Skip to comments.French priests hit out at bikini-wearing visitors
Posted on 09/05/2011 9:34:30 AM PDT by DeaconBenjamin
Churches across France have become overrun by tourists in skimpy beachwear, showing off bare stomachs and wearing baseball caps, according to priests who have spoken out about the drop in standards.
A report in regional newspaper Midi Libre claims that religious leaders have tired of the increasingly disrespectful dress codes of some visitors.
Our church is right by the beach, said Father Martin Gabet of the Notre Dame des Anges de Collioure church, close to the Spanish border. As a result, lots of people come in wearing their swimwear. There have even been people who come in just to change their clothes.
Its the same story in the jetset resort of Saint-Tropez, according to Father Michel Hayes.
Its getting worse and worse, he told the newspaper, commenting that many come in with baseball caps nailed to their heads and then set about having picnics on the pews.
We are in a society where people go unthinkingly from the beach to a museum, from a fast-food restaurant to a cathedral, said Monsignor Bernard Podvin, a spokesman for the bishops association, Conférence des évêques de France.
Nor is Lyon's impressive basilica of Notre Dame de Fourvière, which dominates Frances second-largest city, immune to visitors' sloppy manners and sartorial peccadilloes.
Its rector told the newspaper that some visitors walk in smoking or with their dogs and are happy to show off their bare backs, bare stomachs and even their pierced belly buttons. He added that some wander around as if they were in a train station.
In the north-west town of Rouen, church administrators think they have found a solution. Visitors pass by staff who are able to give remarks and reflections on their attire before they enter into the main part of the cathedral.
It might seem a bit uncivilized, but its proven to be really effective, said Dominique Canu, a cathedral manager.
they ought to get creative, set up some picnic tables and charge a fee
I think there might be some opportunity hidden in here.
While the attire isn’t appropriate for church, God doesn’t care how we arrive. Maybe places set aside for such attire.
God might not care, but you are offending those who view the church as a place of worship.
“many come in with baseball caps nailed to their heads”
makes me recall Vlad the impaler’s solution.
Now there's an idea whose time has come.
Perhaps they could have a rack of robes / jackets / skirts available to cover up those visitors who are not appropriately attired to enter the church. I've read here of some churches in the U.S. which do this.
Maybe God would notice the respect they showed Him if they took the time to consider their wear.
Guess He would also notice that they did NOT consider Him worthy of the time to consider their apparel as they came to worship Him.
Looked nice, too.
Like I said, as there’s a place for “delightfully tacky, yet unrefined”, there’s also a place for beachwear, be it ever so abbreviated. Unless the presiding minister decided to do an impromptu open-air service on the beach, church is probably not it.
At least they are coming into church! This should be seen as a positive—What they do is done out of ignorance—they must be educated—converted and brought to God.
I’m amazed by the number of men who wear their baseball hats into restaurants and sit there eating dinner while still wearing them.
Many of these guys are older so I figure they’re trying to cover their bald pate.
If God wanted us naked, he would not have sent us into the world fully clothed.
He certainly does. Attitudes like yours are the problem.
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury," Galations 5:19
"But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, Mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23
Why don’t they have robes for people to wear?
Just put them in the closet at the back of the church and people can don them before they enter.
If you have ever been to the French beaches along the Med, bottoms are all the women wear and often they come off for the all over tan! If they want to arrive at church that way... fine with me. Bet it increases overall attendance!
Jesus would at least wear a tie. Maybe not a pompadour, but then, he was old school.
Must say though, the minimal clothing rule applied for ages 8 to 80+. Some things would have been better left unseen!
To 2 - Please. I see people who in my opinion are dressed inappropriately in Church all the time. And this is in Virginia, not France.
My pate is getting increasingly bald, but there's no way I'd wear a baseball cap, indoors or out. They're the ugliest damned things ever devised.
Need I say more?
Those priests may be on to something.
In defense of these visitors, it’s worth noting that Catholicism has been thoroughly eradicated from French culture since the 18th Century, to the point where many of these magnificent churches and cathedrals have become little more than museums anyway.
I learned rather quickly in the military, take that hat off inside, even in the mess hall.
I taught my sons to remove their base ball type caps while inside. They'd point out others wearing caps and I'd tell them, that's no excuse for you being uncouth too. I see it all the time and that's just what it is no matter who does it......Uncouth.
The solution is to adopt the same dress code as St. Peter's Basilica.
These are signs everywhere, but it's amazing how many people think these rules don't apply to them.
If you are dressed inappropriately, the ushers WILL NOT let you enter.
If you still insist on coming in, the user will make you buy and wear a pup tent sized paper poncho.
An outside altar might not be bad. Or even go to them-in California and Hawaii, I’ve heard of priests and ministers attend to surfers. Wherever the spirit leads...
To those thinking the beachwear is fine in church, what would your grandmother have said to you if you had said that to her? Seriously.
"Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation." Philippians 2:12 (emphasis added)
Apparently god runs a pretty exclusive club.
His self appointed bouncers sure are choosy. Wonder how they would feel about some bum in a dusty robe and sandals?
Funny how some folks read just so far and stop. I said it wasn’t appropriate but suggested looking for an opportunity to reach out to those inappropriately dressed.
Having been a greeter at my church, I know what you mean. We had a homeless man come in one Sunday, dressed in his only clothes that had been worn for several weeks, and three of the four greeters made what I considered embarrassing efforts to avoid him. He was eventually properly greeted, welcomed to the service, fed, and otherwise helped, but the delayed welcome worried me and still worries me. Now, many years later, he is back on his feet and an active church member and adult outreach leader. God welcomes people as they come, rather than demanding that they be fully ready before setting foot inside the door. [Note: I do not think beach attire is appropriate, but I'd rather have bikini-clad people visiting and then learning what is appropriate, especially if the choice is that or having them turn away because they are not clothed in a more proper manner for church and never finding their way to Jesus.]
I’m afraid I’ll never see again.
I think many of you are missing the point. The beach goers are visiting the church as an attraction, not necessarily to pray, or attend Mass or Confession.
The article also mentions that people are using the church as a changing room and having picnics on the pews.
If a homeless person came to pray, they wouldn’t be refused. However, if a gum-chewing, dog walking, half-naked gawker came in, they should likely be instructed on appropriate attire.
People should be expected to show respect in attire and in their manners.
Many of these guys are older so I figure theyre trying to cover their bald pate.
I'm bald and I never wear a hat. Of course, I look like Vin Diesel's older brother so it works for me.