Dress Code for the Vatican

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Aug 1st, 2014, 05:28 AM
  #21
 
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It's not a sin; it's not acceptable dress code in Italian Catholic churches (I'm not sure about the other Italian churches as I've only been in one)>

but if I dare violate the dress code and go into a church immodestly clad would not that then be a sin?
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Aug 1st, 2014, 05:54 AM
  #22
 
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<< but if I dare violate the dress code and go into a church immodestly clad would not that then be a sin? >>

If it "it impedes the soul's progress in the exercise of the virtues and the practice of the moral good" then it's a sin.

I do not consider improper attire a sin. I'm busy working on atonement of "real" sins.

Ultimately, it's a sin if the person improperly attired believes it's a sin. If you're not Catholic, none of this matters.
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Aug 1st, 2014, 07:20 AM
  #23
 
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It may not be a sin to be "immodestly clad" whilst visiting a church in Rome or Florence, but there will be older ladies inside who will verbally scold you.

And let me make it perfectly clear to you (I have been inside St. Peter's many times), if you are not correctly dressed you will not be admitted to the church.

You have to go through security and metal detectors just like at an airport.

When you finish you must walk through a gate guarded by the Vatican fashion police and the Swiss Guard.

You can cry, you can argue, you can fake a heart attack but if your skirt is too short or you are wearing a tank top
you will not pass those guards no matter what!


Thin
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Aug 1st, 2014, 07:22 AM
  #24
 
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Here is a photo, with my translation, of an old sign (1940s) I found in the sacristy of a little country church in Le Marche. The priest keeps it as an historical curiosity:

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

If you want to see a little piece of heaven, and one of my favorite spots on earth, you can look at the rest of the album.
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Aug 1st, 2014, 09:10 AM
  #25
 
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You're not offending god. You're offending the locals and the church.

And in a number of churches you would be turned away at the door. At the Vatican the Swiss Guards - have you seen their pikes? - will not allow you in. In other cathedrals/churches it may be more or less formal - but if trying to get in wearing shorts and tank top one is likely to hear it loud and clear from local churchgoers - who can be very unpleasant if they choose (being called a whore in Italian may not be the high point of one's trip).

Why not simply dress appropriately?
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Aug 1st, 2014, 10:08 AM
  #26
 
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bvlenci, lovely photos, and the church sign is priceless. I wonder at what point officials knew they'd truly lost the battle? When all of the girls' lips were "defiled"?
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Aug 1st, 2014, 11:11 AM
  #27
 
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NyTraveler, the number of people who would be offended is miniscule. In fact, most churches and most priests don't care, and are just happy to see people coming to church. As to calling people names because of the way they're dressed, I can't see that happening at all, except maybe by someone who's mentally unbalanced.

Last summer my husband and I visited a medieval hermitage in the mountains near where we live and went to the Sunday mass there. The church was pretty full. After the service had begun, a small group of hikers, about half in short shorts (above the knee) and about half in tank tops (not necessarily the same people) entered and stood in the back while the beginning hymns and prayers were going on. Afterwards, an elderly monk stood up and addressed the hikers. Given his age, I was expecting that he might tell them they weren't appropriately dressed for mass. Instead, he told them there were still some seats left in the choir, and invited them to come up there. So they spent the rest of the mass sitting in the choir stalls with the monks.

In our church, there are often people leading the prayers and reading the scripture lessons who couldn't get into Saint Peter's Basilica. If the priests didn't like it, they could always find other parishioners to do it.
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Aug 1st, 2014, 11:14 AM
  #28
 
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Jean, I loved how the instructions for how the "women, young ladies, and girls" should dress were so specific, and how those for the dress of men and boys were so vague. I think those bishops spent too much time ogling the "signorine".
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Aug 1st, 2014, 12:24 PM
  #29
 
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Depends on what church and where your are. And I did not say it was the priests.

In Rome I save seen elderly local ladies make some very pointed comments to tourists (I believe German) who were wearing VERY inappopriate shorts. I assume they understood since they turned around and left immediately.

And there is no way that you can convince me that these are the only cranky elderly women in churches in Italy. If you search the europe forum I'm sure you will see other reports of similar.

I know in the US you can wear almost anything to SOME churches (including Catholic churches) but there are others where respect of anyone attending is very important and tourists dressed inappropriately are turned away at the door. (Some of the people who want to see a Gospel service - but as a "sight" and not respecting the worshipers.)
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Aug 1st, 2014, 01:48 PM
  #30
 
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I live in Italy, and have for the past 15 years, and go to mass here nearly every Sunday (although I'm not Catholic). No amount of reports from Americans on the internet can convince me that these cranky elderly ladies are more than a tiny minority. Maybe they hang out in that church to get their kicks from harassing tourists.
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Mar 25th, 2015, 11:22 AM
  #31
 
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Excellent post Bvlenci.

