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Q On Women Veiling


matthew1618

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[b]I posted this same exact thing in the Q and A forum b/c I wanted an expert to get the answer, but I'd also like to hear everyone elses take:[/b]

If it's okay for women to be unveiled when in prayer why does St. Pul say:

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. 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 (( 1 Corinthians 11:1-17 )).

I've heard good reasons for why women should wear veils, but never why it's not necessary.

The questions I have is why did the Church in Canon Law not allow for women to wear veils, but ever since Vatican II it's now okay? Did the Church ever teach that not wearing a veil during church is a sin?

Also, I'd like to ask what is St Paul saying in 1 Corinthians 11:1-17 if it's not about women wearing veils when they pray?

Thank you in advance and God Bess.

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The majority of theologians and doctors of the Church have taught that it would be sinful for a woman not to do it (Aquinas discussed culpability saying something to the effect of that they weren't necessarily culpable if they came from cultures who did not recognize the symbol, but that the symbol should be established in their culture to confirm with the universal Christian practice. sadly because of the degredation of Christendom, this seems to be the case of most cultures in western civilization right now, and as such the women of western civilization are not necessarily culpable)

No one, to my knowledge, in the entire history of the Church prior to the latter half of the 20th century, ever taught that it was NOT a sin to not veil. it would be news to me if someone could provide any opinion that it was not sinful for a woman to be unveiled in Church... I don't even know of any heretical sects who said such a thing. There is no record of any teachings which called it optional... I do not think it even was said to be optional in the earl part of the protestant reformation by the protestant denominations. It is such a clear passage in scripture, it's ridiculous to see the backflips people do to try to avoid it... and yet in the Liturgical Reforms of the Second Vatican Council we keep hearing about returning to the liturgical form in place at the time of the apostles...

of course, this does not amount to a teaching of the Church, necessarily; except that I might argue that it qualifies as the unanimous consent of the Fathers of the Church; and/or one might see it as the universal ordinary magisterium.

and we all know the canonical history: instituted as a canonical requirement in 1917, removed as a canonical requirement in 1983; considered a scriptural requirement from the first century to the twentieth.

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[quote name='Aloysius' post='1368394' date='Aug 22 2007, 09:11 PM']No one, to my knowledge, in the entire history of the Church prior to the latter half of the 20th century, ever taught that it was NOT a sin to not veil. it would be news to me if someone could provide any opinion that it was not sinful for a woman to be unveiled in Church... I don't even know of any heretical sects who said such a thing. There is no record of any teachings which called it optional...[/quote]
From Tertullian's "On the Veiling of Virgins":

[quote]Still, until very recently, among us, either custom was, with comparative indifference, admitted to communion. The matter had been left to choice, for each virgin to veil herself or expose herself, as she might have chosen, just as (she had equal liberty) as to marrying, which itself withal is neither enforced nor prohibited. Truth had been content to make an agreement with custom, in order that under the name of custom it might enjoy itself even partially. But when the power of discerning began to advance, so that the license granted to either fashion was becoming the mean whereby the indication of the better part emerged; immediately the great adversary of good things—and much more of good institutions—set to his own work.

[url="http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0403.htm"]http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0403.htm[/url][/quote]
If God wants us to return to veils, then the custom today will eventually give way, as it did in Tertullian's day. But women today do not have a legal obligation to wear a veil, although they certainly may. It was a practice that was recognized in the Churches, not an ordinance of Divine Revelation such as the Sacraments. St. Paul also says in his discourse on veils, "Does not nature itself teach you that for a man to wear long hair is degrading to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her pride?" This doesn't mean a man may never have long hair, he is speaking in the context of his culture while also appealing to nature. Our Lord himself is usually depicted with long hair. His point about nature is that long hair is associated with femininity because it is long and flowing and suited to women who are the softer gender. That doesn't mean a man who has long hair is necessarily being feminine or that it is always a sin for a man to have long hair. His words on veils are written in the same context. The larger point he is making is that women need to be modest, and modesty was associated with veils in his time. He also says in 1Tim 2:9, "Women should adorn themselves modestly and sensibly in seemly apparel, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly attire." This doesn't mean a woman may never attend Mass with her gold wedding ring. He was referring to practical examples in his day to make his larger point about modesty.

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Tertullian was a heretic, and so it is not a good idea to found your position on something that he has said.

