Instruction to Diocesan Ordinaries on Indecent Women’s Fashion – January 12, 1930

Reference:
Acts of Pope Pius XI , Volume 6, House of the Good Press, Paris, 1934, p. 351-356.

(Translated from the original French)

Under the supreme apostolate which God has entrusted the performance of the whole Church, His Holiness Pope Pius XI has never ceased to teach by word and writings the precept of St. Paul: “That women wear decent clothes, adorning themselves with modesty and simplicity (…) and as befits women who profess to worship God through good works. “

Often when the occasion arose, the Pope disapproved and condemned severely indecent modes introduced everywhere today in the clothing habits of women and girls even Catholic; not only these modes gravely offend the dignity and feminine grace, but unfortunately cause temporal damage for the woman and, what is worse, his eternal loss and others.

It is therefore not surprising that the bishops and other places have Ordinary, as appropriate to the ministers of Christ, resisted in every way and with one voice, each in their diocese to overflow license and impudence ; often they braved with courage and fortitude the taunts and insults that addressed their response malicious men.

That is why this Sacred Congregation, in charge of promoting the discipline in the clergy and people, approves and praises rightly vigilance and action of the bishops; urges them together vigorously to pursue their plans and their timely as companies squeeze in execution until this plague is completely eradicated honest circles of society.

For more easily and surely this result, this Sacred Congregation, by order of the Supreme Pontiff, has taken on the matter the following decisions:

I. That the above priests and preachers, when the opportunity is offered to them, insist, resume, threaten, exhort the faithful, in the words of the Apostle Paul, that women dress in a way that exudes modesty that is the adornment and safeguarding of virtue; they urge parents not to allow their daughters to wear immodest toilet.

II. Parents, remembering the serious their obligation to take care of education above all religious and moral of their children, ensure with particular vigilance that their daughters, from their earliest years, are solidly educated Christian doctrine. That, by their words and by their example, they put all their zeal to excite in the souls of their children, the love of modesty and chastity. They strive to raise and direct their children by following the examples of the Holy Family, so that everyone at home, find a pattern and a stimulus for the love and practice of modesty .

III. What parents forbid their daughters to public participation exercises and gymnastics competitions; if their daughters are forced to take part, they ensure that they put the clothes that meet the decency and never tolerate immodest costumes.

IV. That boarding school directors and school mistresses strive to inspire their students a love of modesty. They thus lead them effectively to dress modestly.

V. That these guidelines and these mistresses would not admit in their establishments or their classes of students – and even mothers of them – who would dress modestly little; if they were admitted and they will amend the point, they return them.

VI. That religious, faithful to the requirements given 23 August 1928 by the Sacred Congregation for Religious, refuse to admit to their schools, their classrooms, their chapels, their recreation rooms – or return if they have been admitted, – girls who do not keep the Christian restraint in the way of dressing; that religious themselves in the education of children, take special care of deeply rooted in their souls the holy modesty and Christian modesty.

VII. Establish and spread of women’s associations that attach intended to curb, for their advice, examples and action, contrary to abuse Christian modesty in the way of. clothing and offer to promote purity of morals and modesty in dress.

VIII. In the pious women associations, which do not admit those who dress immodestly; if members are reprehensible in this, that the resume and, if they do amend the point, that the excluded.

IX. For a ban girls and women who dress immodestly a way access to the Holy Table, the role of godmother for baptism and confirmation, and if circumstances have it, the same entry from the church.

X. At the festivals of the year offer a particularly timely opportunity to instill Christian modesty – especially the feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary – the priests, principals priests pious unions and Catholic associations do not fail to remember women, in a speech for the occasion, the duties of Christian modesty in the way of dressing and encourage them not to neglect them.

At the feast of the Immaculate Conception, which annually provides for special prayers in cathedrals and parish churches and at the same time, as much as possible, we urge the Christian people by solemn sermons.

XI. The diocesan vigilance Council referred in the declaration of the Holy Office of March 22, 1918 treats former professed, at least once a year, the most likely to promote women Christian modesty means.

XII. In order that this salutary action develops efficiently and safely, bishops and other Ordinaries place every three years, along with the report on religious instruction dealt with the Motu Proprio Orbem catholicum of 29 June 1923, will also at this Sacred Congregation a report on the condition and status of women’s fashions and the measures adopted under the rules of this instruction.

Given in Rome, at the Palace of the Sacred Congregation of the Council on 12 January, Feast of the Holy Family, the year 1930.

