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Q On Women Veiling


matthew1618

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This is that which I was referring to with Aquinas

Warning: the following link is a PDF
[url="http://www.aquinas.avemaria.edu/Aquinas-Corinthians.pdf"]http://www.aquinas.avemaria.edu/Aquinas-Corinthians.pdf[/url]

Pages 101-109 argue as to why it ought to be done. He mentions cultures where there is no custom to veil women, and basically argues that St. Paul's point is not rooted in a specific culture, that he is expanding it to the whole human race with his argument from nature: that there is still a natural inclination for women to grow their hair longer and that that natural inclination must be built upon by liturgy.

Wow, actually, I would've done well to pick that up in our last conversation about veils, as one of the objections offered (that of brothers reciting the psalms with heads covered) is actually answered! I never would've expected that... and moreso, the answer is similar to the one I tried to explain... though I went through a discussion of how the group as a whole has feminine charecteristics (like mother Church for instance) whereas Aquinas was content to leave it to simply say it represents the multitude. Number 595, if anyone's interested.

Aquinas really deals with any and all objections I have ever seen in these few pages.

I stand by my argument that it is sinful not to veil, not because of disobedience to canon law (for that canon is not still in effect, it was only in effect for 66 years in the entire life of the Church) but because of disobedience to scripture, for all the reasons Aquinas lists as it being a disgrace against nature. Of course, I assign no culpability to anyone who does not do it because of the overwhelming cultural forces which have deprived them of it.

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[quote name='Aloysius' post='1369790' date='Aug 24 2007, 03:31 AM']This is that which I was referring to with Aquinas

Warning: the following link is a PDF
[url="http://www.aquinas.avemaria.edu/Aquinas-Corinthians.pdf"]http://www.aquinas.avemaria.edu/Aquinas-Corinthians.pdf[/url]

Pages 101-109 argue as to why it ought to be done. He mentions cultures where there is no custom to veil women, and basically argues that St. Paul's point is not rooted in a specific culture, that he is expanding it to the whole human race with his argument from nature: that there is still a natural inclination for women to grow their hair longer and that that natural inclination must be built upon by liturgy.

Wow, actually, I would've done well to pick that up in our last conversation about veils, as one of the objections offered (that of brothers reciting the psalms with heads covered) is actually answered! I never would've expected that... and moreso, the answer is similar to the one I tried to explain... though I went through a discussion of how the group as a whole has feminine charecteristics (like mother Church for instance) whereas Aquinas was content to leave it to simply say it represents the multitude. Number 595, if anyone's interested.

Aquinas really deals with any and all objections I have ever seen in these few pages.

I stand by my argument that it is sinful not to veil, not because of disobedience to canon law (for that canon is not still in effect, it was only in effect for 66 years in the entire life of the Church) but because of disobedience to scripture, for all the reasons Aquinas lists as it being a disgrace against nature. Of course, I assign no culpability to anyone who does not do it because of the overwhelming cultural forces which have deprived them of it.[/quote]
After reading the writings of Aquinas you cited, I'll have to agree. It's clearly a sin. That was my gut reaction as well, but I don't always trust my own interpretation of scripture.

Dang, Aquinas is detailed!

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[quote name='Romans1513' post='1369167' date='Aug 23 2007, 03:57 PM']This is kind of a sidetrack, but this really struck me.

Look at your avatar picture. I would say Mother Theresa looks a lot more taliban-ish than a woman with a chapel veil. Should she (and all nuns, for that matter) not have worn a habit?

I think St. Paul was around saying to veil a long time before the taliban came about.[/quote]
But what if Mother Theresa [i]didn't[/i] veil. Would she have been any less saintly? Would her efforts on behalf of the poor have somehow been diminished?

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[quote name='kenrockthefirst' post='1369848' date='Aug 24 2007, 10:18 AM']But what if Mother Theresa [i]didn't[/i] veil. Would she have been any less saintly? Would her efforts on behalf of the poor have somehow been diminished?[/quote]
What if she didn't fast from meat on Fridays? What if she lied to people?

Aquinas is quite clear; it's a sin. Mortal or venial? I'm guessing venial. I don't think it presents grave matter.

