Veils still binding?

This might’ve been discussed here already but there is this popular article by a Catholic that claims that women are still bound to wear veils in Mass, in any Mass that is…

… if it’s true it’s amazing that the Bishops don’t seem to be aware of it or promoting it and no priests seem to be correcting parishioners who come to church unveiled… I got convinced by the arguments but I don’t want to start promoting this without consulting an expert on canon law or the bishop or so…do canon law experts and bishops agree with this Catholic individual’s opinion on this matter in the US? It’s been read so many times on the site that it must’ve been discussed quite widely…

Yes, there have been several threads on this topic.

The long and short of it is that it was required by the 1917 code of Canon Law. The 1983 version of the Canon Law abrogated the 1917 version in its entirety, thus removing that requirement.

Some try to interpret some clauses about requiring that old laws be specifically repealed to call for an individual repeal, but the Church does not iinterpret it that way, and by abrogating the entire code all parts of it were abrogated. Many “traditionalist” groups outside of communion with the post-conciliar Church tend toward the interpetation you linked to since they do not recongize the 1983 Code.

That being said, it is an admirable practice for those who feel called to it, though it is not required.


Couldn’t have said it better myself, John!:thumbsup:

An interesting question to ask the author, would be if he sits with his family when he goes to Mass. Presumably he does, as do many traditional families. Yet, the same canon that mandates headcoverings for women also states that men and women should sit separately in Mass. So, it’s somewhat odd that these people make a huge case for veils being binding while at the same time ignoring a similar custom in canon law as non-binding. Seems pretty inconsistent to me.

The more logical approach is that veils are no longer required.

Ok thanks that helps. But is there some statement by the Church that the whole 1917 canon law has been abrogated?

Yes there is, in the opening paragraphs of the 1983 canon code.

And it was never veils, which really digs in my craw. The 1917 Code said that women must have their heads covered. So, now you see why I think it is almost a fixation with the lacey aspect of mantillas- which were NOT what St. Paul mentioned.

Can. 6 §1. When this Code takes force, the following are abrogated:

1/ the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1917;

Now, beware that the author of the article you posted as well as other traditionalist authors attempt to make a rather tortured case that veils are an exception because they are a long-standing custom that is provided for in the 1983 Code. Their case seems to me to be fairly weak and, of course, one wonders why they neglect to apply the same logic to the first part of the same 1917 canon that mandates men and women sitting separately in church. It seems they are somewhat selective in their argument for certain customs.

Again, the most reliable way to interpret this is that veils are not required. They are certainly acceptable, but not required.

Beat me to it!

If we take St. Paul at his word, they really should be wearing something like an islamic hijab.

Or a burkah or chador. :eek: And the other thing the traditionalists who try to force the issue of “veiling” as they call it, is that it was a discipline even back in St. Paul’s time, not dogma. That flimsy little piece of lace did not come into practice in the United States until hispanic immigration, and even then, some bishops and priests were worried it was not considred “enough” of a head covering. It was not really popular excepting among hispanics and teenage girls unitl Jackie Kennedy wore them, first to Mass on Sunday as First Lady, then in her Oleg Cassini designer veil and dress for her audience with Blessed John XXIII.

Not true, I have a picture of my grandmother with my great grandmother at my grandmother’s first communion both wore veils. That was in 1910 Boston Massachusetts, long before Jackie Kennedy. All the women in my family either veiled or wore a hat that way back when.
I veil and cover all my hair and it is nothing like a burkah. This is just nonsense.

They’re talking about the difference in the veil NOW and the veil when St. Paul was writing. Saint Paul wasn’t talking about a lace mantilla (probably).

I could swear that some of these posts have been copied and pasted from other threads - I’m SURE I’ve read those before!!! :rolleyes:


Is there any rule against it? If not why do those that don’t cover get so put out with those of us that do?

Before Vatican II, the nuns wore veils to Mass.

Other women wore hats to church, especially on Sunday. There were hat stores.

During the week, things were a bit more casual. And women sometimes wore scarves instead of hats.

I think the key word here is First Communion.

I know that my grandmother had many hats that she wore. In fact, I have one of her hats. Not that I wear it, I look like a dork in a hat.:o

I have never seen even one person on this forum who minds that some women cover their head - whether they attend a NO or TLM.

However, many are put out by the incorrect information circulating by lay “experts” that states that it is still binding for women to cover their heads in church, and the convulted twisting of canon law to support this.

Just on this web site, there are 22 threads in response to the search headcovering required.

No that is why there is a picture of it. They didn’t normally have camera’s at church back then. Both my grandmother and my great grandmother were veiled. The picture is taken after Mass out on the steps. Other but not all women are veiled. Some have hats.
My grandmother crocheted lace and made her and her children veils. I wish I had her skill. She was also Irish so it was not a hispanic thing as some people insist

First Communion is NOT everyday wear. It was traditional insofar as First Communion goes. And you yourself admit to their wearing a hat.

And I did not say you, personally. I do not even know you. I said in St. Paul’s time the veils were the equivalent of chadors, burquas (just found out how to spell properly) and hajib. History and the study of Archeology indicate thus.

Once again- if a woman chooses to cover her head, however she chooses to cover her head, when she is in church, at Mass, before the Blessed Sacrament, praying, or for that matter all the time- that is between God and the woman.

It is when other people try to staple a mantilla on my head, when it is not required, that I get upset.

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