I've been to Vatican 20 years ago. We were turned away because my wife was in shorts but we never ever covered our heads.

I've been myself in countless churches in shorts... not meaning disrespect and not being shooed away.

Last times I've been to churches for masses, it was mainly for children's burials, we were all correctly dressed and nobody was in a mood to make/take any remark.

Mvg
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Mar 25th, 2015, 11:42 AM
  #32
 
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"And there is no way that you can convince me that these are the only cranky elderly women in churches in Italy."

I have to agree with NYT on this one. I have found there to be cranky elderly women everywhere. Even here.

I have worn shorts in Italian churches many, many times, though I always pull them down as far as possible, to be respectful.
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Mar 25th, 2015, 01:36 PM
  #33
 
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If you pull them down too far, Cold, that's not respectful.

I'm sure there are cranky elderly ladies everywhere. I'm looking forward to the day when I'll be one myself. However, I've never seen anyone of any age or sex in Italy harrassing people who weren't dressed as they thought they should dress. They might say to each other, "Do you see that miniskirt?" "Yes, dear, we couldn't dress like that at mass when we were young." "What's the world coming to?" and things of that nature.

A few years ago, at the Easter Sunday mass, I saw a young woman go up to communion wearing a tight t-shirt with "What are you looking at?" written in large letters at boob level. I myself thought that was a bit over the top, and I'm not even a cranky old lady yet.
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Mar 25th, 2015, 01:47 PM
  #34
 
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((Bvienci - I agree with you. We have never seen any harassment/commentary either.))
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Mar 25th, 2015, 01:57 PM
  #35
 
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I was grumbled at by an elderly lady in Rome for blocking her getting off the bus - my italian wasn't up to a direct translation but it was along the lines of "bloody tourists". of course I wasn't doing it deliberately - I was held in place by several other people in the crush.

as for shorts in churches,despite the fact that his shorts are definitely of the "scout leader" type. in one church in Florence, the custodian made DH wear a sarong to cover his very offensive knees, and in another, he was invited to leave, i just wonder why God invented knees if He wants them covered up.
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Aug 22nd, 2015, 07:53 AM
  #36
 
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I always dress like the Pope when I visit the Vatican. It gives me certain privileges and helps me bypass museum lines.
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Aug 22nd, 2015, 09:15 AM
  #37
 
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During the school year, many Gonzaga university students attend Mass at a church on the campus. I love the kids, but I am sometimes surprised at what they think is acceptable wear for Mass. Short shorts? Strapless dress? Halter top on a very buxom young woman?

I would never be one of the cranky old ladies--at least out loud--but I do sometimes wonder why their mothers didn't teach them about modest dress.
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Aug 22nd, 2015, 10:05 AM
  #38
 
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Gonzaga university? The nearest university is in Reggio Emilia.
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Apr 22nd, 2016, 01:45 PM
  #39
 
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Christina: There are certain rules,cultures,tradiotions in every religion regardless of our opinions.And when it comes to veils in Islam I suggest you to gain knowledge, based on facts about the religion because it can easily happen that we get a twisted conception.There's always a negative aspect about the unknown and that's how we create prejudices.Women in Islam by the way are not the source of evil as you have stated,you've got that wrong.That's a lack of knowledge as I've mentioned above.But speaking about the dress codes,I can only understand and respect it.
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Apr 22nd, 2016, 02:12 PM
  #40
 
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Nochblad- Pegonthroad is from Spokane WA in the US and is talking about the Jesuit university there. My father went to school there, small world

I was thinking that even though no one but my Irish American grandmother has scolded me for inappropriate clothing at Mass- (God rest her soul- I'm still not sure if going out of the house without makeup or in jeans is a bigger faux pas in her eyes)- last year I was a bridesmaid in a Catholic wedding. I asked the bride how she wanted us to dress as the only option that fit me was strapless- she didn't think it would be an issue. Her devout fiancé said otherwise days before the wedding and her solution was to buy polyester shawls for a July wedding. I don't know how the other ladies managed but I chose to take it off half way through because it was either that or heat stroke. I should have known better. I'm sure the priest didn't care but I'm equally sure my grandmother was looking down from heaven and tutting.

Had a one of my teachers in Catholic school tell a non religious classmate that he didn't care if she was atheist, pagan or whatever. "It's a place of worship for someone, you dress appropriately out of respect."
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