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[quote name='kenrockthefirst' post='1369848' date='Aug 24 2007, 10:18 AM']But what if Mother Theresa [i]didn't[/i] veil. Would she have been any less saintly? Would her efforts on behalf of the poor have somehow been diminished?[/quote]


Those are good questions, and I don't think there is an answer. There is a very good possibility that, yes, Mother Theresa was who she was in part because she put on a habit every day that reminded her of her humility and of her vow to set herself off apart from the world. We can't know that, and she herself might not have been able to answer that.

Thats more on the topic of whether or not nuns should wear habits than whether all women should veil in church. As for the veiling, I simply wanted to point out that your argument about the taliban has nothing to do with it. We can't not do something because it looks good or bad (although, I wouldn't suggest finding a theological reason for wearing swastikas lol). And like I said, St. Paul was around long before the taliban.

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[quote name='adt6247' post='1369855' date='Aug 24 2007, 07:41 AM']Aquinas is quite clear; it's a sin. Mortal or venial? I'm guessing venial. I don't think it presents grave matter.[/quote]
although Aquinas' opinion carries some weight, is he the Magisterium of the Church? And has the Magisterium or the CDF or the Pope ever come out with such a statement as yours that not veiling is a sin?

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[quote][center]1 Corinthians 11[/center]
5 But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head, for it is one and the same thing as if she had had her head shaved.
6 For if a woman does not have her head veiled, she may as well have her hair cut off. But if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should wear a veil.[/quote]

It doesn't sound like St. Paul is saying its sinful not to wear a veil, it sounds like he's just saying its shameful. Almost like a disgrace, but not a sin. Also he says a women who [i]prays[/i] with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head. That no matter if you're in a church, at Mass, at home, or anywhere if you're a women and your praying w/o a cloth on your head your shameing yourself.

Looking at it like this I have to be realistic and think that St. Paul wasn't exactly saying that no matter where you are you must wear a veil while in prayer, but that it means something else. And I'm not too sure what that something else is.

What I think St. Paul is saying is this: That wearing a veil is a great sign for women because ther holy and as a silent sign of their adoration and as bride of Christ and that not wearing a veil is just the opposite. That not wearing a veil is almost like women are saying their unholy and a sign of shame. Also it seems like a great sign to their submission to Christ, the Church, and their husband (not in a oppressive submission but in the same way the Church submits to Christ). It gave me that idea when St. Paul says: [quote][b]But if anyone is inclined to be argumentative, we do not have such a custom, nor do the churches of God. [/b][/quote]

It seems that it's more of a CUSTOM not necessarly a sin not to do it or to do it. It seems like he's saying: If you want to disagree, don't try because it looks bad and no other women are praying w/o veils. This is just what I think it says though. I wanted to ask to truly find out what St. Paul is saying. I don't like not knowing what things are or not knowing what they mean, so this was bothering me for so long.

Edited by matthew1618
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REd dont ya always love its always MEN who are so adament on women wearing veils.


The Magisterium has not ruled that women are bound to wear veils. There is a difference between culture, custom and force of canonical law. I am sure St Paul etc would be horrified that men gave up wearing dresses and started wearing pants.

Guys get over it.

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[quote name='cmotherofpirl' post='1370452' date='Aug 25 2007, 02:34 PM']REd dont ya always love its always MEN who are so adament on women wearing veils.
The Magisterium has not ruled that women are bound to wear veils. There is a difference between culture, custom and force of canonical law. I am sure St Paul etc would be horrified that men gave up wearing dresses and started wearing pants.

Guys get over it.[/quote]
Oh Please. there are plenty of women who argue the same thing, and it's perfectly acceptable for either sex to discuss the issue. You are being absolutely ridiculous.

The fact is, whatever St. Paul's position would've been on any other version of clothing, he didn't write it in divinely inspired scripture, nor is it an essential liturgical symbol.

The Magisterium has not ruled one way or the other. The Magisterium never told women to stop wearing veils, she never told women it would no longer be sinful to not wear veils, she simply stopped talking about it. Silence is not approval.

The majority of theologians and doctors of the Church... neigh, not the majority, I should say rather the unanimous consent, is that St. Paul required all women to wear veils in Church. The Church has never contradicted this position. The majority of these doctors and theologians spoke when there was no canon law enforcing it.

The Church of the past forty years is silent on the issue. The unanimous consent of all bishops over all time teaching, as well as all theologians and doctors of the Church, over 2000 years, however, is not silent: they say that it is sinful.

