Women Veiling in Church

Women were required to Veil in Church according to Canon Law of 1917. The Canon Law of 1983 does not mention it. Many catholics today assume it has been abrogated simply because it isnt mentioned. Since Veling is likewise Scriptural and Present throughout Divine Tradition can anyone here give me a specific Official Church Document which abrogates Veiling?

The entire code of laws of 1917 was abrogated by the 1983 code. Headcovering after 1917 was a law and not a custom, so it was no longer subject to laws governing custom.

Even in 1976 (before the law was abrogated), the Vatican clarified that such rules "no longer have normative value).

Hope that helps!

I would recommend this analysis by a canon lawyer for a very different perspective:


The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith addressed this clearly in 1976:

“…it must be noted that these ordinances [of Scripture], 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.”

This notes that despite the ordinances of scripture it is no longer required. That pretty much eliminates the St. Louis Catholics’ argument. Sorry, but I’ll take the official statement of a Vatican Congregation over a canonist any day.

I’m intrigued though, wouldn’t his argument mean that the whole of canon 1262 of the 1917 code is in force, not just the part he wants in force???

It has as much value as anything not sacred in it’s own right. It has as much value as say: incense, altar bells, vestments, icons, crosses. The list goes on to indicate anything material.
The fact is, Catholicism is more than Scripture, it is also tradition. All things mentioned above belong to tradition. Tradition should be honored, not simply declared no longer “Cool” and forgotten.

I’ve attached an excellent 5 page pdf on the subject of Veiling.

Thank you for the PDF.

However, the CDF which has authority has said that it does not have normative value. So, according to the Church who gives us the proper interpretation of St. Paul’s writings, it’s not required.

Again, how can one insist that only a part of the old canon 1262 remains in force, while part does not. That seems conveniently selective to me.

He addresses all of your points. He argues, rightly I think, that the 1976 declaration does not address precisely the point you (and others) claim it does, else it would effectively be declaring the standing law of the Church to be null, per impossible. I think he’s right, but I agree that the 1976 document does cause confusion on the matter.

It does remain that this was indeed also an immemorial custom of apostolic origin. Therefore, it has been argued (cogently, IMO) that even if it was nullified as a law, the binding of immemorial custom would remain.

God bless,

He makes a claim on custom saying that only the law was abrogated, and goes to great lengths to set up concurrent running laws and customs governing the same act. Okay, fine… even if for argument’s sake I give him that…then the WHOLE of canon 1262 in the 1917 code would be in force, not just one part of it. And clearly NO ONE is arguing that the whole of it is still in force.

Also, he bases much of his claim on St. Paul’s writing, but the CDF tells us clearly that that does not mean such headcovering is required.

The argument runs, “The Church still requires veiling, even though they say they don’t.” Why even bother making this argument? Even if you could somehow prove your theory before an appropriate tribunal (which doesn’t exist), the very first thing the Church would do later that afternoon would be to cease requiring veiling.

I find arguments like these troublesomely gnostic in nature.

Then men and women must sit separately in church, for that too was an immemorial custom codified into law and then abrogated. Show me the families that practice that one? That canon was in effect until 1983 (and I suppose the custom still is!). That means all of us were violating church law when we sat with our families (even if the women had veils on!).

It seems we have two choices:

A. Either some canons are “scarcely more than disciplinary practices of minor importance” and can go in and out of force, as noted in the 1976 document.


B. Canons are all of more than “minor importance” and violating them is violating Church teaching, in which case all the families that sit together with their veils are violating Church teaching just as much as the women who do not wear veils.

Which is it???

What is the name of the canon lawyer who thinks that head coverings are still required for women?

That isn’t the argument, so the rest of your comments are not ad rem. The author of the piece I cited does a better job than I, so I respectfully direct you there again.

As I’ve already said, the author of the article I cited argued, cogently I think, the 1976 document did not intend to denigrate the then-current Canon Laws or the immemorial custom of women veiling in church. Again, that author does a better job that I can.

