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Proper Pilgrimage Attire & Thai Customs


Dress at Chartres
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Dear TIA,

I sent the following e-mail to the editor of The Remnant [in response to Fr. Sretenovic's article]. Thank you for your great site!!

Sincerely,

     D.B.

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Dear Mr. Matt:

I too was sickened by the picture in The Remnant (and even more so by the video) as it pertains to the casual dress of most (adults and children) and pants worn by the women who took part in the Chartres Pilgrimage. It looked like World Youth Day. What a poor example to show the world on PBS.

I find it hypocritical that The Remnant writers write about tradition and then take part in such a travesty. There is much more to tradition than attending the Latin Mass. Can we not understand that we must not conform to the modern world.

I would in no way contribute to a fund appeal to sponsor young people for this pilgrimage knowing what I know now. What in the world is wrong with you people. Isn't there some place we can go and still find and associate with civilized people.

     D.B.
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Love for the Country & Love for God
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Dear TIA,

I read Fr. Paul Sretenovic's article on the Chartres Pilgrimage and I concur 100 percent with him. I don't know why many of us consider it normal for soldiers - for the love of their countries - to dress with dignity and walk with discipline even in the worse times of war, and the Catholic youth full of life and vigor cannot do the same for the love of God.

I am sending you some pictures of soldiers showing how they had to carry a considerable amount of weapons, ammunition and supplies - and yet they still proceed in order and wear their uniforms.

Photographs of Soldiers WWII    

Top left, American soldiers deployed in Europe, WWII; right, Hungarian soldiers in Denmark, WWII; bottom left, General Joffre decorating members of the Morrocan Division, WWI; right, an English squad operating under close fire, WWII

The Chartres Pilgrimage video shows the precise opposite, as seen below: groups of young people of both sexes walking together. We know that even boy scouts and girl scouts avoid hiking together, and they have good reasons for that.

A photograph of the casual pilgrims on the pilgrimage to Chartres

It is also noteworthy the complete lack of order in their march and their shoddy clothes. Not to say that women and men loungeing on the ground in their shorts cannot inspire pure thoughts. In brief, it seems to me there is not much difference between these so-called traditionalists and the youth who attend WYDs. By the way, in the photo you can check out a girl in the group carrying a WYD bag [see red arrow].

Give my encouragement to Fr. Sretenovic to continue orienting us on culture and morals. Thank you.

     In Christ the King,

     E.J.
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Shocking Photo
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TIA,

I took a look at your photo of Benedict giving "Communion" in the hand to children. The girl standing behind the boy is wearing an elaborate off-the-shoulder ball gown, complete with hoop skirt. In no way can such attire be called a Fist Communion dress.

Clearly it is intended to make the child stand out in her finery. Can she possibly have any conception of the True Presence? Thanks be to God that the Novus Ordo wafer she is receiving is NOT the True Body and Blood of Our Lord, but merely a piece of symbolic Protestant bread.

We hear so much about sexual equality these days, so one must ask, why are the girls allowed to dress like fashion plates for their First "Communion" while the boys are all dressed alike, wearing suit and tie? Such displays are a disgrace because obviously the parents of these children also have no conception of the True Presence. Perhaps there should be a standard of First Communion dresses worn by girls, all exactly the same so no child may draw attention to herself. Of course, this will never happen because the designers and manufacturers of such elaborate gowns have a ready-made market for them in little girls and their mothers trying to outdo everyone else.

     C.S.
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Undermining the Catholic Church
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TIA,

I think you should re-publish The Undermining of the Catholic Church by Mary Ball Martínez. The author is deceased, there is no copyright. It was published in Mexico City in the '80s.

If you have not seen this book, which well deserves being in print and distributed by you, please advise and I shall send you a copy.

With best regards

     H.S.P., Mexico

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TIA responds:

H.S.P.,

Thank you for your suggestion. It is indeed a very good book. However, it has already been re-published in English by Omni Press. You may contact it at this address: PO Box 900566, Palmdale, California 93590 (Phone: 661-274-2240)

     Cordially,

     TIA correspondence desk

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Thai Customs & JPII
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TIA,

I stumbled across your website while searching for pictures of Buddhist monks. I found the picture of Pope John Paul II visiting Thailand and giving a gift to a high priest. In the caption it says "During the entire interview, the Buddhist monk did not deign to stand to receive his visitor." The implication is that the visitor was not showing Pope John Paul II the proper respect.

The reality is that in the Thai culture respect is shown by keeping one's head below that of those we are showing respect to. In this case, the monk was showing respect to Pope John Paul II by not standing. Thai's are very conscious of their duty to show respect, but it may not be easily recognized by other cultures.

I lived in Thailand for 5 years and have visited dozens of times since moving away. I have grown to love the Thai culture and hope you are able to correct the caption on this picture. Thank you,

     God Bless

     R.L.

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TIA responds:

R.L.,

We are afraid that your information or interpretation is not accurate. The habitual form of respect in Thailand is the one shown in the first picture below, where the subjects take a half-kneeling, half-sitting position with their bodies leaning toward the floor. You see two high ranking officers approach King Bhumidol and Queen Sirikit as part of this ceremonial.

Thai officers paying traditional homage to the King and Queen of Thailand

The posture of the Buddhist high priest whom John Paul II visited is a religious position of high dignity, and not of respect as you pretended. You may check the picture below in which King Bhumibol is paying homage to a Buddhist monk in similar posture.

A Buddhist monk receiving a gift from the king of Thailand

We hope that next time you will not tailor the Thai customs to fit your points.

     Cordially,

     TIA correspondence desk
Posted August 6, 2009

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The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting -
do not necessarily express those of TIA


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