It is not local custom: Aquinas shows how St. Paul is arguing not from particular custom, but from nature, by citing the natural inclination for women to have long hair as a reason why this is to be a universal custom for the whole Church of God. It cannot be a local custom: it has been enforced by the Church on every culture which has been crowned with the Gospel, it has been done in all rites of the Church for all centuries.

Your ad hominem argument that men should not discuss the issue is irrelevant, and you really betray an ignorance on the subject by appealing to emotional arguments... one gets the clear impression that you don't like the position, so you want it silenced, plain and simple. But you can't just silence us by laughing at male stupidity, you must address the issues: the scriptural ones, the historical ones, the ones that illustrate clearly a unanimous consent of the fathers (which is considered infallible, by the way) and a unanimous consent of all teachers of the Catholic Faith for two millenia.

[quote]There is a difference between culture, custom and force of canonical law.[/quote]

There is also a difference between "culture", "custom", and "liturgical symbol required by scripture". St. Paul does not argue from culture, but from nature, citing the natural inclination for women to have longer hair as a reason that this liturgical symbol must be included in the "whole Church of God"

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[quote name='matthew1618' post='1370405' date='Aug 25 2007, 12:04 PM']It doesn't sound like St. Paul is saying its sinful not to wear a veil, it sounds like he's just saying its shameful. Almost like a disgrace, but not a sin. Also he says a women who [i]prays[/i] with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head. That no matter if you're in a church, at Mass, at home, or anywhere if you're a women and your praying w/o a cloth on your head your shameing yourself.[/quote]

Aquinas's argument is that it is shameful against nature, and something contrary to nature is by definition sinful. Because St. Paul argues it from the standpoint of nature, which St. Aquinas interprets as saying that it stems from the natural inclination of women to have longer hair, it becomes an offense against a woman's nature to not veil themselves in prayer.

The language of "shameful" in scripture, as far as I know, tends to equate to "sinful"... ie, shameful in God's eyes.

[quote]It seems that it's more of a CUSTOM not necessarly a sin not to do it or to do it. It seems like he's saying: If you want to disagree, don't try because it looks bad and no other women are praying w/o veils. This is just what I think it says though. I wanted to ask to truly find out what St. Paul is saying. I don't like not knowing what things are or not knowing what they mean, so this was bothering me for so long.[/quote]
we know no custom of not veiling, nor does the Church of God... I don't get that as meaning "merely a custom" which is not binding from that passage (nor do any of the doctors or fathers of the Church...) he refers to not veiling as a custom that is unknown to the Church of God; the same way consecrating beer and chips would be a custom unknown to the Church of God. they are at different degrees in level of importance, but similar in their mandate from scripture and understanding by the Church that any custom contrary to it is unacceptable.

That's really all St. Paul said there: any contrary custom is simply unacceptable.

I'm not trying to argue here, there's already been a quite civil discussion about it between myself and JeffCR07, and I should hope such a thing could happen here. I do tend to get angry when people insinuate that males have no right to discuss the issue so I apologize if I got argumentative in the last couple posts. Just because I hold it to be a sin is no reason for anyone to get offended or defensive, like I said: I don't think most women are actually culpable or anything, and if you disagree with me then what's the reason to be mad about it? I just think this is an important opinion in the history of the Church: that this is a necessary liturgical symbol.

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[quote name='Aloysius' post='1370512' date='Aug 25 2007, 04:28 PM']Aquinas's argument is that it is shameful against nature, and something contrary to nature is by definition sinful. Because St. Paul argues it from the standpoint of nature, which St. Aquinas interprets as saying that it stems from the natural inclination of women to have longer hair, it becomes an offense against a woman's nature to not veil themselves in prayer.

The language of "shameful" in scripture, as far as I know, tends to equate to "sinful"... ie, shameful in God's eyes.
we know no custom of not veiling, nor does the Church of God... I don't get that as meaning "merely a custom" which is not binding from that passage (nor do any of the doctors or fathers of the Church...) he refers to not veiling as a custom that is unknown to the Church of God; the same way consecrating beer and chips would be a custom unknown to the Church of God. they are at different degrees in level of importance, but similar in their mandate from scripture and understanding by the Church that any custom contrary to it is unacceptable.

That's really all St. Paul said there: any contrary custom is simply unacceptable.

