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Q. 1. What is the Catholic Church position regarding those who practice nudism or those who go to nudist camps?
A. First of all, it should be pointed out that nudism opposes one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, that being the fruit of modesty. "The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: 'charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.'" [Gal 5:22-23 (Vulg.)] (C.C.C. # 1832)
Secondly, "Baptism confers on its recipient the grace of purification from all sins. But the baptized must continue to struggle against concupiscence of the flesh and disordered desires. With God's grace he will prevail." (C.C.C. # 2520)
"Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with dignity of persons and their solidarity." (C.C.C. # 2521)
"Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires one's choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet." (C.C.C. # 2522)
"There is a modesty of the feelings as well as of the body. It protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human body in certain advertisements, or against the solicitations of certain media that go too far in the exhibition of intimate things. Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies." (C.C.C. # 2523)
"The forms taken by modesty vary from one culture to another. Everywhere, however, modesty exists as an intuition of the spiritual dignity proper to man. It is born with the awakening consciousness of being a subject. Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person." (C.C.C. # 2524)
Q. 2. What about the Holy Bible? Does it state anywhere that one should not practice nudism because he should cover his body?Return to Table of Contents
A. 2. In the Book of Genesis, we read, "And the Lord God made garments of skin for the man and for his wife, and clothed them." [Gen. 3:21]
If God had approved of nudism, would He have clothed Adam and Eve after they sinned? Certainly not! Knowing the weakness of the human nature towards the sins of the flesh, God implemented in the days of our first parents the practice of modesty as a necessity for spiritual growth. By His actions, the clothing of our first parents, God was not telling them to run around naked, but rather, to clothe themselves. By God's actions, it is understood that He expects us to clothe ourselves and not to practice nudism, such opposing the fruit of the Holy Spirit, that being modesty and self-respect.