A former On-Camera-Meteorologist for The Weather Channel, model, actress and Miss Michigan National Teen-Ager, Colleen Hammond lived the American Dream and found it to be a nightmare. While working in television, she reverted to the Catholic Faith. The moment their first baby was born, Colleen "saw the light" and abandoned her highly successful career in television to become a stay-at-home-mother, now living with her husband and their four children in North Texas.
In 2004, Mrs. Colleen Hammond wrote a book entitled "Dressing with Dignity", which became an instant best-seller. This ground-breaking book challenges today’s fashions and provides the information you need to protect yourself and your loved ones from the onslaught of tasteless, immodest clothing.
We publish here excerpts from Chapter Four of this book, "Designs against Modesty and Catholic Response", which talks about the forces behind the 20th-century revolution in women’s fashions:
Written by a woman, Colleen Hammond
When you look around at society today, you can’t help but notice the disintegration in morals and values. And we know things don’t just happen by accident, so it would not be reasonable to think that clothing styles went down the tube this far and this fast just by chance.
Most of us have heard that Satan’s biggest deception is convincing people that he doesn’t exist. He has been extremely busy, especially since the 1800’s, working behind the scenes to oppose all that is beautiful, sacred and holy. One of the human groups he has used for this opposition has been Freemasonry (also known simply as Masonry).
Those involved in the Illuminati (a secret society within the Masonic lodges) were taught bitter anti-Catholicism. The Encyclopedia became the bible of the Enlightenment, Freemasonry provided the rituals and hierarchy, with the Catholic Church being the enemy.
In 1738, Pope Clement XII issued his papal bull In Eminenti, condemning Freemasonry and giving many reasons, including Freemasonry’s "oaths of secrecy and of fidelity to Masonry." He severely forbade Catholics to join Masonic societies, threatening an excommunication against those who would even "favor" these societies.
In 1825, Pope Leo XII lamented the fact that governments had not paid attention to papal decrees against Masonry, and that thus Masonry had spawned even more dangerous sects.
Pope Pius VIII wrote about the Masons in his Encyclical Traditi (1829): "Their law is untruth, their god is the devil, and their cult is turpitude."
Pope Gregory XVI wrote in Mirari Vas (1832): "Evil comes out of secret societies, bottomless abyss of misery, which those conspiring societies have dug and in which heresies and sects have, as may be said, vomited as in a privy all they hold of licentiousness, sacrilege and blasphemy."
"St. Padre Pio refused women access to the confessional if their dresses were too short. On the door of the church was this message: 'By Padre Pio’s explicit wish, women must enter the confessional wearing skirts at least 8 inches below the knee. It is forbidden to borrow longer dresses in church and to wear them for the Confessional.' "
"Cardinal Siri, of Genoa, Italy, wrote a letter in 1960 called "Notification Concerning Men’s Dress Worn by Women." He expressed concern that by wearing trousers, women were imitating and competing with men. His concern was that this would bring about in women the mental attitudes of a man, and would modify a woman’s gestures, attitudes and behaviour."
Later, in Humanum Genus (1884), Pope Leo XIII would state that some Freemasons "have plainly determined and proposed that, artfully and of set purpose, the multitude should be satiated with a boundless license of vice, as when this had been done, it would easily come under their power and authority for any acts of daring."
In fact, the Catholic Church has been so adamant in its stand against Freemasonry that Canon 1374 of the ((so called) new Code of Canon Law (1983) stipulates: "One who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; one who promotes or moderates such an association, however, is to be punished with an interdict." The Vatican then reaffirmed that "The faithful who belong to Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion."
But let’s get back to the early 1800’s.
The "Illuminated Masons" were very outspoken in their desire to destroy the Catholic Church. Their goal was to destroy Christianity, but they admitted that it couldn’t be ruined from the outside. They had to make a two-pronged attack.
The founder of the Illuminati, Adam Weishaupt, had formulated one part of the strategy late in the 1700’s: "We will infiltrate that place [the Vatican], and once inside, we will never come out. We will bore from within until nothing remains but an empty shell."
The Masons aimed to infiltrate "the sacristies, the seminaries and the monasteries." But it would take time for the Masons to get into Catholic institutions. So they had another plan. It had to do with women.
