Fr. Cusick can be quite innocent in this whole meshugge. Either what these women are doing by exposing their parts is gravely immoral or it is not. If it is not, then it is a woman’s liberty to dress as such. If it is, then the women ought to be treated as obstinately persisting in grave sin.

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