Women must cover their heads?

This is an off-shoot from another thread in the Traditional forum…

The assertion was made there that women should still cover their heads in Church. I am certain this has been brought up before in these Forums, but I’d like to use this thread to expand on some of the ideas about the Church’s ability to change disciplinary items.

I realize that the 1917 Code of Canon Law required head coverings, but the revised Code no longer requires that. While this is the law that all Catholics must at least respect (those favoring the OF and those favoring the EF of Holy Mass), I’ve been challenged that it is inconsistent with St. Paul’s words about women covering their heads. Thoughts?

Because God gives women a glorious head covering of her own. We are not born with garments of any sort, coverings are man made, but they serve a purpose to keep us warm.

Muslims veil for the shame of man. Christian women don’t need to do that because Christ removes their shame and men can look on a woman and by conscience control their thoughts and desires. In God’s presence man and woman can be as God intended them to be because they will both be focused on Him. God loves us as He made us.

**

God bless

Debates on veils etc can get firey. In my op women should wear a veil or mantilla or whatever. Some Corinthian women weren’t wearing head coverings, maybe they didn’t feel it fit in with the society at the time, but Paul was insistent.

The wearing of a veil has been custom/tradtion ever since then. The Church has never ever said women no longer need to wear veils, they still do, she chooses not to enfroce it however. That the new Code is silent is a non argument, for it is silent on Freemasonary too. Also the new Code admits it barely touches on liturgical law.

Canon 2 For the most part the Code does not determine the rites to be observed in the celebration of liturgical actions. Accordingly, liturgical laws, which have been in effect, hitherto retain their force, except those, which may be contrary to the Canons of the Code.

Now while the new Code replaces the old Code, this means that no one can base legal or canonical decisions on the 1917 code any longer, for it has no legal force. The fact that veil-wearing became part of canon law does not mean that it is dependent on canon law for its existence or practice.

Canon 10 Only those laws are to be considered invalidating or incapacitating which expressly prescribe that an act is null or that a person is incapable. **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 says that if there is doubt one should not presume an old law is no more noting that later laws are to be related to earlier ones and harmonized with them. Canon 27 adds that Custom is the best interpreter of laws.

Canon 24 §2 A custom… cannot acquire the force of law unless it is reasonable; a custom which is expressly reprobated in the law is not reasonable. Canon 26 …Only a centennial or immemorial custom can prevail over a canonical law which carries a clause forbidding future customs.

Customs, such as veiling, can aquire the force of law. A custom, such as veiling, can prevail over law

Canon 28 Without prejudice to the provisions of Canon 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.

No express mention is made of veils so being an immemorial custom, veils are not revoked.

No it is not currently a requirement. The Church no longer requires this.

Here is a good summary from the chief apologist of Catholic Answers…Jimmy Akin

jimmyakin.typepad.com/defensor_fidei/2006/08/mantillas_chape.html

and

jimmyakin.typepad.com/defensor_fidei/2006/09/chapel_veils_re.html

I enjoy Jimmy’s writing! However he claims the requirement was abolished in the 1983 Code. The code does no such thing.

He then quotes Inter Insigniores (1976) from the CDF which is actually about female ordination not veils. They are mentioned in passing in 1 sentence using words like “probably,” and noting the opinions of unnamed “exegetes.”

In our modern world such veils may no longer have a normative value, nor seem that important when compared to the issue of female ordination, but no official document, from the Church, explicitly rescinds the wearing of the veil or making it optional.

I will go with Jimmy’s explainition and that of Canon Lawyers…and of the Church per se.

No requirement.

ewtnamigomisionero.com/vexperts/showmessage.asp?number=557171&Pg=Forum4&Pgnu=1&recnu=25

Also From the Pres. of theology at EWTN a detailed description:

ewtn.com/expert/answers/head_coverings_in_church.htm

Another writer I like. Silence in the new Code on veils does not mean the law is abrogated, same with Freemasonry. As the Code clarifies, if a law is not expressley given the boot we cannot say its gone.

“canon 6, 1, abrogated it, along with **every other canon **of the 1917 Code not intentionally incorporated into the new legislation.” he says.

The bold bit is not substantiated.

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.

Sorry gang, now I’m thoroughly confused. Some say it wasn’t done away with in the new Code, therefore it is still in place (and I see the logic in that view, based on the introductory remarks of the new Code). Yet on the other hand, Jimmy Akin has a few good points.

Someone above said that it’s still the rule, even though it’s not enforced. Heck, doesn’t the Vatican have women readers for Mass at St. Peter’s who do not wear head coverings? So which is it?

Perhaps we can say that since it is a disciplinary matter, the lack of enforcement basically equates to it NOT being required. This would be different if it were something related to faith and morals.

This has honestly been done to death. Did you do a search of the forum for the zillion threads on this topic? Trust me, they are there.

~Liza

I for one would not mind if some women would cover up a bit more for Mass than they do other than their hair. There was one woman who came up to Communion with a miniskirt and mid-drift bearing tank top that said “Its All About Me!” on it. I nearly dropped my ciboria. And some men come dressed even less fitting, the entire truth be told.

Yes, Liza, I know that. Thanks! But this was an offshoot from another thread and I was pursuing a specific angle of the discussion.