"In order to destroy Catholicism, it is necessary to commence by suppressing woman... But since we cannot suppress woman, let us corrupt her with the Church..." (Letter of Vindez to Nubius, pen names of two leaders of the Alta Vendita, the highest lodge of the Italian Carbonari, Masonic revolutionaries, Aug. 9, 1838.)
Freemasons apparently understood that women are the moral compasses of society. The serpent knew this and approached Eve. Even Confucius said that woman is the moral root of society, and the culture will only grow in proportion to the moral strength of its women.
Just as the Freemasons wanted to infiltrate the religious orders, they also planned to infiltrate the fashion world. They planned to influence women’s and children’s fashion trends and styles by getting their own people involved in the fashion industry. It was also the Illuminati’s plan to form and control public opinion through the media.
Around this time, St. John Bosco (1815-1888), who lived in Turin, Italy, was also fighting various worldly forces. The Saint received many visions in the form of dreams. The main thread of nearly all those dreams was the importance of maintaining innocence and purity.
The Catholic Church has always taught that all acts of impurity are grave sins — ALL OF THEM! Every impure thought or impure deed is a mortal sin (as long as the person realizes it is a grave matter and does it anyway). The unfortunate reality is that today, these grave sins are sugar-coated and now encouraged as innocent (and even "healthy"!) "fantasizing." Just imagine what St. John Bosco would think if he could flip on a television today or walk into a shopping mall during warm weather!
The beginning of the 20th century was also a time of great change in women’s fashions. In 1910, the Archbishop of Paris led a campaign against women’s immodest fashions. Think about that for a moment! What were women wearing in 1910 that was so bad?
Five years later the Church released a General Pastoral Directive stating that women must be dressed decently at Mass and that the priest may refuse them entrance into the church if they are not dressed properly.
The fact is that in comparison to the modest fashions of just a decade or two prior to this, the new fashions displayed an alarming trend toward immodesty that was — all things considered —simply unacceptable. Viewed from our perspective, one has to wonder whether or not the Popes were privy to the plan of the fashion designers for them to have blown the whistle on the new fashions so early in the game, historically speaking.
Imagine the very conservative styles of that time period-before the flapper craze of the 1920’s that saw short skirts to the knees and sleeveless dresses. Obviously, fashions were already changing drastically-and not for the better.
On May 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima first appeared to three children in Portugal. She would appear on the 13th of the next five months and would later tell one of the children, Blessed Jacinta Marto, that "more souls go to Hell for sins of the flesh than for any other reason." This innocent young child may not have fully realized what "sins of the flesh" meant, but the Baltimore Catechism teaches us that these sins fall under the Sixth and Ninth Commandments.
Our Lady of Fatima also said that certain fashions would be introduced "that will offend Our Lord very much." Jacinta commented later that people who serve God should not follow current fashion trends. Jacinta also said that the Church has no fashions, and that "Our Lord is always the same."
Slacks appeared on the fashion runways of Paris in 1920. The next year, Pope Benedict XV expressed his shock that women would embrace the current fashion trends and styles of dancing. He wrote, "One cannot sufficiently deplore the blindness of so many women of every age and condition; made foolish by desire to please, they do not see to what a degree the indecency of their clothing shocks every honest man, and offends God. Most of them would formerly have blushed for those toilettes [outfits] as for a grave fault against Christian modesty; now it does not suffice for them to exhibit them on the public thoroughfares; they do not fear to cross the threshold of the churches, to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and even to bear the seducing food of shameful passions to the Eucharistic Table where one receives the heavenly Author of purity. And We speak not of those exotic and barbarous dances recently imported into fashionable circles, one more shocking than the other; one cannot imagine anything more suitable for banishing all the remains of modesty." (Encyclical Letter Sacra Propediem, Jan. 6, 1921.)
In the 1920’s, women’s clothing styles were taking a radical and revolutionary new look. For the first time in history, women of refinement were seen wearing sleeves above the elbow and hemlines that crawled up to the knee. Remember that Masonic directive: "First, undress up to the elbow; then up to the knees; then arms and legs completely uncovered; later, the upper part of the chest, the shoulders, etc. etc."
In 1928 Pope Pius XI wrote, "There is a sad forgetfulness of Christian modesty, especially in the life and dress of women." (Encyclical Letter Miserentissimus Redemptor.)
