I would like to suggest the reason why I believe there may be a discrepancy between the way saints in previous times enforced the norms of modesty, and why the Catechism of the Catholic Church does not seem to promote those standards, at least not explicitly. This is a follow-up on my previous post, and especially on the comments which were pretty heated.
The catechism states “the forms taken by modesty vary from one culture to another.” By extension, I would say also that these forms can also vary with time. Even the solutions provided by the saints vary, though clearly they are all very strict, at least the ones presented in the comments from my last post on this subject. But if St. Pio required eight inches below the knee for skirts, this is more than twice as strict, so to speak, as what was indicated by Pius XII. This tells me that the solutions are pastoral. In effect they are contingent applications of an unchanging principle. Such contingent applications do, in fact, depend on many things, not excluding the person doing the enforcing. What St. Pio might successfully accomplish by his strictness in an area of Southern Italy prior to or preserved from the sexual revolution, is different from what I might successfully accomplish now in secular England. Continue reading