In May 1946 the Bishops of Quebec issued a joint pastoral titled, “Purity Crusade”, It is very eye opening and scary if we compare their words to what is happening today! They were totally spot on.
In this link is the full chapter on the Purity Crusade, translated into English from the original French.
I highly recommend the reading of this letter in its entirety, but for today, here are some highlights!
1. The Church has always shown her zeal for moral purity. Following Our Supreme Pastor (translators note: the Pope), We ourselves have, on different occasions, either individually or collectively, raised our voices to remind you that public and private morality is a treasure whose violation entails the loss of souls, the disintegration of the family and the decadence of civil society.
2. The separation of families caused by the war, material prosperity brought about by the conflict, the thirst of freedom which followed this period of compulsion and restriction, united with the tendencies of the carnal man to increase in our circles the naturalism of enjoyment and to accentuate the return to pagan customs. The tremendous growth of the vice of impurity is making your pastors worried, more and more worried.
9. It is first in the outfit in general that the sloppiness manifests itself which, too often, alas, leads to impurity. How many people are slaves to these fashions which ignore the elementary rules of modesty and which sometimes constitute a direct provocation to evil.
11. To the negligee (Au déshabillé : undressed) and carelessness of life in the open air is added the deplorable and all too common practice among Christian women, even practicing Christians, of walking about inside their homes in the lightest (plus léger accoutrement: scanty) outfit. How far we are from the delicacies of our Christian mothers of old!
14. What seems to us even more serious, certainly not as a provocation to evil, but rather as a harmful habit that can lead very far, is, in the costume (outfit) of the little girls, the dress too short, the complete nudity of the arms and legs, when it does not go as far as that of the torso. Without knowing it, these poor children often scandalize their little brothers. How can a Christian mother forget that? If these children see some cassock (the traditional priestly vestment) in the street, a sign of the guardian of modesty and morality, they hasten to pull off what remains of their clothing to cover themselves. These little girls will grow old. To be modest, and often to be pure, they will have to go up a whole stream that has carried them this far. Can they really? Poor mothers, you are violating, know it, your grave duties as educators.
15. Immorality therefore uses fashion to corrupt souls; it also uses sport, yet so useful and so necessary for the health of the body. It is a ruse of satan to divert from their end games, pleasures, diversions, amusements whose primary goal is to rest the body by making life in society more pleasant. Satan rejoices in these "games of sport which unfold under conditions of dress, exhibitions and camaraderie irreconcilable with even the least exacting modesty". (7) In fact, so much care is taken to create clothing for sport that undresses or seduces, and, in truth, under the most fallacious pretexts; we take part with so much embarrassment in these parties of pleasures which make young men and young girls companions of life for a day, far from the eyes and the protective glances; camaraderie quickly becomes misplaced familiarity, and, with the help of alcoholic liquors, familiarity turns into shameless companionship. Thus excursions, skiing or chalet parties, skating in all its covered with a legitimate relaxation of the self.
21.Those in charge of theatre, cinema and radio nevertheless have such a beautiful mission to fulfill: "to bring the public back, through the magic of drama and style, to the sources where it must drink", as Pius XII put it (9) "to influence the tastes, education and habits of the people", "to save the public and raise it to God by awakening the beautiful sentiments and the noble passions which sleep or ferment secretly in the heart of man".
26. When evil desire thus penetrates through all the senses, when the sexual lure lies in wait for man at all times and wherever he passes, when life becomes a constant appeal to the pleasure of the senses and to the glorification of flesh, should we be surprised if the sacred duties of marriage are no longer respected, if the laws of nature are thwarted by all sorts of means that are being perfected day by day? Faced with spouses, still very numerous, thank God, who retain a sense of their responsibilities, who understand the sacramental dignity of marriage and the lofty ends of their union, how alas! consider the child as an obstacle to the free and selfish life they dreamed of in their youth, under the influence of cinema, radio and reading material. As a result, too many households have become nearly childless, deliberately. In our province, no one would have the audacity to celebrate the silver jubilee of the American Federation of Birth Control; (12) no, we are not there yet; but criminal practices are in vogue, and we must note the continuous decline in the birth rate, especially in the towns. (13) It is a fact that we record with pain, because it is the Church that is deprived of children that she would like to supernaturalize and lead to God; it is our country that has been taken away from citizens who would normally ensure its strength and prosperity.
