Tourists entering St Peter's Basilica have long been required to dress modestly, but from early this week the Swiss Guards – the Pope's private army – appeared to have extended the rules to the entire Vatican City State. They drew aside men in shorts (no surprise there) and women with uncovered shoulders and short skirts to tell them that they were not dressed properly.

Some of the female visitors bought shawls and scarves from nearby hawkers, while a few men had to wander off to the nearest shops to buy long trousers. Others were refused entry altogether, and accused the authorities of double standards.

"Given all the scandals the Church has been involved in, what possible right can it have to be preaching about the morality of sleeveless dresses?" said one woman in her seventies, identified only as Maria.

The tough dress code also applied to Romans using the Vatican's pharmacy, supermarket and post office.


GOD HATES KNEES — 9 Comments

  1. The Vatican has become BEYOND parody at this point…

    wv, “hollygo”…lightly: cover those shoulders, and drop the hem!”

  2. Did the Swiss Guards confiscate all the pairs of shorts?? … Last seen being taken away in a big bundle towards a mysterious hiding place by a strapping lad in uniform with an officious expression.

  3. This will prepare us all for the dress code of Heaven.

    Voice of God: Hagger! No one needs to see that!

  4. Back in the summer of 1976 myself and two friends went to see St Peters. I wore long trousers. My two companions in shorts were issued with yellow ponchos by the attendants since the Pope had deemed legs “unsightly”. As he rustled around the interior of the Basilica one of my friends commented, “I feel a damn sight more unsightly in this sweaty plastic wrapping!” On going into the basement to see the tomb of St Peter and the popes we found we were given the bum’s rush out of a back door where the two ponchos were taken off by a couple of bouncers. To get to the Vatican Museums was a mile-long trek around the walls instead of the short route through the church.

  5. *Sighs*
    I’ll admit, I’m firmly of the opinion that spandex, like certain other fashion ‘statements’, are a privilege, not a right. That said, turning away holiday goers when it’s 30C outside because they’re not wearing a three-piece sackcloth suit is, well….*sighs again*

    I’m still having trouble with the title of the post. Knees, like giraffes and ostriches, were put here to emphasize the true diversity of the wondrous creation of the Almighty and how we should embrace the beauty which He has wrought in this world.

    Or, alternately, they prove that the Almighty has a sense of humour.

    Your choice.

  6. Are uncovered shoulders and short skirts allowed in English cathedrals?

    Yes. And in any church I end up being in charge of it will be compulsory – both sexes.