Veiling

I posed this question on a website called ask-a-franciscan…this was the answer I got. I felt it a little condescending. The Bible is so explicit. And Paul meant for these women to acually do this. And it was Tradition for so long. How can the Catholic Church allow women to disgrace themselves in the presence of God. And what do you think about what this priest had to say?

Question:
why does the catholic church no longer enforce headcoverings in church when the bible so explicitly teaches it. It seems like thechurch is allowing women to dishonor themselves in the sight of God. Christy Wyrick Answer:
Hello, Christy, If you insist on following every statement in the bible literally, you will find yourself with all kinds of problems. I heard of man who plucked out his eyeballs because he found himself looking at bad photos. Some people pick up snakes because the bible says they won’t harm you. Fortunately, even most literal minded people don’t go to that extent…but strictly speaking “that’s what the bible says, so do it. It’s the word of God.” Fr.Jim

[quote=thewyricks]I posed this question on a website called ask-a-franciscan…this was the answer I got. I felt it a little condescending. The Bible is so explicit. And Paul meant for these women to acually do this. And it was Tradition for so long. How can the Catholic Church allow women to disgrace themselves in the presence of God. And what do you think about what this priest had to say?

I don’t find the answer so condescending. But actually, the answer has nothing to do with the bible.

Paul as a leader of the Church said what he said. I’m not disputing that and I’m not disagreeing with it either. I personally liked the head coverings. The leaders of our Church have the authority to change “disciplines” not doctrines. Head coverings were a discipline just like abstinence and fasting. The leaders of the Church could reinstitute it at any time.

As a personal opinion, I think that the “law” of a woman covering ones head is indicitive of the time that the letters of Paul were written and the expectation of society at the time. Society no longer holds the view that a woman is disrespecting herself if she does not cover her head. That view, I believe is only still held by Muslims and that woman are still considered property and no other man may lay eyes on anothers man’s property (?) I could be way off base.

Nonetheless, the Church leaders deemed it’s importance was no longer necessary and did away with it. God gave the Church the power to do so, so I accept it.
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Anyone who feels that veils are for oppressing women or to keep them submissive is wrong please read…

For 2,000 years, Catholic women have veiled themselves before entering a church or any time they are in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament (e.g., during sick calls). It was written into the 1917 Code of Canon Law, Canon 1262, that women must cover their heads – “especially when they approach the holy table” (“mulieres autem, capite cooperto et modeste vestitae, maxime cum ad mensam Dominicam accedunt”) – but during the Second Vatican Council, Bugnini (the same Freemason who designed the Novus Ordo Mass) was asked by journalists if women would still have to cover their heads. His reply, perhaps innocently enough, was that the issue was not being discussed. The journalists (as journalists are wont to do with Church teaching) took his answer as a “no,” and printed their misinformation in newspapers all over the world. Since then, most Catholic women in the “Novus Ordo world” have lost the tradition.

After so many years of women repudiating the veil, the Vatican (as the post-conciliar Vatican is wont to do), not wanting to be confrontational or upset the feminists, simply pretended the issue didn’t exist. When the 1983 Code of Canon Law was produced, veiling was simply not mentioned (not abrogated, mind you, but simply not mentioned). However, Canons 20-21 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law make clear that later Canon Law abrogates earlier Canon Law only in certain outlined situations and that, in cases of doubt, the revocation of earlier law is not to be presumed; quite the opposite: Canon 20 A later law abrogates or derogates from an earlier law, if it expressly so states, or if it is directly contrary to that law, or if it integrally reorders the whole subject matter of the earlier law. A universal law, however, does not derogate from a particular or from a special law, unless the law expressly provides otherwise.

Canon 21 In doubt, the revocation of a previous law is *not *presumed; rather, later laws are to be related to earlier ones and, as far as possible, harmonized with them.

Canons 27 and 28 add to the argument: Canon 27 Custom is the best interpreter of laws.

Canon 28 Without prejudice to the provisions of can. 5, a custom, whether contrary to or apart from the law, is revoked by a contrary custom or law. But unless the law makes express mention of them, it does not revoke centennial or immemorial customs, nor does a universal law revoke particular customs.

Hence, according to Canon Law and immemorial custom, women are still to veil themselves.

Veiling is a very serious matter, and not one that “just” concerns Canon Law, but also two millennia of Church Tradition – which extends back to Old Testament tradition and to New Testament admonitions. St. Paul wrote.1 Corinthians 11:1-17:

Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that in all things you are mindful of me and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you. But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ: and the head of the woman is the man: and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered disgraceth his head. But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven. For if a woman be not covered, let her be shorn. But if it be a shame to a woman to be shorn or made bald, let her cover her head. The man indeed ought not to cover his head: because he is the image and glory of God. But the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man [c.f. Genesis 2-3]. For the man was not created for the woman: but the woman for the man. Therefore ought the woman to have a power over her head, because of the angels. But yet neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, so also is the man by the woman: but all things of God. You yourselves judge. Doth it become a woman to pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you that a man indeed, if he nourish his hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman nourish her hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor the Church of God *. Now this I ordain: not praising you, that you come together, not for the better, but for the worse. *

According to St. Paul, we women veil ourselves as a sign that His glory, not ours, should be the focus at worship, and as a sign of our submission to authority. It is an outward sign of our recognizing headship, both of God and our husbands (or fathers, as the case may be), and a sign of our respecting the presence of the Holy Angels at the Divine Liturgy. In veiling, we reflect the divine invisible order and make it visible. This St. Paul presents clearly as an ordinance, one that is the practice of all the churches.