D. Card. Sbarretti Sabine bishop and Poggio Mirteto, Prefect.

JULES, Bishop of Lampsacus, Secretary.

Latin text:

SACRA CONGREGATIO CONCILII

INSTRUCTIO AD ORDINARIOS DIŒCESANOS :

DE INHONESTO FEMINARUM VESTIENDI MORE

Vi supremi apostolatus, quo in universa Ecclesia divinitus fungitur, Ssmus Dominus Noster Pius Papa XI verbis et scriptis nunquam destitit illud S. Pauli (I ad Tim., II, 9,10) inculcare, videlicet : « mulieres in habitu ornato cum verecundia et sobrietate ornantes se, et… quod decet mulieres, promittentes pietatem per opera bona ».

Ac sæpenumero, occasione data, idem Summus Pontifex improbavit acerrimeque damnavit inhonestum vestiendi morem in catholicarum quoque mulierum ac puellarum usum hodie passim inductum, qui non modo femineum decus atque ornamentum graviter offendit, sed nedum in temporalem earumdem feminarum perniciem verum etiam, quod peius est, in sempiternam, itemque in aliorum ruinam miserrime vertit.

Nihil igitur mirum, si Episcopi ceterique locorum Ordinarii, sicut decet ministros Christi, in sua quisque diœcesi pravæ huiusmodi licentiæ ac procacitati modis omnibus unaque voce obstiterunt, derisiones nonnumquam ac ludibria ob hanc causam sibi a malevolis illata æquo fortique animo tolerantes.

Itaque hoc Sacrum Consilium cleri populique disciplinæ provehendæ cum eiusmodi Sacrorum Antistitum vigilantiam et actionem merita probatione ac laude prosequatur, tum eosdem vehementer hortatur ut consilia atque incepta opportune inita insistant et alacrius pro viribus urgeant, quoadusque hic pestíferas morbus ex honesta hominum consortione penitus extirpetur.

Quod ut facilius ac tutius ad effectum deducatur, hæc Sacra Congregatio, de mandato Sanctissimi Domini, ea quæ sequuntur ad rem statuere decrevit :

I. Parochi præsertim et concionatores, data occasione, secundum illud Apostoli Pauli (II ad Tim., IV, 2) instent, arguant, obsecrent, increpent ut feminæ vestes gestent, quæ verecundiam sapiant quæque sint ornamentum et præsidium virtutis ; moneantque parentes ne filiæ indecoras vestes gestare sinant.

II. Parentes, memores gravissimæ obligationis qua tenentur prolis educationem in primis religiosam et moralem curandi, peculiarem adhibeant diligentiam, ut puellæ a primis annis in doctrina christiana solide instituantur atque in earum animo ipsi, verbis et exemplo, amorem virtutum modestiæ et castitatis impense foveant ; familiam vero, Sacræ Familiæ exempla imitati, ita constituere atque gubernare satagant, ut singuli verecundiæ amandæ atque servandæ inter domesticos parietes habeant causam et invitamentum.

III. Parentes iidem filias a publicis exercitationibus et concursibus gymnicis arceant ; si vero eisdem filiæ interesse cogantur, curent ut vestes adhibeant quæ honestatem plene præseferant ; inhonestas vero vestes illas gestare nunquam sinant.

IV. Collegiorum moderatrices et scholarum magistræ modestiæ amore puellarum animos ita imbuere enitantur, ut eædem ad honeste vestiendum efficaciter inducantur.

V. Eædem moderatrices ac magistræ puellas, ne ipsarum quidem matribus exceptis, quæ vestes minus honestas gestent, in collegia et scholas ne admittant, admissasque, nisi resipiscant, dimittant.

VI. Religiosæ, iuxta litteras die xxiii mensis Augusti, anno MDCCCCXXVIII, datas a Sacra Congregatione de Religiosis, in sua collegia, scholas, oratoria, recreatoria puellas ne admittant, admissas ne tolerent, quæ christianum vestiendi morem non servent : ipsæ vero in alumnis educandis peculiare adhibeant studium, ut in earum animo sancti pudoris et verecundiæ christianæ amor altas radices agat.

VII. Piæ instituantur et foveantur feminarum Associationes, quæ consilio, exemplo et opere finem sibi præstituant cohibendi abusus in vestibus gestandis christianæ modestiæ haud congruentibus et promovendi morum puritatem ac vestiendi honestatem.

