Mantilla/Veil


#1

It has been brought to my attention that we were never to stop wearing head coverings, even after Vatican II. I am aware that the cultural impression of women’s hair does not have the same relevance as it did at the time St. Paul wrote on this. However, it says what it says?!?!
Any knowledge or backup info either way on this matter of faith??
Thanks in advance.
Peace


#2

[quote=Monicathree]It has been brought to my attention that we were never to stop wearing head coverings, even after Vatican II. I am aware that the cultural impression of women’s hair does not have the same relevance as it did at the time St. Paul wrote on this. However, it says what it says?!?!
Any knowledge or backup info either way on this matter of faith??
Thanks in advance.
Peace
[/quote]

Who ever brought that to you attention were mistaken. There is no longer any canonical obligation for women to wear a head-covering. You are certainly free to do so as a matter of personal devotion and not judge those who don’t.

ewtn.com/expert/answers/head_coverings_in_church.htm


#3

Headcoverings were dropped in the 1970 Missal and the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

When the 1983 Code was published, one of the earliest rules states that it supersedes all previous versions of Code and laws:

Can. 6 §1 When this Code comes into force, the following are abrogated:
1° the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1917;
2° other laws, whether universal or particular, which are contrary to the provisions of this Code, unless it is otherwise expressly provided in respect of particular laws;
3° all penal laws enacted by the Apostolic See, whether universal or particular, unless they are resumed in this Code itself;
4° any other universal disciplinary laws concerning matters which are integrally reordered by this Code.

Thus, although the Code of 1917 did have a rule that women should cover their heads to receive Communion, that law was explicitly removed in the 1983 version.

I do not know if Vatican II documents or other encylicals explicitly addressed the reasoning behind dropping the requirement. But the current official Church documents do not require them.


#4

[quote=metal1633]Who ever brought that to you attention were mistaken. There is no longer any canonical obligation for women to wear a head-covering. You are certainly free to do so as a matter of personal devotion and not judge those who don’t.

ewtn.com/expert/answers/head_coverings_in_church.htm
[/quote]

To be fair to MonicaThree, she asked a good question, and her question does not suggest she was “judging” anyone for not wearing a mantilla.


#5

I am confused…:confused:

**THE VEIL
Derived from a book in progress called: "The Unveiled Woman"
by Jackie Freppon

During the second Vatican Council, a mob of reporters waited for news after a council meeting. One of them asked Msgr. Annibale Bugnini, then secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, if women still had to wear a headcover in churches. His response was that the Bishops were considering other issues, and that women’s veils were not on the agenda. The next day, the International Press announced throughout the world that women did not have to wear the veil anymore. A few days later, Msgr. Bugnini told the press he was misquoted and women still had to wear the veil. But the Press did not retract the error, and many women stopped wearing the veil out of confusion and because of pressure from feminist groups.

Before the revision in 1983, Canon law had stated that women must cover their heads “. . . especially when they approach the holy table” (Can 1262.2). But in order to reduce such a growing collection of books, the new version of Canon law was subjected to concise changes. In the process, mention of headcoverings was omitted. In 1970, Pope Paul VI promulgated the Roman Missal, ignoring mention of women’s veils. But at the time the Missal was published, it didn’t seem necessary to keep mandatory such an obvious and universal practice, even if it no longer had a “normative” value (Interinsigniores, #4). And mention in Canon law or the Roman Missal is not necessary to the continuation of the tradition, for it is rooted in Scripture and has been practised ever since the early Church. Indeed, Pope John Paul II affirmed that the real sources of Canon law are the Sacred Tradition, especially as reflected in the ecumenical councils, and Sacred Scripture (O.S.V. Catholic Encyclopedia, p. 169).

SCRIPTURE
Sacred Scripture presents several reasons for wearing the veil. St. Paul tells us in his first letter to the Corinthians (11:1-16) that we must cover our heads because it is Sacred Tradition commanded by our Lord Himself and entrusted to Paul: “The things I am writing to you are the Lord’s commandments” (1 Cor. 14:37).

