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Discerning Deborah wrote:

Hi, guys —

Right now, in my church group, I see some girls wearing tight pants or immodest clothing. One of the group coordinators has a Facebook page which I follow where she dresses quite immodestly and posts pictures of this dress on her profile. So my question is:

  • Am I obliged to correct them?

I don't have much rapport with them. I only know them from the group and don't talk much with them.

There is a priest that frequents our meetings so he is more qualified to correct them although he may not be likely to do it. All of them are nice Catholics who are trying to grow, so maybe my correction might do them good but I don't know.

Maybe they will think I'm just too strict and, of course, the Church has no set rules for modesty which makes it hard to tell them anything.

Deborah

  { Am I obliged to correct these church gals for posting immodest pants and clothing on Facebook? }

Bob replied:

Hi, Deborah —

This is always a very difficult topic. Ultimately, the pastor needs to set the dress code and he should do it tactfully from the pulpit, explaining why we do it — to show reverence and respect for God. You either need to have a good rapport with the kids or have a context from which to share (i.e. RCIA class). In that kind of a setting, a conversation can be had where the values can be openly discussed . . . even getting the kids to enlist themselves. The trouble is the poor modeling from adults — it can sabotage your efforts.

If you are moved to do so, talk to your priest about it and see if he would be willing to do so.

The Facebook (stuff/rules) are obviously not the purvey of the Church, although the values of modesty are. Still, within a relationship or appropriate context, that conversation should take place.

If you were to approach these kids directly without having won their respect and love it will backfire so work on developing those connections first.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

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