VIII. In pias Associationes feminarum ne illæ admittantur, quæ inhonestas vestes induant ; admissæ vero, si quid postea hac in re peccent et monitæ non resipiscant, expellantur.

IX. Puellæ et mulieres, quæ inhonestas vestes induunt, a Sancta Communione et a munere matrinæ in sacramentis Baptismi et Confirmationis arceantur, atque, si casus ferat, ab ipso ecclesiæ ingressu prohibeantur.

X. Cum incidunt per annum festa, quæ modestiæ christianæ inculcandam peculiarem exhibeant opportunitatem, præsertim vero festa B. M. Virginis, parochi et sacerdotes piarum Unionum et Catholicarum Consociationum moderatores feminas ad christianum vestiendi morem, opportuno sermone revocare atque excitare ne prætermittant. In festo autem Beatæ Mariæ Virginis sine labe conceptæ peculiares preces in omnibus cathedralibus et parœcialibus ecclesiis quovis anno peragantur, habitis, ubi fieri potest, opportunis cohortationibus in sollemni ad populum concione.

XI. Consilium diœcesanum a vigilantia, de quo in declaratione Sancti Officii die XXII mensis Martii, a. MDCCCCXVIII data, semel saltem in anno de aptioribus modis ac rationibus ad feminarum modestiæ efficaciter consulendum ex professo agat.

XII. Quo vero hæc salutaris actio efficaciter et tutior succedat, Episcopi aliique locorum Ordinarii, tertio quoque anno, una simul cum relatione de religiosa, institutione, de qua in Litteris Orbem catholicum die XXIX mensis Iunii, anno MDCCCCXX in Motu proprio datis, etiam de rerum conditione ac statu circa feminarum vestiendi morem deque operibus ad normam huius Instructionis præstitis, hanc Sacram Congregationem certiorem reddant.

Datum Romæ, ex ædibus Sacræ Congregationis Concilii, die xii mensis Ianuarii in festo Sacræ Familiæ, anno MDCCCCXXX.

Donato Card. SBARETTI, Episc. Sabinen, et Mandelen., Præfectus.

L. + S. Iulius, Ep. Lampsacen., Secretarius.

Pope Pius XI’s Instruction Concerning the Immodest Dress of Women

The following instruction was released by the Vatican’s Sacred Congregation of the Council on January 12, 1930.

Instruction Concerning the Immodest Dress of Women

(Cfr. Canon 1262, §2)

At the exhortation of His Holiness, Pope Pius XI, to counteract the indecent fashions, many bishops have made regulations in their dioceses and forbidden Catholic ladies to wear fashionable but unbecoming dresses at the sacred functions in church, and especially when receiving Holy Communion. Though they had to suffer the insults that a heathenized press hurled against them, they remained firm in their prohibition of the unchristian fashion. The Sacred Congregation praises them for their constancy and publishes the following regulations:

1. Pastors and preachers shall urge the Catholic women to wear modest dresses, and insist that the mothers stop their daughters from wearing unbecoming apparel.

2. The parents have the obligation to care for the religious and moral education of their children and they must take special care to instruct the girls in the principles of Christian doctrine, and by word and example foster in their souls a love for the virtues of modesty and chastity.

3. The parents must keep the girls away from public gymnastic exercises and exhibitions; if their daughters are forced to take part in such affairs, the parents should see that they wear clothes that are absolutely modest and never allow them to wear immodest uniforms.

4. The heads of girls’ colleges and schools and the teachers must endeavor to instill into the minds of the girls such a love for modesty that they shall detest immodest dress.

5. The heads of schools and the teachers shall not admit to their schools girls who wear unbecoming dress, or whose parents wear them; if those already admitted do not heed the warning, they shall be dismissed from those schools.

6. The religious Sisterhoods shall not admit to their schools, colleges, chapels, or gymnasiums girls who do not dress in a manner becoming Christians, nor shall they tolerate girls already admitted.

7. Pious associations of women should be formed and fostered whose purpose shall be to counteract by example and practical efforts the abuses of the unchristian fashions and to promote purity of morals and decency in dress.

8. Into these associations are not to be received women who do not dress according to Christian modesty, and, if actual members violate the principles of the associations and do not heed the admonition to stop the abuse, they shall be expelled from the associations.

9. Girls and women who wear immodest dress shall be denied Holy Communion, and shall not be admitted as sponsors at Baptism and Confirmation, and, if needs be, shall be stopped from entering any church.