27. If at least we didn't try to legitimize this laissez-faire! If we didn't go so far as to find fallacious pretexts for this immodesty! But the world tries to harmonize its principles and its life! It is claimed that modesty is only a matter of taste, left, moreover, to the whim of each individual's will. And satan is happy to put to sleep in this way those whom a wounded nature leads towards the pleasures of the senses and the unhealthy joys of life. To further aggravate the evil, one would have even dared to affirm (14) "that there are no norms of good and evil", that "the idea of good and evil is a myth", that "it distorts the intelligence children than to teach them the principles of what is supposed to be good and evil". to indulge more freely and without hindrance to the pleasure sought by the senses.
32. By prohibiting (défendant) impurity and immorality, the good God does not propose anything other than to help us respect the laws of nature and the order established by him; he wants to help us preserve our Christian dignity and invite us to practice a very beautiful virtue, the virtue of purity. Let us beware of seeing in the divine defenses only a negative aspect. These defenses are at the same time teachings. They aim above all at the natural and supernatural progress of man. Let's look at this positive aspect first.
33. First, the Christian judges that impurity and immorality are hated by God, because they are opposed to his purposes as Creator. He created man composed of a body and a soul. The soul, spiritual and immortal, is superior to the body which is material like the dust of the earth to which it will ultimately have to return. It is therefore the soul which, in the designs of God, must govern the body in all its human operations, since it belongs to the superior to command the inferior. It is the soul or the reason which must regulate and moderate the use of man's powers of action, the use also of the pleasure that God has attached to certain actions, in order to facilitate the fulfillment of his duty (devoir).
34. If man seeks the pleasure of the flesh solely for pleasure, if he diverts from their end operations intended to preserve the human species, he destroys the order established by God, he goes against the will of the Creator who made the man and woman to complete each other, in a permanent and stable union, and which gave them the formal order: "Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it . . ." (15) When man violates the divine orders, it is no longer his reason which leads him, it is his body which becomes master: he leads the soul towards the shallows and pushes it to wallow with him at the level of the animal, when it is not even lower. Man is no longer master of himself; he has made himself the slave of his senses and of his flesh. Consequently, God forbids impurity in order to preserve for man his dignity of being free and reasonable.
37. The salvation of the soul is at this price. “For, know it well, writes the Apostle of the nations, no fornicator, no impure, . . . has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God”. (18) And again, by writing to the Corinthians: "Make no mistake about it: neither the fornicators, nor the idolaters, nor the effeminate, nor the infamous, ... shall possess the kingdom of God. Yet this is what you were, he continues, at least some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God ". (19) The one who despises his redeemed value to idolize his flesh, that one cannot have a share with the Son of God in the inheritance of our Father who is in heaven. How many souls are lost, alas! by impurity! What a powerful weapon in the hands of the devil is the corruption of souls by impure sin! Saint Alphonsus, at the end of his life, declared that more souls were lost by sins of impurity than by all the others put together.
38. The Christian also judges immorality by its disastrous consequences on the family and society. The disorder introduced into man by impurity has its repercussions, indeed, on the family and on society. Slaves to their flesh, selfish, wanting to bring everything back to themselves, the immoral and the immodest no longer have the strength to bring life to the primary cell of society, which is the family. Immoral birth control, marital infidelity, divorce, separations, these are the evils that make the family a dead cell, because we have tried to change it into a place of pleasure.
39. By undermining the family, immorality thereby destroys the foundations of civil society. Our Holy Father the Pope keeps repeating it. "There is nothing more powerful, he told the Bishops of the United States, to destroy families and break the strength of States than the corruption of morals". . . ' 'How, indeed, could a guarantee of the stability of the public good and the glory of civilization be found, when rights are revoked and virtues are despised and ridiculed. But, just as God is the source of law, he is also the inspirer and the reward of virtue: no one equals him among legislators. (20) Such is, according to the testimony of all men of good sense, the bitter and prolific root of evils: the ignorance of the divine Majesty, the forgetting of the moral laws of celestial origin or a detestable inconstancy which swings between the licit and the illicit , between justice and iniquity. From this flow blind and unbridled selfishness, the thirst for pleasure, alcoholism, immodesty, criminality, which is not uncommon even among minors, the thirst for power, carelessness with regard to the poor. , the desire for iniquitous wealth, the desertion of the countryside, the lack of preparation for marriage, the divorces, the disintegration of families, the cooling of the mutual love between parents and children, the limitation of births, the weakening of the race , the weakening of the respect due to authority, servility, rebellion, the abandonment of duties towards the fatherland and humanity". This imposing enumeration, made by the Pope himself, (21) suffices to prove the harm caused to countries by the corruption of morals.
