In connection with what I’ve been saying about marriage and sex, our Houston newspaper today has a number of articles and columns on the recent pronouncement by the American Psychological Association, saying that our young girls are too sexualized in today’s society. A couple of the columns are written in sarcasm and irony, wondering why the APA is just finding that out. Everyone else has known it for years.
Some years ago in New Orleans, we were having a youth Mass in our parish church. The girl who had been designated to do one of the readings came into the sacristy before Mass. I observed that her blouse and her pants didn’t meet by any means; quite a bit of her flesh was visible between the two. So I told her to pull the blouse down and the pants up; I didn’t want any bare midriffs in church during Mass. She seemed offended and acted as if my attitude was hopelessly obsolete and outmoded. There was a humorous film made about that time called, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” At one point, the young man in question is converting to the Greek Orthodox church just before marrying his Greek Orthodox fiancee. As her family is getting ready for the baptism ceremony, we see one of the women in the family stuffing crumpled newspaper down her bosom to make herself seem more “full-figured,” as they say. She was to be his godmother. I thought: what a preparation for role of being a godmother!
Then, I have had a number of brides-to-be seek out another priest to officiate at their weddings when I explained that I would not do so if their wedding dresses featured bare backs, bare shoulders, or visible cleavage. I do not see the connection that they evidently do between the Sacraments and semi-nudity. Here again, parents have the obligation to preach modesty to their children so that by the time the girls are planning their weddings, they know perfectly well that exhibitionism is not appropriate at a Catholic wedding Mass. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.