Worldly Catholics and secular society responded by saying that modesty in dress was regulated by "customs and styles of time, place and circumstances." They encouraged women to ignore these statements from the Church. Instead, they said, it was society and culture that should dictate what is modest and appropriate.
But in their publications, Freemasons had revealed their motive and plan. The following quote bears repeating:
"Religion does not fear the dagger’s point; but it can vanish under corruption. Let us not grow tired of corruption: we may use a pretext, such as sport, hygiene, health resorts. It is necessary to corrupt, that our boys and girls practice nudism in dress. To avoid too much reaction, one would have to progress in a methodical manner: first, undress up to the elbow; then up to the knees; then arms and legs completely uncovered; later, the upper part of the chest, the shoulders, etc. etc." (International Review on Freemasonry, 1928.)
If you look at the fashion trends since 1928, you can see that styles have very closely followed this strategy. At that time, garments were already up to the elbows and knees.
The year 1928 was also the beginning of Pope Pius Xl’s Modesty Crusade. It makes one think that he may have known about the plan of Freemasonry. The Modesty Crusade started with a Letter to the Bishops of Italy (August 23, 1928) and was directed primarily at schools run by religious sisters. It spoke against immodest fashions, "which prevail today to the detriment of good breeding..."
Then on January 12, 1930, the Sacred Congregation of the Council (now called the Congregation for the Clergy), by order of Pope Pius XI, issued a Letter to the Bishops that exhorted bishops, priests, nuns, teachers, parents, etc. to insist on modesty in those under their charge. The document concludes with these words:
"Maidens and women dressed immodestly are to be debarred from Holy Communion and from acting as sponsors at the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation; further, if the offense be extreme, they may even be forbidden to enter the church."
Detailed instructions on modesty of dress for women had been issued on September 24, 1928, by the Cardinal-Vicar (Vicar General) of Pope Pius XI in Rome, Basilio Cardinal Pompili:
"We recall that a dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers’ breadth under the pit of the throat, which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows, and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knees. Furthermore, dresses of transparent material are improper."
Pope Pius XII (1939-1958) continued the Modesty Crusade during his pontificate. In an allocution of May 22, 1941 to young Catholic girls during World War II, he urged them not to fall for fashions that had, until then, been worn only by "women of doubtful virtue." His words are a sobering reminder that the Church is ever mindful of the salvation of souls.
"Numbers of believing and pious women. . . in accepting to follow certain bold fashions, break down, by their example, the resistance of many other women to such fashions, which may become for them the cause of spiritual ruin. As long as these provocative styles remain identified with women of doubtful virtue, good women do not dare to follow them; but once these styles have been accepted by women of good reputation, decent women soon follow their example, and are carried along by the tide into possible disaster."
The Canadian bishops followed suit in the Spring of 1946, this time admonishing men to wear shirts in public-even at the beach--and to avoid tight trousers.
That summer, 1946, the first bikini strutted its way down the runways of Paris. Coco Chanel came back onto the fashion scene in 1954 and reintroduced her designs from the 1930’s.
That summer, Pope Pius XII said, "Now many girls do not see anything wrong with following certain shameless styles, like so many sheep. They would surely blush if they could only guess the impression they make and the feelings they arouse in those who see them." (Allocution to Children of Mary Immaculate, July 17, 1954.)
Pope Pius XII cautioned women that, if certain styles were an occasion of sin for others, it was their duty not to wear them. He also warned mothers to make sure their children were dressed modestly. His timeless admonition sounds as though it could have been written today!
"The good of our soul is more important than that of our body; and we have to prefer the spiritual welfare of our neighbour to our bodily comforts... If a certain kind of dress constitutes a grave and proximate occasion of sin, and endangers the salvation of your soul and others, it is your duty to give it up...
"O Christian mothers, if you knew what a future of anxieties and perils, of ill subdued doubts, of hardly suppressed shame you prepare for your sons and daughters, imprudently getting them accustomed to live scantily dressed and making them lose the sense of modesty, you would be ashamed of yourselves and you would dread the harm you are making for yourselves, the harm which you are causing these children, whom Heaven has entrusted to you to be brought up as Christians." (Allocution to the Girls of Catholic Action, May 22, 1941.)