EWTN

Head Coverings in Church


Canon Law

The 1917 Code of Canon Law. canon 1262, stated,

  1. It is desirable that, consistent with ancient discipline, women be separated from men in church.
  1. Men, in a church or outside a church, while they are assisting at sacred rites, shall be bare-headed, unless the approved mores of the people or peculiar circumstances of things determine otherwise; women, however, shall have a covered head and be modestly dressed, especially when they approach the table of the Lord.

When the 1983 Code of Canon Law was promulgated this canon was not re-issued; indeed, canon 6, 1, abrogated it, along with every other canon of the 1917 Code not intentionally incorporated into the new legislation.

Canon 6

  1. When this Code goes into effect, the following are abrogated:
    (1) the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1917;
    (2) other universal or particular laws contrary to the prescriptions of this Code, unless particular laws are otherwise expressly provided for;
    (3) any universal or particular penal laws whatsoever issued by the Apostolic See, unless they are contained in this Code;
    (4) other universal disciplinary laws dealing with a matter which is regulated ex integro by this Code.

Thus, there is no longer any canonical obligation for women to wear a head-covering, much less the more specific veil.

If you go with what Paul wrote, women shouldn’t cover their heads either. Paul wrote about a custom that was prevelant in his time. It no longer ,and hasn’t been for 50 years, that women wear hats. Wearing hats has morphed into veils. Someone once said on this forum that veils were once controversal because they showed the woman’s hair. If you want to fine, if you don’t that is fine too. It does seem prideful to me the exact opposite in intent.

So based on Adrift’s comments, Canto’s post above (#3) is not correct, right? (I’m not trying to find fault with anyone; I simply want to know what the Church teaches about veils.)

Where in Canon Law (1983) are veils abrogated? Nowhere does it expressly so state.

Canon 20 A later law abrogates or derogates from an earlier law, if it expressly so states…

Canon 26 …Only a centennial or immemorial custom can prevail over a canonical law…

Don’t Eastern Catholics still veil and prior to ‘1983’ didn’t Latin Rite Catholics veil too?

St Paul says: 1 Cor 11:5 But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven. 10 Therefore ought the woman to have a power (St. Irenaeus reads veil) over her head, because of the angels. 14:37 If any seem to be a prophet or spiritual, let him know the things that I write to you, that they are the commandments of the Lord.

Centuries later St Augustine said “It is not becoming even in married women to uncover their hair, since the apostle commands the women to keep their heads covered…. For she is instructed for this very reason to cover her head” (St. Augustine, On the Trinity, Book XII, Chapter 7, verse 9)

And cenuturies later Cardinal Bugnini (isn’t he the one who is wrongly accused of protestantising the Mass?): “A Vatican official says there has been no change, as reported, in the Roman Catholic rule that women cover their head in church. The Rev. Annibale Bugnini, secretary of the New Congregation for Divine Worship, said the reports stemmed from a misunderstanding of a statement he made at a news conference in May. ‘The rule has not been changed,’ he said. ‘It is a matter of general discipline.’” (The Atlanta Journal, June 21, 1969, entitled, “Women Required to Cover Head, Vatican Insists”)

For your first point, Adrift posted that it was expressly stated in Canon 6.1.1 (click here for the actual text).

For your second point, read Canons 23 through 28. While a custom can become a law, it is not an automatic thing.

For your third point, I politely say so what? The OP was in the realm of the Latin Rite (sorry I didn’t make that clear) and the fact that Latin Rite Catholics did such before 1983 is irrelevant to the question. The discussion is about the current teaching of the Church regarding this disciplinary matter. And the Church has the authority to change such a disciplinary matter. I just didn’t know where the teaching would have been stated in writing.

When and where has such a discipline been changed?

Can. 6 §1. When this Code takes force, the following are abrogated:
1/ the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1917;

While legal or canonical decisions are no longer based on the 1917 code, Canon 6 does not mean that laws in the old Canon not stated in the new are now defunct for “A later law abrogates or derogates from an earlier law, if it expressly so states…” (Canon 20)

An example would be “Those who join a Masonic sect …incur ipso facto an excommunication…” (Canon 2335 - 1917 Code)

Can we agree on this: If one is in favor of head coverings, he or she cannot appeal to the 1917 Code of Canon Law as the sole evidence that coverings are still required.

And regarding the Masons, that too cannot look to the 1917 Code. However, joining the Masons would lead to definite problems for other reasons outside of any stated canon.

If the law on head coverings hasn’t been abrogated than it is still in force. What else would one need to appeal to if it hasn’t been abrogated. It is an immemorial custon. The fact that some women stopped wearing them recently (even before 1983 - thus in breach of Canon Law) doesn’t change that.

But the law that you keep appealing to is a Canon Law from 1917! And that was abrogated by the current 6.1.1, was it not? So please find other current rules that might support your case.

My point is that they were not abrogated. While legal or canonical decisions are no longer based on the 1917 code, Canon 6 does not mean that laws in the old Canon not stated in the new are now defunct for “A later law abrogates or derogates from an earlier law, if it expressly so states…” (Canon 20)

If they have not been abrogated in the 1983 Code - what else would one point to to show that they have been abrogated (not to doge your question)?

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