It is divinely revealed in sacred scripture that women should be veiled in the liturgical assembly, and the fact that the modern Roman rite has abandoned this and other Apostolic Traditions (e.g., praying while facing East, etc.) does not validate the newer innovative practice.

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[quote name='Apotheoun' post='1368446' date='Aug 22 2007, 09:48 PM']It is divinely revealed in sacred scripture that women should be veiled in the liturgical assembly, and the fact that the modern Roman rite has abandoned this and other Apostolic Traditions (e.g., praying while facing East, etc.) does not validate the newer innovative practice.[/quote]
The Apostles also commanded the Gentiles to "abstain from blood and from what is strangled" (Acts 15:29). Do you abstain from these things?

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Any sensible woman with the right understanding of holy symbolism would not dare enter a church with her head uncovered. However, this description does not apply to most women in the modern age. I am part of a large community of young Catholics called "Spirit & Truth" in New Jersey. We get together every Friday night for adoration, and for the past year and a half, I've been the only woman with her head covered. Most of the women in the community would say that I'm the first person who's exposed them to the concept of veiling. I'd like to buy all the women in the community chapel veils, but they cost a lot of money, and I can't really afford to buy 30 or so all at once.

The spiritual director for this community once said to me in confession that I should not cover my head, because he thinks I'm being "holier-than-thou" and that "it doesn't belong in our culture." He probably learned in seminary that this is an outdated practice that was thrown out at Vatican II. I, of course, did not listen to him because I know that the Church prefers women to cover their heads, and that She has nothing but good things to say about the practice. However, most women in modern culture are ignorant about this fact. When was the last time you heard a priest talk about this from the pulpit? When was the last time you saw a catechist discuss veiling with young girls about to make their first communion or confirmation?

I think it's terrible that so many women do not care about covering their heads. I'm trying to do my best to teach my sisters in Christ about this truth with charity and respect, and I plan on giving out a lot of chapel veils once I can afford it. However, I can't necessarily put all of the blame on that if they don't accept it, because I don't have as much sway in this matter as their spiritual director (who is ignorant) or their mothers.

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[quote name='Era Might' post='1368465' date='Aug 22 2007, 08:00 PM']The Apostles also commanded the Gentiles to "abstain from blood and from what is strangled" (Acts 15:29). Do you abstain from these things?[/quote]
The Eastern Orthodox Churches and those Eastern Catholic Churches that have not been Latinized still forbid the eating of blood; so yes, I do refrain from eating blood. That said, the point being discussed in this thread is whether or not women should be veiled while they pray in the liturgical assembly, and on that issue sacred scripture indicates that women should wear a veil, and this Apostolic Tradition should not be dispensed simply because certain segments of Western culture have lost the sense of the sacred.

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[quote name='Aloysius' post='1368394' date='Aug 22 2007, 08:11 PM']The majority of theologians and doctors of the Church have taught that it would be sinful for a woman not to do it (Aquinas discussed culpability saying something to the effect of that they weren't necessarily culpable if they came from cultures who did not recognize the symbol, but that the symbol should be established in their culture to confirm with the universal Christian practice. sadly because of the degredation of Christendom, this seems to be the case of most cultures in western civilization right now, and as such the women of western civilization are not necessarily culpable)[/quote]

Is this in [i]Summa Theologiae[/i] or another work St. Aquinas wrote?

[quote name='Apotheoun' post='1368495' date='Aug 22 2007, 09:36 PM']The Eastern Orthodox Churches and those Eastern Catholic Churches that have not been Latinized still forbid the eating of blood; so yes, I do refrain from eating blood.[/quote]

What exactly do you mean by this?

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[quote name='StThomasMore' post='1368508' date='Aug 22 2007, 08:49 PM']What exactly do you mean by this?[/quote]
It means that Eastern Christians, i.e., if they follow the Traditional regulations for fast and abstinence, do not eat blood.

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[quote name='Apotheoun' post='1368514' date='Aug 22 2007, 09:54 PM']It means that Eastern Christians, i.e., if they follow the Traditional regulations for fast and abstinence, do not eat blood.[/quote]

ever?

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Just a reminder, the topic under consideration in this thread is whether or not women should wear a veil in the liturigcal synaxis.

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It is, but that necessarily goes back to the Scriptural text and its context. As we see in Acts, just because something was commanded by the Apostles doesn't mean it is a requirement of Divine Revelation for all time. Most Catholics do not "abstain from blood and from what is strangled" even though they are Gentiles and this was an Apostolic command to Gentiles. The command has to be understood in context.

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