Catholicism and Naturism – What does the Catholic Church Believe?

Issues Pertaining to Catholicism and Nudism:
Current thinking within the Roman Catholic Church opposes the practice of naturism or naturism, as some professionals prefer to call it, seeing the practice in conflict with one of the essential values of Catholicism, modesty. The Church traces this value back to a series of twelve desirable character traits recorded in the biblical Book of Galatians.
Modesty is viewed as a kind of self respect and respect for others with naturism an immediate contradiction to these values. The need for clothes also can be traced back to the biblical creation myth wherein God clothed Adam and Eve, the progenitors of humankind in this tradition, after they obtained knowledge of good and evil through disobedience. The underlying principle here is is considered evil.
Historically, Catholic toleration for nudity of any kind has grown and waned. During the Renaissance Age, best remembered for the works of artists like Michelangelo, works of art and statuary depicting drew criticism from the Church hierarchy. In particular, the nudity depicted in the Sistine Chapel drew condemnation from Pope Adrian VI and other highly placed members of the clergy.
The Pope wanted to see the pictures stripped entirely; yet, just several images were altered in later years to hide naked pictures in accordance with the official amount, associated with the Council of Trent in 1563, condemning the use of nudity in religious artwork.
Nowadays, the Sistine Chapel is one of the most visited and revered areas open to public viewing via the Vatican Museums. The artistic nudity depicted here is not a point of major controversy. The museum, including the chapel, have become a source of revenue and positive public relations for the Church.
In the early twentieth century, some small scale reversal was found in policies toward nudity, including permission from the Abbe of a catholic college in France who supported naked sunbathing near Marseilles 1907. This example did not signify a change in , but rather an exception to the general rule within the spiritual sphere.
Even as naturism increased in popularity in society as a whole during this interval, the movement was mostly independent from the of religion, particularly traditional Catholicism.
Portrait of Adam & Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder
In 1935, based on Time magazine, in address just prior to Lent, Pope Pius XI declared particular disapprobation of nudism as a form of paganism in addition to equating the practice with blasphemy. At exactly the same time in US, the state legislature of New York made it illegal to reveal private parts in public, thus outlawing naturism. The law received widespread opposition from people, particularly humanists; nevertheless, the National Catholic Welfare Conference voiced their support of the anti-nudism provision. This organization as such no longer exists.
Again returning to modern day, the official stance by the Church is that nudism is base. Nonetheless, nudists who are practicing Catholics continue to exist as well as participate in naturist groups online where they self-disclose their religious affiliation. Fundamentally, Catholics continue to practice nudism and adopt nudity even without support or effective tolerance from their religious organization or its hierarchy. A lively debate exists online over the issue with no hint of resolution in sight. The Church frequently voices its objections to festivals and events involving nudism, even in European countries along with in the US.

Clip from National Geographic’s show “Taboo: Nudity,” featuring an organization of Catholic naturists who worship in the nude.
Catholicism and Nudism By FKK was published by – Young Naturists and Young Nudists America FKK
Tags: christianity, the bible
Classification: Naturism and Naturism, Faith and Nudity, Social Nudity Websites
About the Writer (Author Profile)
Jordan Blum is a lifelong nudie and co-founder of Naturist Portal.