**


#6

continued…

DIVINE HIERARCHY
God has established a heirarchy, in both the natural and religious spheres, in which the female is subject to the male. St. Paul writes in first Corinthians: "But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God (1 Cor. 11-3). And, in the institution of marriage, God gave the husband authority over the wife, but responsibility to her as well. Not only is he the family’s decision-maker, but he is also responsible for the material and spiritual welfare of his wife and children. Man is not in this position to enslave or belittle the wife. As the Bride, (the Church), is subject to Jesus, women must wear the veil as a sign that they are subjected to men: “Let wives be subject to their husbands as to the Lord; because a husband is head of the wife, just as Christ is head of the Church.” (Eph. 5, 22-23). The man represents Jesus, therefore he should not cover his head. However, this subjection is not derogatory to women, because in God’s kingdom everyone is subjected to a higher authority: “For as the woman is from the man, so also is the man through the woman, but all things are from God.” (1 Cor. 11, 12). Furthermore, the symbolism of the veil takes that which is invisible, the order established by God, and makes it visible. In the history of the Church, priestly vestments have played a similar symbolic role.

WOMEN’S HONOR
It is an honor to wear the veil. But by publicly repudiating it, a woman dishonors her feminine dignity, the sign of female subjection, just as the military officer is dishonored when he is stripped of his decorations. The Roman Pontifical contains the imposing ceremonial of the consecration of the veils: “Receive the sacred veil, that thou mayst be known to have despised the world, and to be truly, humbly, and with all thy heart subject to Christ as his bride; and may he defend thee from all evil, and bring thee to life eternal” (Pontificale Romanum; de benedictione). St. Paul says an unveiled woman is a dishonor: “But every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncoverd disgraces her head, for it is the same as if she were shaven” (1 Cor. 11, 5).

BECAUSE OF THE ANGELS
"That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels" wrote St. Paul in 1 Cor. 11, 10. The invisible heirarchy should be respected because the Angels are present at Christian liturgical assemblies, offering with us the Holy Sacrifice with the honor due to God. St. John the Apostle wrote: “And another angel came and stood before the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense that he might offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which is before the throne.” (Rev. 8:3, see also Matt. 18:10). They are offended by a lack of reverence at Mass, just as they abhorred King Herod’s acceptance of adoration from the people of Jerusalem: “But immediately an angel of the Lord struck (Herod) down, because he had not given honor to God, and he was eaten by worms, and died.” (Acts, 12:23).

ANCIENT TRADITION
The custom of wearing the veil was maintained in the primitive Churches of God. (1 Cor. 11:16). We see this in the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians. The women of Corinth, beset by modern sensibilities, started coming to church without their heads covered. When St. Paul heard of their neglect, he wrote and urged them to keep the veil. According to St. Jerome’s commentary Bible, he finally settled the matter by saying the head covering was a custom of the primitive communities of Judea, “the Churches of God” (1 Thess. 2-14, 2 Thess. 1-4), which had received this Tradition from early times (2 Thess., 2:15. 3:6).


#7

lastly…

GOD’S COMMAND
Even today some people erroneously believe that St. Paul based the tradition on his personal opinion. They think he did not intend it to be continued in the Universal Church, but only as a local custom. This argument, however, does not conform to the Pauline spirit. After all, it was Paul who stood before Peter to change Jewish traditions in Christian Churches (Gal. 2:11-21). St. Paul reminds them: “for I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it; but I received it by a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:12), referring to the authority of his ministry, and veracity of his words. Pope Linus, who succeeded St. Peter, enforced also the same tradition of women covering their heads in the church (The Primitive Church, TAN). Our Lord warns us to obey His commandments: “He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:19).

CONCLUSION
In summary, the reasons that St. Paul advises women to cover their head in the church are:

Our Lord commanded it;
It is a visible sign of an invisible order established by God;
The Angels at Mass are offended if women don’t use it;
It is a ceremonial vestment;
It is our heritage.
Christian women around the world have other reasons to wear a hat, mantilla, rebozo, gele, scarf, shawl or veil. Some wear it out of respect to God; others to obey the Pope’s request, or to continue family traditions. But the most important reason of all is because Our Lord said: “if you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). We should always be ready with our bridal veils, waiting for Him and the promised wedding (Apoc. 22:17), following the example of our Blessed Mother, Mary, who never appeared before the eyes of men but properly veiled. To those who still think that the veil is an obsolete custom, remember that: “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today, yes, and forever” (Heb. 13:8).


#8

Spatulate:

Don’t give any credence to the ramblings of a radical traditionalist who, in his own fallible way of interpreting Scripture, obviously cannot differentiate between traditions and Tradition.

Paul also says that men must not cover their heads. If Paul’s prohibitions were divinely absolute, then the Church would be forbidden from allowing priests to wear birettas, bishops to wear mitres, monks (especially Eastern) from wearing their head coverings in church, etc.