I'm not trying to argue here, there's already been a quite civil discussion about it between myself and JeffCR07, and I should hope such a thing could happen here. I do tend to get angry when people insinuate that males have no right to discuss the issue so I apologize if I got argumentative in the last couple posts. Just because I hold it to be a sin is no reason for anyone to get offended or defensive, like I said: I don't think most women are actually culpable or anything, and if you disagree with me then what's the reason to be mad about it? I just think this is an important opinion in the history of the Church: that this is a necessary liturgical symbol.[/quote]

There is no proof it is "necessary" and it is irrelevant to salvation. It is not shameful or against nature to have a bare head, it it is not any more natural for a woman to have long hair than a man, and frankly I find the discussion of not wearing a veil to be sinful offensive as hell.

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[quote name='cmotherofpirl' post='1370452' date='Aug 25 2007, 02:34 PM']REd dont ya always love its always MEN who are so adament on women wearing veils.
The Magisterium has not ruled that women are bound to wear veils. There is a difference between culture, custom and force of canonical law. I am sure St Paul etc would be horrified that men gave up wearing dresses and started wearing pants.

Guys get over it.[/quote]

Ummmm... I'm a girl. Hi.

I do understand your point though, about guys not understanding some of the cultural difficulties we run into. However, you're reminding me of the pro-choicers who argue that men have no place in the abortion debate. This is a woman's issue. That doesn't mean guys can't have something to say about it.

[quote name='cmotherofpirl' post='1370580' date='Aug 25 2007, 06:39 PM']...and frankly I find the discussion of not wearing a veil to be sinful offensive as hell.[/quote]

If you mean that you find it offensive that some people say you are sinning by not wearing a veil, thats one thing. But who's to say its not a legitimate topic of discussion? With all respect, no one said you had to take interest in it, or jump into the discussion, or defend yourself. People are just discussing, and personally, I find it very interesting and relevant to my growth in Catholicism even if I don't agree with everything that is said.

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How many times have we had this debate? The one between Aloysius and JeffCR07 was the best one, ever, and probably not to be improved upon in either charity or erudition.

I don't veil, myself, but I don't find the discussion offensive at all. It's quite interesting and enlightening when not accompanied by sniping from either side. Rule number one to effective dialogue: Don't get overly defensive. Our internal debates in the Church (not to mention our external debates with other Christian communities) won't go anywhere, otherwise. If one is firm in one's beliefs, one usually doesn't mind discussions with folks who come at the issue from a different point of view.

Seriously, though, is this Veil Debate #1,263,791? I actually like them, except that they eventually tend to turn foul.

EDIT: Oh yes. I should add that I'm a girl. In case y'all couldn't tell ;)

Edited by Maggie
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[quote name='cmotherofpirl' post='1370580' date='Aug 25 2007, 06:39 PM']There is no proof it is "necessary" and it is irrelevant to salvation. It is not shameful or against nature to have a bare head, it it is not any more natural for a woman to have long hair than a man, and frankly I find the discussion of not wearing a veil to be sinful offensive as hell.[/quote]
that's your problem, not mine: please take it up with St. Paul, St. John Chrysostom, St. Thomas Aquinas, (insert all doctors and fathers of the Church here), et al., not me. Why is it so offensive to you? If it's not a valid argument, you should be able to brush it off.... what is it? Am I providing too much support from the history of the Church that it makes you uncomfortable?

It seems the reason you're uncomfortable with these discussions and simply resort to getting offended as hell is because there's no support on your side... not even the post-conciliar church has said anything to aid your position that it is unnecessary liturgically. she has simply removed the 66 year canonical requirement, not the 2000 year scriptural one. My position is that it is necessary liturgically.

The nature argument is one from the natural inclination of humans. It is not to say that women would sin by having shorter hair or men would sin by having longer hair; it is to say that there is a natural inclination for cultures for women to have a natural veil and that this ought to extend, in all cultures that the Church evangelizes, into this liturgical symbol.

And again, I understand the tremendous cultural forces against women wearing veils and do not see any culpability for them necessarily when they do not veil. But it's neglect of proper liturgical symbolism as proscribed by the scriptures themselves, and as such something which is a "shame" liturgically, a type of venial sin (I do not say that anyone is culpable for it, I merely speak of its objective nature)

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