Catholic Church in Africa, Philippines and Mexico Address Immodesty in the face of Fierce Opposition
By Tim Waggoner
ABUJA, Nigeria, August 22, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Despite defiant and scantily clad opposition, Nigerian, Filipino and Mexican Catholic Church officials are taking steps to quell the growing trend of immodesty that is becoming prevalent among Catholics.
After Mexican priest, Rev. Sergio Roman, said in an online publication, "When we show our body without prudence, without modesty, we are prostituting ourselves," a group of women dressed in miniskirts and tank talks protested outside the Mexico City Cathedral holding signs that read "Clothed and naked, I am the same."
The secular media has also jumped all over the priest’s words saying he is justifying acts of rape against women. The Catholic Church in Mexico, however, have defended Father Roman saying he was offering "moral guidance for the Catholic community," and was preparing Mexicans for next year’s family values forum in Mexico City.
In Africa, The First National Catholic Festival of Arts and Culture has been scheduled to occur in Abuja, Nigeria on August 28 and 29 with the purpose of revealing the beauty of the African culture in hopes of combating immodesty in the Church.
The two-day program, which was announced by Chairman of the Inculturation and Translation Committee, Most Rev. Martin Olorunmolu, is expected to attract 500 participants and will feature Church arts and artifacts, books, documents, vestments, paintings, sculptures and other relevant materials.
"We have observed these abuses. The festival will be used to correct these abuses observed in the way our female members dress, some songs that our choirs sing and in the celebration mass. Some bishops have frowned at these things and have decided that we should find a way of addressing the issues," explained Olorunmolu, as reported by the Vanguard.
Olorunmolu recited a quote from Pope Pius XII to further express his point: "Let not the Gospel on being introduced into any new land, destroy or extinguish whatever its people possess that is naturally good, just or beautiful. For the church when she calls a person to higher culture and better way of life under the inspiration of the Christian religion does not act like one who recklessly cuts down and uproots a thriving forest".
"This is another opportunity for us as joint stakeholders in nation building to collaborate and ensure the success of the festival in question," said Olorunmolu. "It will not only bring out cultural features and arts that can be of liturgical benefit to the Catholic Church but also showcase the moral values of our culture and people to the world."
In a similar push for modesty, the Filipino Church, under the leadership of His Grace, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), led a ‘prayer rally for life’ on July 24 in Lloilo City, Philippines.
The News Today reports he called for a change of hearts and minds, looking to "promote through all possible means abstinence outside marriage and fidelity in marriage as well as modesty in our thoughts, words and actions."