Paul also says women are not to have short hair. Again, if this were an absolute, then it would be a sin for women today to have their hair cut short. It would also be wrong for the Church to insist that nuns keep their hair short so they can wear their veils.

It’s simply ludicrous.

Stick with Catholicism, not the closet-Protestantism posing as it.


#9

[quote=DominvsVobiscvm]Don’t give any credence to the ramblings of a radical traditionalist who, in his own fallible way of interpreting Scripture, obviously cannot differentiate between traditions and Tradition.
[/quote]

I thank you for your input…I have felt confused about this issue, and I needed another viewpoint. I guess it comes down to wearing one if you want, but there is no ‘regulation’ requiring it.

In any case, I think, for me, having so many small children makes it harder to wear the full mantilla cause they want to pull it off! Perhaps the dinnerplate size!? Also I am not (yet) comfortable with the attention drawn to myself when I wear the mantilla.

Again, thank you!
Ann Marie, aka Spatulate


#10

I still don’t understand why the mantilla is given precedence over other headcoverings… :confused: :confused: . I don’t particularlly care for it and highly doubt I would ever wear one.

I’m more of a hat person. I wear a small dark one that I don’t think is distracting in the least. Why is that treated as though its some kind of ‘lesser’ option?

dream wanderer


#11

[quote=dream wanderer]I still don’t understand why the mantilla is given precedence over other headcoverings… :confused: :confused: . I don’t particularlly care for it and highly doubt I would ever wear one.

I’m more of a hat person. I wear a small dark one that I don’t think is distracting in the least. Why is that treated as though its some kind of ‘lesser’ option?

dream wanderer
[/quote]

Mantilla, scarf, hat, whatever covering works for you – I think it depends on the cultural context of the wearer. The mantilla, in modern context, screams, “this is a devotion, not a fashion statement!” so it gets attention. As I’ve said in similar threads, I wear all kinds of coverings, with the attitude that, when worn in church, they’re sacramentals, whether they draw attention, or not.
I stopped making sense a couple of sentences ago, but I’ll hit “send” because I don’t know how else to convey feelings and attitude.


#12

I wear a mantilla because:

  1. Our Lady of Fatima requested it, and it’s in the Fatima Modesty Dress Code.
  2. To honor and obey the wishes of the Mother of God.
  3. To imitate the women mourning for Jesus at the foot of the cross, and this is why my manilla is black, rather than white.

Wearing a mantilla reminds me that Mass is a Sacrifice, and it also helps me remember to maintain a solemn attitude, just as if I were at the foot of Jesus’s cross at Calvary.

I wish other women would join me in wearing it, but I don’t chew other women out for not wearing one, since the current Code of Canon law does not require it.


#13

[quote=TheGrowingGrape]I
3. To imitate the women mourning for Jesus at the foot of the cross, and this is why my manilla is black, rather than white.

.
[/quote]

That’s interesting. I don’t think I’ve come across that reason for the black color before. Is that something you learned or did you come up with on your own? Are you wearing black because we know that in the ancient culture it was also the color of mourning…or because in our culture its the color of mourning?

dream wanderer


#14

[quote=TheGrowingGrape]3. To imitate the women mourning for Jesus at the foot of the cross, and this is why my manilla is black, rather than white.
[/quote]

An interesting and pious reason. More traditionally, as I recall, unmarried women wore a white mantilla, whereas married women and widows wore black, or some other color of choice.


#15

So, can you tell me was it ever a matter of doctrine, say infallible doctrine on faith or morals, or is it more of a we don’t have to eat fish on fri. anymore, but we should do some act of penance.

Regardless, I feel moved to wear a mantilla and will no matter what. I would just like to know more about this aspect of the faith.
Thanks for all your replies.

Peace :slight_smile:


#16

[quote=rfk]Headcoverings were dropped in the 1970 Missal and the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

When the 1983 Code was published, one of the earliest rules states that it supersedes all previous versions of Code and laws:

Can. 6 §1 When this Code comes into force, the following are abrogated:
1° the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1917;
2° other laws, whether universal or particular, which are contrary to the provisions of this Code, unless it is otherwise expressly provided in respect of particular laws;
3° all penal laws enacted by the Apostolic See, whether universal or particular, unless they are resumed in this Code itself;
4° any other universal disciplinary laws concerning matters which are integrally reordered by this Code.

