Anyone who has queued to enter St. Peter’s Basilica knows the scene, "c’mon, it’s summer I’m only wearing my bikini because it’s August. It’s not my fault that the heat is unholy…" while a Vatican security guard shakes his head, and directs her to come back when she is wearing more. Or the man who has two pasty legs on display under tight red shorts and says, "in my ‘ome church at ‘ome, I can wear shorts, no matter how short, whenever I want." Eventually woman-in-bikini and man-in-shorts go to buy shawls or these capes. One journo described this as; ‘turning St Peter's Square into a giant open-air changing room’ They gain entry, only to try and discard the shawls and the capes when they are inside St. Peter’s. Gee, is this the only way they get their jollies, flouting modesty conventions when flouncing around the sacred precincts of St. Peter’s?
According to some news reports, as of this summer, the Vatican Swiss Guards appeared to have taken a more stringent attitude to sartorial slackness and starkness. According to ‘liberal’ reporters, the Swiss Guards are extending the rules of modesty throughout Vatican City State. The stricter dress code also applied to tourists using the Vatican pharmacy, supermarket and post office. Some scantily-clad tourists were refused entry all together. Of course, we now have tourists being quoted as saying that the Vatican has ‘no right’ to stop the barely-dressed traipsing around the hallowed halls of St. Peter’s, because of the abuse scandals. As one hack crassly puts it, ‘pervert protectors in glass cathedrals really shouldn't be tossing stones.’ This fallacious reasoning begs the question; if they really believe that the Church consists of ‘pervert potectors’, why are they bothering to visit St. Peter’s?
PS - Other holy places have modesty dress codes. Visitors to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem are instructed to cover their arms and legs, and may take dark-coloured shawls and covers from a basket.