Some women, influenced by the thoughts of “Christian” feminists, believe that St. Paul was speaking as a man of his time, and that this ordinance no longer applies. They use the same arguments that homosexualists make in trying to prove their case. In this quote, homosexualist Rollan McCleary, who believes that Jesus was “gay,” tries to show that Paul’s admonitions against homosexuality were culturally conditioned: In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul writes about “men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due” (Romans 1:27).

Asked about these texts, McCleary said references in the Scriptures to homosexuality were misunderstood or taken out of context.

“In those days they didn’t have kind of concept of homosexuality as an identity such as we have it,” he argued. “It has much more to do with other factors in society … homosexuality was associated with idolatrous practices.”

In the case of Paul’s writings, he continued, “does everybody agree with St. Paul on slavery [or] on women wearing hats? There is such a thing as historical context.”

Of course we Catholics agree with St. Paul on slavery (St. Paul wasn’t talking about chattel slavery, by the way), and on veiling, and on everything else! Please! But the liberal above makes a point: if Christians want to reject veiling, why not reject the other things St. Paul has to say? The traditional Catholic woman has the snappy comeback to the defiant homosexualist: “we *do *veil ourselves and don’t disagree with St. Paul!” But what leg do the uncovered women have to stand on? And what other Scriptural admonitions can they disregard on a whim – or because of following the bad example of a generation of foolish or misled Catholic women who disregarded them?

Now, I ask my readers to re-read the Biblical passage about veiling and note well that St. Paul was *never *intimidated about breaking unnecessary taboos. It was he who emphasized over and over again that circumcision and the entire Mosaic Law were not necessary – and this as he was speaking to Hebrew Christians! No, the tradition and ordinance of veiling is not a matter of Paul being influenced by his culture; it is a symbol that is as relevant as the priest’s cassock and the nun’s habit.

Note, too, that Paul is in no way being “misogynist” here. He assures us that, while woman is made for the glory of the man even as man is made for the glory of God, “yet neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is *of *the man, so also is the man by the woman: but all things of God.” Men need women, women need men. But we have different roles, each equal in dignity – and all for the glory of God (and, of course, we are to treat each other absolutely equally in the order of charity!).The veil is a sign of our recognizing these differences in roles.

The veil, too, is a sign of modesty and chastity. In Old Testament times, uncovering a woman’s head was seen as a way to humiliate a woman or to punish adultresses and those women who transgressed the Law (e.g…, Numbers 5:12-18, Isaias 3:16-17, Song of Solomon 5:7). A Hebrew woman wouldn’t have dreamed of entering the Temple (or later, the synagogue) without covering her head. This practice is simply carried on by the Church (as it is also by Orthodox Christians and even by “Orthodox” women of the post-Temple Jewish religion today).

**That which is veiled is Holy **

Note what Paul says, “But if a woman nourish her hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.” We don’t veil ourselves because of some “primordial” sense of femine shame; we are covering *our glory *so that *He *may be glorified instead. We cover ourselves because we are holy – and because feminine beauty is incredibly powerful. If you don’t believe me, consider how the image of “woman” is used to sell everything from shampoo to used cars. We women need to understand the *power *of the feminine and act accordingly by following the rules of modest attire, including the use of the veil.

By surrendering our glory to the headship of our husbands and to God, we surrender to them in the same way that the Blessed Virgin surrendered herself to the Holy Ghost (“Be it done to me according to Thy will!”); the veil is a sign as powerful – and beautiful – as when a man bends on one knee to ask his girl to marry him. (Interestingly, I read on a website once that women surrender their power to men in order to gain a man’s love; men surrender their love to women in order to gain power. If you stop and think deeply about this, you’ll see how this is, ultimately, true on a temporal level.)

Now, think of what else was veiled in the Old Testament – the Holy of Holies! Hebrews 9:1-8
The former [Old Covenant] indeed had also justifications of divine service and a sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made the first, wherein were the candlesticks and the table and the setting forth of loaves, which is called the Holy. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies: Having a golden censer and the ark of the testament covered about on every part with gold, in which was a golden pot that had manna and the rod of Aaron that had blossomed and the tables of the testament. And over it were the cherubims of glory overshadowing the propitiatory: of which it is not needful to speak now particularly. Now these things being thus ordered, into the first tabernacle, the priests indeed always entered, accomplishing the offices of sacrifices. But into the second, the high priest alone, once a year: not without blood, which he offereth for his own and the people’s ignorance: The Holy Ghost signifying this: That the way into the Holies was not yet made manifest, whilst the former tabernacle was yet standing.