10. On those feast days during the year which present a special opportunity to inculcate Christian modesty, especially the feasts of Our Blessed Lady, the pastors and the priests in charge of women’s societies shall by appropriate sermons exhort the women to wear dresses that bespeak Christian modesty. On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception special prayers shall be offered in all cathedral and parochial churches and, if circumstances permit, an appropriate sermon should be preached.

11. The Diocesan Vigilance Committee, spoken of by the Holy Office on March 22, 1918, should at least once a year meet for the purpose of specially considering ways and means of promoting effectively Christian modesty of women.

12. In order to put these Instructions into effect, the local Ordinaries shall every three years, together with the report on religious teaching (cfr. Motu Proprio, June 29, 1923), inform the Sacred Congregation of the Council on the matter of immodest dress of women and what the Ordinaries have done to counteract that evil.

(Source: Rev. Stanislaus Woywod, Canonical Decisions of the Holy See [New York: J.F. Wagner, 1933], pp. 222-223; Latin original in Acta Apostolicae Sedis XXII [1930], pp. 26-28.)

The Responses of Pope Nicholas I to the Questions of the Bulgars A.D. 866

Chapter LIX.

We consider what you asked about pants (femoralia) to be irrelevant; for we do not wish the exterior style of your clothing to be changed, but rather the behavior of the inner man within you, nor do we desire to know what you are wearing except Christ — for however many of you have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ [Gal. 3:27] — but rather how you are progressing in faith and good works. But since you ask concerning these matters in your simplicity, namely because you were afraid lest it be held against you as a sin, if you diverge in the slightest way from the custom of other Christians, and lest we seem to take anything away from your desire, we declare that in our books, pants (femoralia) are ordered to be made, not in order that women may use them, but that men may. But act now so that, just as you passed from the old to the new man, [cf. Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:9-10] you pass from your prior custom to ours in all things; but really do what you please. For whether you or your women wear or do not wear pants (femoralia) neither impedes your salvation nor leads to any increase of your virtue. Of course, because we have said that pants are ordered to be made, it should be noted that we put on pants spiritually, when we restrain the lust of the flesh through abstinence; for those places are constrained by pants in which the seats of luxury are known to be. This is why the first humans, when they felt illicit motions in their members after sin, ran into the leaves of a fig tree and wove loin cloths for themselves.[cf. Gen. 3:7] But these are spiritual pants, which you still could not bear, and, if I may speak with the Apostle, you are not yet able; for you are still carnal.[I Cor. 3:2] And thus we have said a few things on this matter, although, with God’s gift, we could say many more.

(SOURCE)

Tattoos, The Pipe & The Pint

As Catholics, we want to make sure that we are sinning as least as possible; doing whatever we can to avoid sin and the near occasions of it.

A serious problem today (among many others) is the turning of non-sinful practices into intrinsically evil practices. Practices that are accepted by the Catholic Church & her Magisterium, within regular boundaries. Even things that are not sinful, such as drinking water can become sinful; let’s say we dwell on drinking water every 15 minutes, over-doing it and making that our number one goal of our lives. That would be it imprudent, and sinful.

Practices that the Catholic Church has NEVER condemned (and in some cases even encouraged within reason), that society has taken to condemning are:

 Smoking tobacco (Pipes, Cigars, etc) Drinking & Tattoos.

If you are a Catholic, who are you to say that the Church is wrong?

If the Church has not condemned something, and in most cases have talked of it as a regular hobby or pastime, or even encouraging its use within reason… we have no right to turn it into a moral issue. If we do not like it, that’s perfectly fine, but you cannot expect to make something literally dogma just because you feel its wrong (that’s called Protestantism 😉 )

So relax. Chill. Be prudent. And focus on what the Church actually does condemn!

 Also, fun fact: The Catholic Church has 5 Patron Saints of beer.

And yes… smoking anything else other than tobacco (HARMFUL herbs / not for medicinal purposes, Weed/Pot, Cocaine and so on)… yes, it is wrong. It is sinful. Surprisingly Lifeteen has an explanatory and theologically correct video on this subject:

 Other helpful videos concerning the Catholic Church & the “sinfulness” of the above mentioned acts:

Catholic Saints & Holy People who Smoked & Drank Alcohol Within Reason:

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

(featured photo also Blessed Pier Giorgio)

G.K. Chesterton.