50. In this crusade of purity, the action of the State and of the Church will join the efforts of each one, men and women, young men and young women. No one will want to forget that "the purity of souls, living on supernatural grace, will never be preserved without a fight". Purifying and sanctifying grace, which has reconciled us to God as adopted sons and heirs of heaven, has effaced original sin in our souls; but the inner imbalance, the struggle between flesh and spirit, a consequence of Adam's sin, remains in each of us. The Apostle, "while delighting in the law of God according to the inner man, saw in his members another law of sin: the law of disordered passions and inclinations which never allow themselves to be fully subdued . . ." “Isn't that the experience of all human life?
51. The struggle is therefore inevitable. You will accept it courageously, and to come out of it victorious, you will watch out for occasions of sin, you will avoid them with the grace of God: you will not entertain bad thoughts, you will not warm up any unmentionable desires, you will flee from bad companies, you will refuse to allow your mind to be corrupted by obscene literature and provocative illustrations, you will keep your heart firm and upright in avoiding risky courtships, immoral dances, corrupting cinema, heathen social gatherings, idleness, all vices, and intemperance in the use of intoxicating Doissons. In a word, to practice purity, you will cultivate modesty, which is an instinctive fear of the soul at the first approach of evil; you will cultivate modesty, which is moderation, a sense of moderation, which habitually avoids anything that is of a nature to excite sexual passion in yourselves and in others. Helpfulness and modesty, such are the ornaments and ardiennes of purity
52. To be victorious, you will not fail to pray, especially in the time of temptations. You will like to have recourse to the Most Blessed Virgin, the Immaculate Mother; you will frequently receive the sacraments of penance and Eucharist, with the aim of healing and strengthening you.
55. First of all, we ask the fathers and mothers of families to devote themselves tirelessly, with love and firmness, to their noble work as educators. It is up to you, Christian parents, to form the hearts and minds of your children. increase: various well-deserving associations offer you their help. Do not be afraid to give your children, at the right time and in a way suited to their age, the information they need on the delicate matters of purity. By a simple and serious life, help your children, above all, to form a firm and enlightened will; teach them a healthy use of their freedom.
56. May your examples or your weaknesses never destroy the influence of your word. Banish from your homes all unhealthy literature, all indecent illustrations. Discreetly monitor the frequentations and outings of your elders. Educate your children in the direction of a Christian use of fashion, cinema, radio.
63. We are thinking in ending of the greatness of the combat that is taking place against satan, the world and the flesh, of the resistance that you will encounter, of the clashes that will not fail to occur. But victory cannot be doubtful to the believing heart. It is with confidence that you will fight the fight.
64. Our Lord and his Apostles preached the Gospel in a world of loose morals; with very poor human means which have received their value from the riches of grace, they have purified, restored the family to honor, restored to woman her nobility and her dignity, moralized society.
Our present Collective Pastoral Letter will be read and published in the sermon in all the parish churches and in Chapter in the Religious Communities, the first Sunday after its reception, and the following Sundays. Given at Quebec, at the Cardinal Palace, under Our hands and under the countersignature of the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Quebec, on Good Shepherd Sunday, the fifth day of May, in the year of the Lord one thousand nine hundred and forty-six.
+ J.-M.-Rodrigue Cardinal Villeneuve, o.m.l, Archbishop of Quebec.
+ Alexandre, Archbishop of Ottawa.
+ Joseph, Archbishop of Montreal.
+ Georges, Archbishop of Rimouski.
+ Joseph-Eugène, Bishop of Mont-Laurier.
+ Louis, o.m.l, Bishop of Timmins.
+ Joseph-Alfred, Bishop of Valleyfield.
+ Joseph-Omer, Titular Bishop of Dobero, Auxiliary of Quebec.
+ Joseph-Arthur, Bishop of Joliette.
+ Joseph-Aldée, Bishop of Amos.
+ Anastase, Bishop of Saint-Jean-de-Québec.
+ Philippe, Bishop of Sherbrooke.
+ Napoléon-Alexandre, cj.m., Bishop of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.
+ Albini, Bishop of Nicolet.
+ Arthur, Bishop of Saint-Hyacinthe.
+ Henri, o.m.l, Titular Bishop of Perrhé, Apostolic Vicar of James Bay.
+ Georges, Bishop of Chicoutimi.
+ Titular Bishop of Arena, Auxiliary of
+ Lawrence Patrick, Titular Bishop of Opos, Auxiliary
+ Georges-Léon, Titular Bishop of Ephestus, Auxiliary
+ Charles-Eugène, Titular Bishop of Diana, Auxiliary
+ James, Bishop of Charlottetown.
+ William, Bishop of Pembroke.
+ Lionel, o.m.l, Titular Bishop of Isba, Apostolic Vicar in Labrador.
+ Georges-L., Bishop of Hearst.
+ Maurice, Bishop of Trois-Rivières.
By order of His Eminence
and Their Excellencies.
Bruno Desrochers, Canon,
Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Quebec.