The Vatican and women's head coverings


Does anyone know if the vatican ever published a document stating that women are not supposed to wear head veils to Church anymore? The reason I ask is because I saw Barbara Bush wearing a head veil during her recent visit to the Pope. And if I remember correctly…so did Princess Diana etc. I know that head veils were not included in the Cathecism but only because they felt that it was not necessary to mention as it has always been a tradition of the Church.

In The Holy Face of Jesus,


The Holy See has never published a document forbidding women from wearing veils to church. Women are free to wear a head covering to church if they so desire. It’s just not required.

The document *Inter Insigniores * by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (October 15, 1976) stated that the 1917 Code of Canon Law (Canon 1262.2) requiring women to wear a veil on their head was a custom of the period, and that such ordinances, “probably inspired by the customs of the period, concern scarcely more than disciplinary practices of minor importance”, thus the “obligation imposed upon women to wear a veil on their head (1 Cor 11:2-16) no longer has a normative value." However, as a sign of respect, women should wear a veil when meeting the pope.

The full text of *Inter Insigniores * is at

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