 C.S. Lewis.

Msgr. Ronald Knox

Hilaire Belloc

Evelyn Waugh

J.R.R. Tolkien

 Saint Pope John XIII

(Pius X and Pius XI smoked cigars, Pope Benedict XVI is rumored to smoke (the rumor is usually about Morlboro Reds or Gold) but doesn’t smoke openly.)

 St. Joseph of Cupertino:

His beatification process took longer because some prelates had an issue with his use of tobacco. Joseph’s advocate argued, based on interviews with Joseph during his life, that his smoking was an aid to his holiness, helping him stay up at night for his devotions and extend his fasting.

Other interesting articles on the topics:

On the Cigar: A Theological Reflection

Holy Smokes

Tobacco for the Soul

The Lost Art of Catholic Drinking

Pipe Smoking 101

Beginner’s Guide to Pipe Smoking

What Is the Catholic Church’s View on Alcohol?

What Was the Legion of Decency?

“it has been highly pleasing to Us to learn of the fruits already gathered and of the progress which continues to be made by that prudent initiative launched more than two years ago as a holy crusade against the abuses of the motion pictures and entrusted in a special manner to the “Legion of Decency“.”
“An unceasing and universal vigilance must, on the contrary, convince the producers that the ‘Legion of Decency‘ has not been started as a crusade of short duration, soon to be neglected and forgotten, but that the Bishops of the United States are determined, at all times and at all costs, to safeguard the recreation of the people whatever form that recreation may take.” –
“Vigilanti Cura”
Encyclical of Pope Pius XI promulgated on June 29, 1936 that focuses on the Legion of Decency and the potential corrupting of souls by the Cinema, and the measures to take.

Thought movies were just fine to watch; no matter the content? First, let’s put a perspective on what “AVOIDING SIN” means in simple terms?

Catholic Dictionary

 Term

AVOIDING SIN

Definition

The moral responsibility of not exposing oneself unnecessarily to occasions of sin. Three principles are standard in Catholic moral teaching: 1. no one is obliged to avoid the remote occasions of sin. This is true because the danger of sin is slight and otherwise it would be impossible to live in the world; 2. everyone is obliged to avoid voluntary proximate occasions of sin, where “voluntary” means that it can easily be removed or avoided; 3. anyone in a necessary proximate occasion of sin is obliged to make the occasion remote. An occasion is necessary when the person’s state of life or profession or circumstances make it morally impossible to avoid exposure to certain enticements. What is a proximate danger to sinning can be rendered remote by such means as prayer, the sacraments, and custody of the senses, especially of the eyes.

—————————————-

 The Baltimore Catechism explains this in simpler terms:

Q. 770. What do you mean by a firm purpose of sinning no more?

A. By a firm purpose of sinning no more I mean a fixed resolve not only to avoid all mortal sin, but also its near occasions.

Q. 771. What do you mean by the near occasions of sin?

A. By the near occasions of sin I mean all the persons, places and things that may easily lead us into sin.

Q. 772. Why are we bound to avoid occasions of sin?

A. We are bound to avoid occasions of sin because Our Lord has said: “He who loves the danger will perish in it”; and as we are bound to avoid the loss of our souls, so we are bound to avoid the danger of their loss. The occasion is the cause of sin, and you cannot take away the evil without removing its cause.

Q. 773. Is a person who is determined to avoid the sin, but who is unwilling to give up its near occasion when it is possible to do so, rightly disposed for confession?

A. A person who is determined to avoid the sin, but who is unwilling to give up its near occasion when it is possible to do so, is not rightly disposed for confession, and he will not be absolved if he makes known to the priest the true state of his conscience.

Q. 774. How many kinds of occasions of sin are there?

A. There are four kinds of occasions of sin:
1. Near occasions, through which we always fall;
2. Remote occasions, through which we sometimes fall;
3. Voluntary occasions or those we can avoid; and
4. Involuntary occasions or those we cannot avoid. A person who lives in a near and voluntary occasion of sin need not expect forgiveness while he continues in that state.

Q. 775. What persons, places and things are usually occasions of sin?

A.
1. The persons who are occasions of sin are all those in whose company we sin, whether they be bad of themselves or bad only while in our company, in which case we also become occasions of sin for them;
2. The places are usually liquor saloons, low theaters, indecent dances, entertainments, amusements, exhibitions, and all immoral resorts of any kind, whether we sin in them or not;
3. The things are all bad books, indecent pictures, songs, jokes and the like, even when they are tolerated by public opinion and found in public places.

