Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Ongoing Debate on Headcoverings

On the forums I go on, every month or so there seems to be yet another argument that has to do with the canonical status for headcoverings.

I've heard all of the arguments, both citing canon law.

The argument supporting it is optional can be read Here:

The argument supporting veiling is still in force can be read here:

A rebuttal by Robert Sungenis to Jimmy Akin and Colin Donovan in favor of veiling can be read here:

And here:

The argument generally centers around whether or not the abrogation of the 1917 law by the 1983, with the '83's omission of the issue of veiling actually removed the force of law behind this custom.

For me, at least in my opinion, the issue is quite simple:

The 1983 code abrogated the 1917.

The 1983 code doesn't mention veiling as having the force of law.

BUT, veiling didn't get its force of law form the 1917 code alone. It recieved its force of law from the fact that it is an immemorial custom.

The 1983 code may have removed any force of law veiling recieved from the 1917 code, but it did not, and cannot, remove it as an immemorial custom, unless specifically saying so (which it doesn't). And it's from that, not the code, veiling recieves the force of law.

Plus, it's in the bible. (1Cor 11:3-15)

But what I feel this whole argument is missing is that women should wear the veil because it's good to do so, not because they're told to. To make a comparison, the ideal reason you desire that children will behave is because they understand parental guidance and willfully desire good behavior, not out of fear of punishment if they don't.

You can apply the same thing to obedience of the faithful. I'd rather a person veil themself because they want to, not because they have to. It means much more when they understand the importance and virtue behind the practice.

Would I support a revision that would make it law again? I think so. I'm almost jealous that women have such a pious devotion open to them. (I'd veil myself all the time at mass except it's against scripture and just plain wierd.) But if a person's heart isn't veiled then veiling only their head won't do much. I think that the devotion must first come internally and then externalize. Otherwise it's merely going through the motions.

"... you make clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but within you are full of rapine and uncleanness...first make clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, that the outside may become clean."


paramedicgirl said...

Good logic, Unitas. I got a laugh over your comment about veiling yourself! I agree that our hearts have to be veiled before our heads. Nicely put.

Pilgrim said...

Take it from a woman who veils, very nicely stated.

Larry said...

The veil as a garment of modesty needs to be reintroduced too. One Mass I saw a woman wearing a veil and a top which completely bared her arms and shoulders. She didn't seem to have a clue!

Unitas said...


That's another angle, what good is mandating the veil when a lot of girls have their chests and rear bare anyway?

If you could get girls to care about how they present themselves before God so as not to wear the revealing cloths, veiling will be a simple step.

The trick is getting them to care in the first place. That's the hard part, and that's not just for girls.

I'm all for a dress code. That will get people's attention.

Karin said...

Oh I LOVE dress codes...just ask my kids :)
They are in dress code Mon-Fri at school and then when they come home they get mom's dress code :)
So that no matter when you see them they look like respectable, young men that they are (well maybe the older one not so much since he hates to SHAVE..UGH) :)

Unitas said...

I'll admit I don't always look respectable, haha. But when I'm out I'm always dressed appropriately for the situation.

And I really can't blame your eldest, I hate to shave too. I don't have a manly leather face so shaving just tears me up.