Thus, although the Code of 1917 did have a rule that women should cover their heads to receive Communion, that law was explicitly removed in the 1983 version.
[/quote]

This is a non sequitur. Canon 6 §1 says that the 1917 code of canon law and other laws which are contrary to the provisions of the 1983 code are abrogated. There is nothing in the 1983 code which is contrary to the mandate that women must wear veils; it simply passes over the issue. Moreover, the 1983 code, in Canons 24-28, stipulates that customs gain the force of law under certain conditions, all of which the practise of veil wearing fulfills. Thus, the custom of veil-wearing has the force of law, even though the 1917 Code has been abrogated and it is not mentioned in the new.

For a thorough rebuttal to Colin Donovan’s Q & A piece on EWTN, see: catholicintl.com/epologetics/headcovering.asp


#17

[quote=Hananiah]This is a non sequitur. Canon 6 §1 says that the 1917 code of canon law and other laws which are contrary to the provisions of the 1983 code are abrogated. There is nothing in the 1983 code which is contrary to the mandate that women must wear veils; it simply passes over the issue. Moreover, the 1983 code, in Canons 24-28, stipulates that customs gain the force of law under certain conditions, all of which the practise of veil wearing fulfills. Thus, the custom of veil-wearing has the force of law, even though the 1917 Code has been abrogated and it is not mentioned in the new.

For a thorough rebuttal to Colin Donovan’s Q & A piece on EWTN, see: catholicintl.com/epologetics/headcovering.asp
[/quote]

This is not true. I have been reseaching this for a while not, with my own questions/concerns.

The 1983 Code did not say the the 1917 and other laws which are contrary to the 1983 are aborgated. It says that the 1917 Code is aborgated; also, other universal or particular laws that are contrary. It never said “the 1917 Code is abrogated only when it is contrary,” or “when it is contrary to the 1983 Code, the 1917 is abrogated”. It said “When this Code takes force, the following are abrogated: the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1917”. It did not say “The parts that are contrary to the 1983 are thus abrogated”. It said “THE Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1917”. The fact that the 1917 Code was abrogated does not ride on your other point that “other universal or particular laws contrary to…” are abrogated. These are two separate points. Please re-read Canon 6.

Canon 20 (which I have seen as a defense to the “Wearing Veils is a Requirement” mentality): “A later law abrogates, or derogates from, an earlier law if it states so expressly, is directly contrary to it, or completely reorders that entire matter of the earlier law. A universal law, however, in no way derogates from a particular or special law unless the law expressly provides otherwise”.

I would think that the 1983 Code’s promulgation is completely reordering the matter of the earlier law. What would be the point of the 1983 Code if we were to also follow the 1917?


#18

[quote=Monicathree]So, can you tell me was it ever a matter of doctrine, say infallible doctrine on faith or morals, or is it more of a we don’t have to eat fish on fri. anymore, but we should do some act of penance.
[/quote]

Your second case (“eat fish on fir.”) is commonly referred to as a discipline as contrasted to a matter of dogma or doctrine.

The headcovering requirement was a tradition and a discipline, but never “infallible doctrine on faith or morals”. If it was infallible, they couldn’t have changed it.


#19

Thanks :smiley:


#20

[quote=cassman]This is not true. I have been reseaching this for a while not, with my own questions/concerns.

The 1983 Code did not say the the 1917 and other laws which are contrary to the 1983 are aborgated. It says that the 1917 Code is aborgated; also, other universal or particular laws that are contrary. It never said “the 1917 Code is abrogated only when it is contrary,” or “when it is contrary to the 1983 Code, the 1917 is abrogated”. It said “When this Code takes force, the following are abrogated: the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1917”. It did not say “The parts that are contrary to the 1983 are thus abrogated”. It said “THE Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1917”. The fact that the 1917 Code was abrogated does not ride on your other point that “other universal or particular laws contrary to…” are abrogated. These are two separate points. Please re-read Canon 6.
[/quote]

You obviously misunderstood what I said. The 1917 code of canon law is abrogated in its entirety, along with all other laws outside of the 1917 code which are contrary to the 1983 code. That is what I meant when I said the 1917 code and other laws which are contrary to the 1983 are aborgated. I never claimed that the abrogation applies only to certain parts of the 1917 code.

That women are still required to wear veils is not derived from the defunct 1917 code but from the provisions of the 1983 code which stipulate that under certain conditions customs can gain the force of law. I strongly urge you to read the link which I provided above.


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