In an interview posted 12-31-14, Fr. Niklaus Pfluger (Bishop Fellay’s First Assistant) says it is merely our “tradition” (with a small “t”) that women wear dresses/skirts, not pants. He asserts that the “tradition” is the opposite in (pagan) India. Fr. Pfluger says we should expand our horizons and should see that different countries have different “traditions” which are “precious and justified”, even when they are opposites. Here are Fr. Pfluger’s words:
it is tempting to confuse the true dimension of Tradition with traditions, that is to say, with the way they behaved in the last two centuries in matters of Church and religion. Travel at low cost, globalism and multiculturalism, as many elements of opening and expanding horizons. Traditions can be so different, precious and justified, without falling under the natural law. What is considered normal here is considered unthinkable elsewhere and vice versa. I returned from India a few weeks ago and I immediately think of the "Dhoti", the traditional dress of men and of the "Sari" for women; in simple terms, men wear the dress and women, the pants.
Quoted from interview to an SSPX magazine in Germany, Der Gerade Weg. http://dergeradeweg.com/2014/12/31/glaubige-eiferer-vs-eifrige-glaubige/ English translation: http://www.cathinfo.com/catholic.php/Father-Pfluger-Interview
This is the new SSPX: softening moral standards and making them relative to local pagan culture (Hindu, in the case of India). Likewise, it follows from Fr. Pfluger’s statements that the more deeply Western countries are immersed in neo-pagan “traditions” such as women wearing trousers, the more justified Catholic women are here in following along.
That is not the counter-cultural way that Catholic Tradition used to talk! Here is the SSPX’s Angelus Magazine, publishing what the Dominican Sisters taught on modesty in 1992:
There are degrees of sin, of mortal sin, of every kind of sin. But let me tell you now, that we are not allowed to commit any sin! Not even the smallest sin! A sin is a sin. A mortal sin is a moral sin. But the importance of the sin is different according to several things: 1) the seriousness of the matter, the conscience we have of the seriousness of the matter, 3) the importance of the person offended. …etc.
In itself, a sin against the spirit will always be more serious than a sin against the flesh because the spirit is above the flesh…a sin against the spirit is a revolt of our mind against God’s thought, and it is the worst kind of sin. So you are not at all allowed to wear mini skirts because wearing pants is worse!
Angelus, November 1992, p.29, ellipses in original.
Here are the Sisters of the Society of St. Pius X, in their modesty pamphlet entitled The Marylike Standards of Modesty in Dress:
What about pants?
God made men and women different; He gave them their own roles to play in the divine plan. Pants are appropriate apparel for a man’s nature and figure; whereas dresses and skirts are fitting attire for a woman, since they help her maintain her identity and dignity. On the other hand, when a woman wears men’s clothing, the respect due to her God-given nature is lowered.
Girls, dress like true women and daughters of the Virgin Mary. Be courageous enough to get rid of all your pants and shorts. Show that you are proud to be what God has made you! This is your glory before Him and before others.
Here is the SSPX as late as 2013:
For the ladies, to dress like a man (such as wearing pants) is improper and contradicts a woman’s God-given femininity. That this is not merely an “old fuddy duddy’s” quibble, should be evident when we realize that the proponents of unisex clothing have also been the same “gender theory” people behind the promotion of sins against nature.
It is interesting to note that the “Lion of Campos”, Bishop de Castro Mayer, once famously remarked in a pastoral letter that he would prefer a woman to wear a mini-skirt rather than pants. For while the mini-skirt was immodest, it was at least feminine, while pants contradicted a woman’s nature (thus the former attacked the senses, while the latter warped the intellect).
Therefore, so-called “woman’s pants” (usually worn out of pleasure or commodity) are not the proper garb of a Catholic (or Marian-like) girl or lady, either in the parish, domestic or social life.
We don’t quote from Bishop Richard Williamson’s well-known 1991-92 condemnations of the practice of women wearing trousers, although those condemnations serve as one part of the explanation why he does not “fit in” with the SSPX’s new direction.
The point of this article is to mark the on-going slippage in the SSPX. Thus, we leave aside many other well-known 20th Century Catholic condemnations of the practice of women wearing trousers, such as Cardinal Siri’s 5-page condemnation on June 12, 1960 and Padre Pio’s many condemnations of this practice.
Lastly, Fr. Pfluger appears to be uninformed about a sari being trousers. But regardless of what a sari is, Fr. Pfluger uses the sari to promote the idea that it depends on local “culture” whether a woman should wear trousers.