Tragically, some mothers today are enabling their young daughters to dress in "hooker chic." Have parents become desensitized to today’s fashions? Have they been duped by the fashion industry? Manipulated by wanting their children to be "popular"?
Whatever the reason, one commentator gets right to the point:
"The sad fact is that a lot of today’s tween and teen girls dress like streetwalkers... How do so many little girls end up looking like sex objects? How? Because their parents let them...
"Face the facts: Most 12 to 16-year-olds don’t have access to a lot of cash-unless, of course, their parents give it to them... And it’s usually the mom who happily drives the little darlings to the mall for a fun day of shopping. Face it: Little girls dress according to what their mommies allow.
"I thought mothers were supposed to protect their daughters, to teach them to value themselves and their bodies. What chance does a little girl stand of keeping her childhood or innocence intact when it’s mommy that’s driving her to the store and paying for the thongs, the itty-bitty skirts, the hipster jeans and the plunging necklines?
"And when did fathers start letting their precious little girls dress like "ladies of the night"? Hello, is anybody out there?" (Rebecca Hagelin, "America’s little girls… or tramps?" World Net Daily, Mar. 4, 2005.)
Do parents realize that "ladies of the night" wouldn’t wear on street corners in the 1950’s what some girls wear to the mall these days?
So let’s get back to the 1950’s.
Pope Pius XII recognized that women are the moral fiber of society, and he knew that the culture would implode if modesty were not put into practice. "Society reveals what it is by the clothes it wears," Pius XII said on August 29, 1954. "... An unworthy, indecent mode of dress has prevailed" without any distinction of place, "on beaches, in country resorts, on the streets, etc. Vice necessarily follows upon public nudity..."
The Pope wasn’t the only one who had something to say about fashion’s downward spiral. Everyday clothing was using less and less material, and going to the beach was a relatively new pastime that was gaining in popularity. In 1959, Cardinal PIay Daniel, Archbishop of Toledo, Spain, stated,
"A special danger to morals is represented by public bathing at beaches. . . Mixed bathing between men and women, which is nearly always a proximate occasion of sin and a scandal, must be avoided."
The Cardinal was simply echoing and reinforcing what the Roman Emperors knew two thousand years ago: mixed swimming leads to promiscuity. That’s a long way from where our culture is today, isn’t it!
Cardinal Siri, of Genoa, Italy, wrote a letter in 1960 called "Notification Concerning Men’s Dress Worn by Women." He expressed concern that by wearing trousers, women were imitating and competing with men. His concern was that this would bring about in women the mental attitudes of a man, and would modify a woman’s gestures, attitudes and behaviour.
Every woman I know acknowledges that when she’s wearing a dress, she moves and acts differently from when she is wearing pants.
St. Padre Pio refused women access to the confessional if their dresses were too short. On the door of the church was this message:
"By Padre Pio’s explicit wish, women must enter the confessional wearing skirts at least 8 inches below the knee. It is forbidden to borrow longer dresses in church and to wear them for the Confessional."
As one author commented, while fashion designers had skirts climbing to more than eight inches above the knee, Padre Pio warned women to keep their skirts eight inches below the knee.
More recently, the (so called) Catechism of the Catholic Church had a number of things to say about modesty in dress and behaviour. These passages are the most pertinent:
"Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate centre 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 the dignity of persons and their solidarity. (2521). Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. . . . Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing. (2522). Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and prevailing ideologies. (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. (2524)."
We can see that over the years, Holy Mother Church has seen fit to educate and warn the faithful about fashion trends and about the gravity of immodest and undignified behaviour and dress.
We have the evidence that today’s fashions are the result of planning by those whose goal is the total destruction of Christian society. But we have also been advised as to what path to take. It’s up to us to use our free will and decide what to do for our families and ourselves.
See also, http://traditionalcatholicisminnigeria.blogspot.com.ng/2015/09/why-women-are-no-longer-required-to.html
For more information on Colleen Hammond’s book, go to: www.colleenhammond.com/index.html
A first edition was published in 2004 by Valora Media, Inc. (http://valoramedia.com/dignity.html), and a second edition in 2005 by Tan Books and Publishers (https://www.tanbooks.com/index.php)