[quote=thewyricks]I posed this question on a website called ask-a-franciscan…this was the answer I got. I felt it a little condescending. The Bible is so explicit. And Paul meant for these women to acually do this. And it was Tradition for so long. How can the Catholic Church allow women to disgrace themselves in the presence of God. And what do you think about what this priest had to say?

Question:
why does the catholic church no longer enforce headcoverings in church when the bible so explicitly teaches it. It seems like thechurch is allowing women to dishonor themselves in the sight of God. Christy Wyrick Answer:
Hello, Christy, If you insist on following every statement in the bible literally, you will find yourself with all kinds of problems. I heard of man who plucked out his eyeballs because he found himself looking at bad photos. Some people pick up snakes because the bible says they won’t harm you. Fortunately, even most literal minded people don’t go to that extent…but strictly speaking “that’s what the bible says, so do it. It’s the word of God.” Fr.Jim
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I find this answer rather weak. He should have given a reason why it was changed rather than just say that not everything is literal in the bible.

Now I think this is not necisarily true. This passage is related to Christ and t God. This is the relevant area of the text.

1

Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ. 2 Now I praise you, brethren, that in all things you are mindful of me: and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you. 3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered, disgraceth his head. 5 But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered, disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven.

6 For if a woman be not covered, let her be shorn. But if it be a shame to a woman to be shorn or made bald, let her cover her head. 7 The man indeed ought not to cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. 9 For the man was not created for the woman, but the woman for the man. 10 Therefore ought the woman to have a power over her head, because of the angels.

Now, I find the underlined and bolded part to be the important verse for the discussion. The fact that he relates this to Christ and to God makes this more than just a custom of the time. The Church did it for 1950 years, there has to be some reason. I don’t think it can be translated as just a custom of the time since Paul relates it to Christ and God.
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[quote=jimmy]I don’t think it can be translated as just a custom of the time since Paul relates it to Christ and God.
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This is your personal interpretation of Scripture. However, here is what the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith wrote in 1976:

But it must be noted that these ordinances, probably inspired by the customs of the period, concern scarcely more than disciplinary practices of minor importance, such as the obligation imposed upon women to wear a veil on the head (1 Cor 11:2-6); such requirements no longer have a normative value.

Well goodness, I have no problem wearing a veil if we are supposed to. I don’t mean to hijack this thread, but where would a person find these veils? Thank you

Thank you to the person who posted a link to a page on modesty.

[quote=Catholic2003]This is your personal interpretation of Scripture. However, here is what the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith wrote in 1976:
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And I submit to the Church. I never said it was an official interpretation of the Church.

[quote=Shinobu]Well goodness, I have no problem wearing a veil if we are supposed to. I don’t mean to hijack this thread, but where would a person find these veils? Thank you

Thank you to the person who posted a link to a page on modesty.
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You do not have to wear a veil in church. But you can. Its just something that covers the top of the head. I don’t know where to get one.

The Church has declared it is no longer necessary.
We are to honor the authority of the Church.

To accuse women of dishonering God is harsh and judgemental.

There must be better things to worry about.

We are to honor the authority of the Church.

That is true enough. The Church however did not say that women must not wear veils. In this respect, those that would like to continue the tradition of the Fathers have every right to do so.

Mary, the Queen of Heaven, in her approved apparations always wears her veil. Its certainly not because she is trapped in 1st century fashion. She is the perfect model of modesty and she is very pleasing to God. The other female saints also appear in veil.

That is true enough. The Church however did not say that women must not wear veils. In this respect, those that would like to continue the tradition of the Fathers have every right to do so.

Exactly where did you see me claim the Church had forbidden veils?
I am well aware a woman may wear a veil if she wishes.
She also may not wear a veil if she wishes.

This thread started with the accusation that women who do not wear veils are dishonering God.
That is also an accusation at the Church.
Afterall - the Church has allowed it - so the Church is being accused of allowing women to dishoner God.

Preposterous.

I have no problem with the authority of the Church, but I do not like this modern idea that they have that they need to strike down every long standing tradition of the Church. I feel like it is losing all its traditions and is becoming modern in appearance.

You may not like it Jimmy - and you are entitled to your personal opinion.
But the Church has the authority to deal with these issues, and the Church has ruled on this.

Again…I believe it is harsh and judgemental to accuse women of dishonering God when they choose not to wear a veil - especially considering the Church has given them this choice.

[quote=Shinobu]Well goodness, I have no problem wearing a veil if we are supposed to. I don’t mean to hijack this thread, but where would a person find these veils? Thank you

Thank you to the person who posted a link to a page on modesty.
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If you Google search for ‘Mantilla’ you should find a few for sale. I’ve also seen them on eBay…

[quote=Lorarose]You may not like it Jimmy - and you are entitled to your personal opinion.
But the Church has the authority to deal with these issues, and the Church has ruled on this.

Again…I believe it is harsh and judgemental to accuse women of dishonering God when they choose not to wear a veil - especially considering the Church has given them this choice.
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I don’t have a problem with this particular one. I have a problem with there need to get rid of the traditions. It seems like over the last 40 years the Church has changed alot of traditions.

I do not deny the authority of the Church. I just don’t see the need to make all these changes to long standing traditions.

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