I would point out one thing for those who are shocked, shocked I say at the notion that it might still be binding for women to veil at Mass. Were you by any chance one of those Catholics who thought it was ridiculous for some of us to argue that the traditional Roman Rite, the “extraordinary Form” of the Roman Rite had never been legally abolished with the coming of the Novus Ordo? There were plenty of folks who did–authors Kenneth Whitehead and James Likoudis even laid out page after page in their book The Pope, the Council, and the Mass as to exactly how the traditional Rite had definitely been legally abolished–they considered it a certainty. And there was a certain plausibility to their arguments–it did indeed appear to be so. But there were nuances and principles involved that kept some of us from going along with the argument and continuing to insist that, despite certain appearances, the traditional Rite had not been legally abolished. Now, it turns out, they were wrong and we were right.

So, perhaps it would be worthwhile to keep an open mind about other potential examples?

God bless,

No, I did not think the 1962 missal had been abrogated. If it had, there could be no indults. But that is off track.

It would be nice to know who the canon lawyer is.

So, you seem to think the law to veil still binds, then the law for men and women to sit separately must bind, as well. You can’t have one without the other.

I could care less what is or is not required as pertains to veiling. My wife veils because she wants to and I support her. With all the issues facing the church today, the veiling question is not on our radar.

I belong to a 100% EF (FSSP) church. In the vestibule there is basket of veils one can
use if desired. Many women wear their own veils. Usually little girls use the ones in the
basket. Obviously, it is a matter of choice not law to wear a veil. I choose to not wear one.

+The majority of the many 20 plus years I raised my children I worked in the very heart of . . . Christ’s Holy Church . . . as a church secretary . . . and early on I had a profound and pray:gopray2:erful experience in the Lord with the Sweet Spirit of our Holy God’s clear inspiration and guidance . . . *along with many other members of our Church *. . . and am now also one who . . . always . . . wears a head covering whenever in church . . . or at pra:gopray2:yer . . . ***this is a very holy and devout practice that has been honored within the Church . . . all over the world . . . for centuries upon centuries of time ***. . . and is rapidly gaining a resurgence of practice among Catholic women . . . and even as I write this right now . . . the EWTN Holy Mass from the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama is being broadcast . . . *with many women veiled in the congregation . . . *

And consider also **. . . how often . . . if ever . . . do you see a picture or a statue in church or elsewhere of the Holy Mother . . . ***the Blessed Virgin Mary ***. . . without a head covering . . . ? . . . ** in all her holy apparitions which have been approved by the Church . . . she always has worn a head covering . . . nuns and laywomen alike following in the Holy Mother’s holy footsteps . . . for centuries upon centuries . . . have worn head coverings . . . *and I’m very comfortable following the Holy Mother’s example as are a multitude of Godly women I know . . . *

And this holy practice is not only just a time immemorial custom of Holy Mother Church’s . . . it is solidly based in the sound Scriptural teachings of St. Paul . . . as for anyone callously disregarding **Sacred :bible1: Scripture **as unworthy of devout pray:gopray2:erful consideration and holy obedience and practice . . . ***particularly New Testament Scripture ***. . . and who want to throw out the Blessed Holy St. Paul and his in-depth profoundly holy writings . . . *(who unquestionably wrote a massive portion of the New Testament) *. . . in this incredibly depraved culture we live in . . . where marriage is now treated as an outdated trivial pursuit of no importance . . . and millions upon millions upon millions of innocent babies are ruthlessly butchered and murdered in the womb of their mothers . . . such individuals will have to answer to **God **for their unbridled denigration and disregard of . . . **God’s Holy Sacred Word/Thoughts **. . . and the holy teachers He has given to instruct our souls regarding God’s holy pathways for life here on earth . . .

First Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Corinthians

(Douay Rheims Version, Revised by Bishop Richard Challoner)
- Chapter 11:1-10

*Women must have a covering over their heads. … *

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 an:angel1:gels.