—————————————————-

The National Legion of Decency was formed in 1934 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States. The legion published rating lists designed to provide “a moral estimate of current entertainment feature motion pictures” and prepared under the direction of the New York Archdiocesan Council of the Legion of Decency with the cooperation of the Motion Picture Department of the International Federation of Catholic Alumnae. Films were rated as unobjectionable (Class A), objectionable (Class B), or condemned (Class C). Reasons for deeming a film objectionable include suggestive dialogue, lack of moral compensation, lustful kissing, and acceptance of divorce. The organization changed names twice—in the mid-1960s and in the early 1970s—and today is known as the U.S. Catholic Conference.

The National Legion of Decency collection spans the years 1941-1951 and encompasses 0.4 linear foot. The collection contains National Legion of Decency rating lists from December 1941 through July 1947, nine annual rating booklets from 1937 to 1946, and classification lists from September 1948 to July 1951. There is no other material on the organization. (The Los Angeles Archival Center of the Archdiocese contains some records relating to the legion and its activities from the mid-1930s through the mid-1960s. Material is available by appointment at the Archival Center, located at the San Fernando Mission in Mission Hills, California.)

Collected by the Library, 1941-1951.

Some films condemned by the League:

Greta Garbo’s last film, initially condemned for its “immoral and un-Christian attitude toward marriage and its obligations; impudently suggestive scenes, dialogue, and situations; [and] suggestive costumes”. Within a month Metro Goldwyn Mayer made changes sufficient for the Legion to revise its rating to B.

Unfortunately as some leaders in the Church became more and more lax concerning sin, film ratings concerning what is sinful and what isn’t is (to put it literally) MESSED UP. Considering the USCCB has a pretty good standing when it comes to Moral Issues, it is not GREAT. Therefore it is no longer prudent to completely trust their judgement when it comes to moral issues. Though they are STILL our superiors we must respect them and pray for them!

Moving on; modern day Catholic Film reviews are not as they used to be, as with pretty much everything else, for the past 50-60 years. (Lack of sense of sin, No cross/suffering necessary for salvation, Secular/modernist ideas, catechesis) So, finding a truly worthy review that will not lead you to watch a potentially sinful film is nearly impossible.

After sort of decrying the “Zeus stuff”, and typical movie-buff complaints, the writer at the USCCB decent films” ended his film review on the newest superhero movie; “Wonder Woman” with:

“In the end, what sells me on Wonder Woman, despite its issues, is Wonder Woman herself. Movies like Man of Steel and The Lone Ranger misunderstand and besmirch their iconic heroes. This movie understands and reveres its protagonist. That’s worth a lot, especially today.”

After writing the “parents guide” of sorts:

CAVEAT SPECTATOR

Much stylized action violence and some battlefield violence; polytheistic religious themes; sexually themed dialogue and humor, brief non-explicit male nudity and an off-screen nonmarital sexual encounter; limited profanity and some cursing.

.. They then rated the movie 3 out of 4 stars ARTISTIC/ENTERTAINMENT VALUE, +2 / -2 MORAL/SPIRITUAL VALUE, and Teens & up for AGE APPROPRIATENESS.

IMDB says this about just the Sex & Nudity warnings for parents :

Sex & Nudity

A man is seen emerging from a pool naked, a close frontal shot showing him bare-chested, and a long frontal shot with only his hands covering his privates. The heroine walks in and stares unabashedly and carries on a full conversation until he finally puts on a towel.

A man defines himself as being ‘above average’ in comparison to the general male gender in answer to the heroine’s question as she observes him

A prolonged conversation references sleeping with women outside of marriage, reproductive biology and ‘the pleasures of the flesh’. Gal asks Chris to “sleep” with him (non sexual – as in go to sleep – showing her naivity to slang terms and current culture) Chris awkwardly lays down next to her, both remain fully clothed.

Later in the movie Chris enters Gal’s room at night and they kiss. Scene cuts away showing the light left on. sex may or may not be implied (based on the conversation above)

Wonder Woman’s costume has a short skirt and does not cover up any of her leg.

A man makes a comment “I don’t know if I’m aroused or afraid” (After WW beats up another man) meant for humor.

Clearly the drawn lines on what IS and ISN’T sinful have been moved between now and when the Catholic Church first began judging films according to the sinfulness and danger to the souls watching them. Apparently it isn’t about souls or sin anymore, but becoming more “in-tune” with the world.

