Those are the rules

Those are the rules

Tourists in Rome this summer are complaining because they can’t wear shorts and tank tops into St. Peter’s Basilica despite the heat. Oh, boo hoo. Look, the basilica isn’t a museum, it’s a place of worship and a certain decorum is expected.

I remember during World Youth Day 2000 when temps were in the 90s and the line to walk through the Jubilee Door was over a mile long, the Vatican relaxed the rules for the first time ever. Even then, although shorts were allowed, they had to be knee-length and bare shoulders were still banned. (Actually knee-length shorts are allowed for women all the time, I believe, as well as dresses of at least the same length.)

During a previous visit I saw a college-age boy and girl—obviously a couple and attached at the hip—wandering through St. Peter’s stop near the Eucharistic chapel and begin making out. A member of the papal household quickly scolded them and ushered them right out the door.

Hey, it’s inconvenient. When I was there in the summer, I brought a pair of hiking pants that converted from shorts to pants via zip-on legs. I knew several young ladies who brought light, silk-type shawls to throw over their shoulders. It’s the least you can do when entering the house of the Lord. How much do you want to bet that a lot of those people aren’t even Catholic? I just want to tell them to have some courtesy when entering someone else’s home.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli

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