Many churches within our Apostolic Holy Roman Catholic Church . . . since the 1960’s . . . have . . . for a variety of incredibly sad unsound reasons . . . discarded many holy things . . . including among them . . . nuns holy habits . . . head coverings for women . . . crucifixes in church . . . removing our Eucharistic Lord from the sanctuary . . . obedience to Sacred :bible1: Scripture, the Holy Father in Rome, and the Magisterium . . . etc. . . . but it’s lovely to see how many nuns and sisters have returned . . .* and others are seeking and returning in true humility*. . . to the wearing of the complete . . . holy habit of humility . . .Mother Angelica’s nuns in the Our Lady of the Angels Monestary in Hanceville, Alabama are beautiful examples . . . all of which holy habits have head coverings as a part of same . . .

*God’s sweetest blessings . . . *

[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus +
. . . thank You Sweet Spirit of our Holy God+
. . . thank you Holy Mother Mary+
. . . thank you Holy Mother Church+

+Upon researching this subject thoroughly . . . the following statement is a clear succinct . . . and quite easy to understand . . . summary . . . of what we found to be the Church’s actual position . . . *hope this helps . . . *

. . . :coffeeread: . . .

Head Coverings . . . (1 Corinthians 11:5-6,10)

Head covering is an immemorial custom of the Church, with a 1940 nineteen hundred forty] year history.
[LIST]]Canon law says that an immemorial custom not only has the force of law, but that canon law can’t even abrogate it. We would need a papal or magisterial statement abrogating the head covering requirement because it is an immemorial custom. But the Church has made no such statement.[/LIST]
Those who argue against head coverings say that the 1983 code “abrogated” the 1917 code (the 1917 code expressly required head coverings in canon 1262, and the1983 code is SILENT about the issue). There are problems with this argument.
]First, when we say the 1983 code abrogated the 1917 code, that only means that the 1917 has no jurisdiction; it cannot be relied upon as legal authority.
*]But this does not mean that everything that came out of the 1917 code is abrogated. Quite the contrary. This is why the 1983 code says that if a previous law is not expressly revoked (paraphrasing), then it is still in force. The 1983 code DID NOT expressly revoke head coverings, which means the head covering requirement is still in force. …
We can’t throw away immemorial customs at will, just because the culture wants to push them into disuse.

**All **the previous legislators (the popes themselves) before Paul VI and John Paul II enforced the head covering rule. Paul VI and John Paul II [and Pope Bendict XVI] have not changed this.

:compcoff: Links:


[8] For my

thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord. [9] For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts. [10] And as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return no more thither, but soak the earth, and water it, and make it to spring, and give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: [11] So shall **my **word be, which shall go forth from my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall do whatsoever I please, and shall prosper in the things for which I sent it. - Isaiah 55:8-11

For those unfamiliar with the legal term “abrogate” . . . below is the definition from the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary . . .


. . . :coffeeread: . . .
Main Entry: **ab·ro·gate **
Pronunciation: \ˈa-brə-ˌgāt
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): ab·ro·gat·ed; ab·ro·gat·ing
Etymology: Latin abrogatus, past participle of abrogare, from ab- + rogare to ask, propose a law — more at right
Date: 1526

**1 **: to abolish by authoritative action : annul
2 : to treat as nonexistent
synonyms see nullify

ab·ro·ga·tion \ˌa-brə-ˈgā-shən\ noun

[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . thank You Sweet Spirit of our Holy God+
. . . thank you Blessed Virgin Mary our Mother+
. . . thank you Holy Mother Church+
. . . Lord have mercy+
. . . thank You Jesus+


If we hold your statement to be true that it is an immemorial custom, then you must also hold that the immemorial custom of men and women sitting separately still binds. So, if one holds that one must wear a veil, one must hold that men and women must sit separately in Church.

Oh, and your second bullet point isn’t correct. There are no canons from 1917 in effect. None.

OR the more likely case is that some canons no longer bind, no longer apply…which is what the CDF stated in 1976.

I would agree that your central argument would be cogent, if you could put forth evidence for the separation of genders in equal measure to what the author put forth for veiling–Scripture, continuous and universal practice for 1900+ years, the Fathers, the Canonists, Canon Law, etc. I do not think you can do so and therefore I would submit that you are comparing apples and oranges.

But from your last statement, I fear that you haven’t really grasped the author’s position, since you continue to repeat the argument from the 1976 document without interacting with his counterpoint and hence the possibility that your interpretation of that document is not correct.

God bless,

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