The SACRED CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH: PERSONA HUMANA : DECLARATION ON CERTAIN QUESTIONS
CONCERNING SEXUAL ETHICS says,

In moral matters man cannot make value judgments according to his personal whim:“In the depths of his conscience, man detects a law which he does not impose on himself, but which holds him to obedience. . . . For man has in his heart a law written by God. To obey it is the very dignity of man; according to it he will be judged.”

” The virtue of chastity, however, is in no way confined solely to avoiding the faults already listed. It is aimed at attaining higher and more positive goals. It is a virtue which concerns the whole personality, as regards both interior and outward behavior.”

When the Legion of Decency first began they had a strict set of rules and regulations that Hollywood had to adhere to in order to have their movies viewed by the public in good light. If there were suggestive scenes or dialogue that was frowned upon in the Catholic Church there would be speculation to the morality of the film and its makers. This was a time where Hollywood not only had to worry about its reception by moviegoers, but also its reception by the church. The idea of censorship appealed to the people who thought that the overall good was more important than individual liberties. The Catholic Church brought its authority to the moviegoing process in attempts to purify it for the greater good of the people who watch film. They harshly critiqued film and its morality. A priest from Buffalo, New York, went so far as to give a sermon regarding the film industry by spelling out the word “movies” with new meanings attached, “M – means moral menace, O – obscenity, V – vulgarity, I – immorality, E – exposure, S – sex.”

With the introduction of sound in film, there was worry within the church that this would bring more subjective material to audiences. “Sound unlocked a vast amount of dramatic material which for the first time could be effectively presented on the screen.” This code was meant to “amplify and add to those principles in the light of responsible opinion, so that all engaged in the making of sound pictures might have a commonly understandable and commonly acceptable guide in the maintenance of social and community values in pictures.” In 1930 there was a production code (also known as the Hays Code) written that all movie producers had to follow in order to avoid conflict.

The Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America created a section of general principles that mostly fell in the realm of moral standards, correct standards of life, and standards of human law not be violated whatsoever. Movies were stated as to be for entertainment use, and were frowned upon when extending beyond that definition. After the general principles were stated there were subsections of more specific rules that covered topics of murder, sex, vulgar language, profanity in dialogue, what the actors wore, how they danced, how they practiced religion in film, even the titles that were used for the film. Because the movies were seen as speaking to the morality of the viewer, the church believed that they needed to reflect that morality and not question it or lead them to sin.

The Legion distributed a list of ratings for films in order to provide “a moral estimate of current entertainment feature motion pictures”. The Legion was often more conservative in its views on films than the Motion Picture Association of America’s Production Code. Films were rated according to the following schema:

A: Morally unobjectionable
B: Morally objectionable in part
C: Condemned by the Legion of Decency
The A rating was subsequently divided:

A-I: Suitable for all audiences
A-II: Suitable for adults; later — after the introduction of A-III — suitable for adults and adolescents
A-III: Suitable for adults only
A-IV: For adults with reservations
In 1978, the B and C ratings were combined into a new O rating for “morally offensive” films.

The Legion of Decency blacklisted many films for morally offensive content. “The condemnation came in the form of a ‘C’ rating.” Practicing Catholics were directed to refrain from viewing such films. More explicitly, they were directed to “remain away from all motion pictures except those which do not offend decency and Christian morality.”Officially, the terminology for a Legion of Decency blacklisted film was a C-rating, which stood for “condemned”. The general breakdown of their rating system goes as follows: “A-I, general approval; A-II, approved for adults; B, unsatisfactory in part, neither recommended nor condemned; and C, condemned”.

 TODAY, this is what the “strict rules” have been watered down to (check out the language and terms they use) :

About the Decent Films ratings:
Movie ratings are reductive. A movie can’t be reduced to a number, nor can a response to a film. (A critic I know once griped in a tepid two-star review that “four yawns” would have been more appropriate, and that other films he had given a zero-star rating really deserve “four bombs.”)

A positive rating can’t tell you if a movie is entertaining, thought-provoking, funny, inspiring, exciting, challenging, surprising, insightful, witty or poetic. A negative rating can’t tell you whether it’s boring, pointless, crude, clumsy, confusing, obvious, exploitative, ugly, etc. That’s what language is for.

