Sunday, August 05, 2007

Of shorts and men

Todd Aglialoro's piece in Crisis on "The New Catholic Manliness" has been met with many head nods from all about St. Blogs. So why are Catholic men so consistently and abundantly wearing shorts to Mass? Nothing represents the suburbanization heresy, and its invariable devolution into consumerist effeminacy, more than men in shorts at Mass. Today at the noon choir Mass at the Shrine, by my sampling at least 1/3 of the men decided that their Sunday best included showing off their legs. Of course, the declension rule for intergenerational Mass dress thereby gives their sons license to dress like slobs. Some fifty-something chump had it in him to ascend the altar steps and present the offertory gifts in those ubiquitous khaki shorts and white sneakers for our viewing pleasure. I wanted to take the offering basket-on-a-stick to his bare backthighs.

But wait, how superficial of me. Jesus doesn't care about how we dress but how we love our neighbor.... But that's not really the issue, is it? The issue is what kind of man would willingly be caught dead sporting preppie shorts in a sanctuary of the Catholic Church.

That we need our bishops to formally prohibit what is patently offensive dress at Mass is yet another sign of the impotence of our post-V2 catechesis against the culture of adolescence in the Western church. What, do we need another motu proprio?