Ideally, a rating offers an index of the critic’s opinion as discussed and explained in the review. For readers familiar with a critic’s work, a B or three-star rating puts the film in a certain context relative to other B or three-star films.

Every movie review at Decent Films includes a letter grade prominently displayed near the movie title. (Essays don’t have letter grades.) This letter grade is a recommendability rating, and can be understood this way:

A = highly recommended
B = recommended
C = your call
D = not recommended
F = strongly non-recommended
Any of these ratings (except F) can be nuanced with pluses or minuses: C+ isn’t quite a recommendation, but it’s leaning positive; A- is highly recommended, but with qualifications or caveats.

The “grade” metaphor isn’t meant to suggest an objective judgment on a film’s achievement or quality; it’s just an index of whether or not I recommend the film, and how strongly.

Of course, that raises the question: What makes a film recommendable or nonrecommendable? I offer two supplemental ratings meant to clarify and amplify on the recommendability rating, to break down why a film is or isn’t recommendable along two basic axes:

Artistic/entertainment value
Moral/spiritual value
Artistic–entertainment value essentially goes to how well made a film is, how well it works or achieves its effect. The stars can be read this way:

= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
= Bomb (obviously)
Here, too, there are half stars between the full star ratings.

How well a film works, of course, depends in part on what sort of film it is, what it’s trying to accomplish. The merits of a top-notch character drama are different from those of a top-notch action film or thriller. Likewise, the defects of a lousy romantic comedy are different from those of a lousy biography or documentary. Any film can only be evaluated by the standards appropriate to the sort of film it is.

As essential as artistic-entertainment value is, how worthwhile a film is also depends on moral and spiritual factors. Here I write specifically as a Catholic Christian, though my intention is to write in a way that is accessible and worthwhile for interested readers of other faiths, or of none.

Moral–spiritual value can be positive or negative — or both. My moral–spiritual scale goes from +4 to -4; the sense of it is something like this:

+4 = deeply inspiring or edifying
+2 = positive or wholesome
0 = basically harmless
-2 = problematic or negative
-4 = deeply objectionable or offensive
The rating allows for the inclusion of both positive and negative moral-spiritual factors, e.g., +2 / -1. Rather than reduce every film to a single moral character, this system is meant to acknowledge that many films are mixtures of both praiseworthy and problematic elements.

Finally, there is a rating for age appropriateness:

Kids & up
Teens & up
Adults
Any of these ratings may be modified by an asterisk (*), indicating “discernment required.” Profoundly objectionable films (-4) are not assigned an age rating.

At the end of the day, what matters is not the numbers, but the thinking behind them — and for that matter above and beyond them.”

That last line though… ha!

The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting Film Classifications repeats more thoroughly their views concerning the media they “sift through” : “Instead of merely keeping tabs on the levels of sex, violence, and coarse language in a film, the USCCB Office of Film and Broadcasting ‘evaluates films for artistic merit and moral suitability’ “

Whatever the reason for this watering down is, Catholic’s are in serious trouble if they continue to let their morals more and more loose. Because when your soul is concerned, it won’t matter whether or not the film “had some good points”.

We are all called to be pure in heart, mind, and body, and one good way to be able to remain pure and an good Child of God is to avoid all sinful movies/tv shows. How is it that all of a sudden, issues that were so sinful that Catholic’s were warned to stay away for fear of their souls… are now told to either “think about it” / “your call”. Or just watch it anyway?

 Pope Pius XI clearly exhorts the Clergy to take seriously the film industry and its potential to ruin souls, and to NOT BE WEARY when fighting such evil!

“It is equally the duty of the Bishops of the entire Catholic world to unite in vigilance over this universal and potent form of entertainment and instruction, to the end that they may be able to place a ban on bad motion pictures because they are an offence to the moral and religious sentiments and because they are in opposition to the Christian spirit and to its ethical principles. There must be no weariness in combating whatever contributes to the lessening of the people’s sense of decency and of honour.” 

“Vigilanti Cura” Encyclical promulgated on June 29, 1936.

This is an obligation which binds not only the Bishops but also the faithful and all decent men who are solicitous for the decorum amd moral health of the family, of the nation, and of human society in general.

A really great way to be able to sift through the masses of immoral filth are Parents Guide websites. Although they may have a less strict moral sense, they usually warn the viewer of any sexuality/and so on that the film may contain. Also, pray the rosary, go to mass frequently, read good Catholic books.

See also: “8 Smart Tools To Avoid Immorality on the Media”