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THE VEIL

Derived from a book in progress called: "The Unveiled Woman" by Jackie Freppon. During the second atican !ouncil" a mob of reporters #aited for ne#s after a council meeting. $ne of them asked %sgr. &nnibale 'ugnini" then secretary of the atican !ongregation for Divine Worship" if #omen still had to #ear a headcover in churches. (is response #as that the 'ishops #ere considering other issues" and that #omen)s veils #ere not on the agenda. The ne*t day" the +nternational ,ress announced throughout the #orld that #omen did not have to #ear the veil anymore. & fe# days later" %sgr. 'ugnini told the press he #as mis-uoted and #omen still had to #ear the veil. 'ut the ,ress did not retract the error" and many #omen stopped #earing the veil out of confusion and because of pressure from feminist groups. 'efore the revision in ./01" !anon la# had stated that #omen must cover their heads ". . . especially #hen they approach the holy table" 2!an .343.35. 'ut in order to reduce such a gro#ing collection of books" the ne# version of !anon la# #as sub6ected to concise changes. +n the process" mention of headcoverings #as omitted. +n ./78" ,ope ,aul + promulgated the 9oman %issal" ignoring mention of #omen)s veils. 'ut at the time the %issal #as published" it didn)t seem necessary to keep mandatory such an obvious and universal practice" even if it no longer had a "normative" value 2+nterinsigniores" :;5. &nd mention in !anon la# or the 9oman %issal is not necessary to the continuation of the tradition" for it is rooted in <cripture and has been practised ever since the early !hurch. +ndeed" ,ope John ,aul ++ affirmed that the real sources of !anon la# are the <acred Tradition" especially as reflected in the ecumenical councils" and <acred <cripture 2$.<. . !atholic =ncyclopedia" p. .4/5.

SCRIPTURE <acred <cripture presents several reasons for #earing the veil. <t. ,aul tells us in his first letter to the !orinthians 2..:.>.45 that #e must cover our heads because it is <acred Tradition commanded by our ?ord (imself and entrusted to ,aul: "The things + am #riting to you are the ?ord)s commandments" 2. !or. .;:175.

DIVINE HIERARCHY @od has established a heirarchy" in both the natural and religious spheres" in #hich the female is sub6ect to the male. <t. ,aul #rites in first !orinthians: "'ut + #ould have you kno# that the head of every man is !hrist" and the head of the #oman is man" and the head of !hrist is @od 2. !or. ..>15. &nd" in the institution of marriage" @od gave the husband authority over the #ife" but responsibility to her as #ell. Aot only is he the family)s decision>maker" but he is also responsible for the material and spiritual #elfare of his #ife and children. %an is not in this position to enslave or belittle the #ife. &s the 'ride" 2the !hurch5" is sub6ect to Jesus" #omen

must #ear the veil as a sign that they are sub6ected to men: "?et #ives be sub6ect to their husbands as to the ?ordB because a husband is head of the #ife" 6ust as !hrist is head of the !hurch." 2=ph. C" 33>315. The man represents Jesus" therefore he should not cover his head. (o#ever" this sub6ection is not derogatory to #omen" because in @od)s kingdom everyone is sub6ected to a higher authority: "For as the #oman is from the man" so also is the man through the #oman" but all things are from @od." 2. !or. .." .35. Furthermore" the symbolism of the veil takes that #hich is invisible" the order established by @od" and makes it visible. +n the history of the !hurch" priestly vestments have played a similar symbolic role.

WOMEN'S HONOR +t is an honor to #ear the veil. 'ut by publicly repudiating it" a #oman dishonors her feminine dignity" the sign of female sub6ection" 6ust as the military officer is dishonored #hen he is stripped of his decorations. The 9oman ,ontifical contains the imposing ceremonial of the consecration of the veils: "9eceive the sacred veil" that thou mayst be kno#n to have despised the #orld" and to be truly" humbly" and #ith all thy heart sub6ect to !hrist as his brideB and may he defend thee from all evil" and bring thee to life eternal" 2,ontificale 9omanumB de benedictione5. <t. ,aul says an unveiled #oman is a dishonor: "'ut every #oman praying or prophesying #ith her head uncoverd disgraces her head" for it is the same as if she #ere shaven" 2. !or. .." C5.

BECAUSE OF THE ANGELS "That is #hy a #oman ought to have a veil on her head" because of the angels" #rote <t. ,aul in . !or. .." .8. The invisible heirarchy should be respected because the &ngels are present at !hristian liturgical assemblies" offering #ith us the (oly <acrifice #ith the honor due to @od. <t. John the &postle #rote: "&nd another angel came and stood before the altar" having a golden censerB and there #as given to him much incense that he might offer it #ith the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar #hich is before the throne." 29ev. 0:1" see also %att. .0:.85. They are offended by a lack of reverence at %ass" 6ust as they abhorred Ding (erod)s acceptance of adoration from the people of Jerusalem: "'ut immediately an angel of the ?ord struck 2(erod5 do#n" because he had not given honor to @od" and he #as eaten by #orms" and died." 2&cts" .3:315.

ANCIENT TRADITION The custom of #earing the veil #as maintained in the primitive !hurches of @od. 2. !or. ..:.45. We see this in the first letter of ,aul to the !orinthians. The #omen of !orinth" beset by modern sensibilities" started coming to church #ithout their heads covered. When <t. ,aul heard of their

neglect" he #rote and urged them to keep the veil. &ccording to <t. Jerome)s commentary 'ible" he finally settled the matter by saying the head covering #as a custom of the primitive communities of Judea" "the !hurches of @od" 2. Thess. 3>.;" 3 Thess. .>;5" #hich had received this Tradition from early times 23 Thess." 3:.C. 1:45.

GOD'S COMMAND =ven today some people erroneously believe that <t. ,aul based the tradition on his personal opinion. They think he did not intend it to be continued in the Universal !hurch" but only as a local custom. This argument" ho#ever" does not conform to the ,auline spirit. &fter all" it #as ,aul #ho stood before ,eter to change Je#ish traditions in !hristian !hurches 2@al. 3:..>3.5. <t. ,aul reminds them: "for + did not receive it from man" nor #as + taught itB but + received it by a revelation of Jesus !hrist" 2@al. .:.35" referring to the authority of his ministry" and veracity of his #ords. ,ope ?inus" #ho succeeded <t. ,eter" enforced also the same tradition of #omen covering their heads in the church 2The ,rimitive !hurch" T&A5. $ur ?ord #arns us to obey (is commandments: "(e therefore that shall break one of these least commandments" and shall so teach men" shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven" 2%att. C:./5.

CONCLUSION +n summary" the reasons that <t. ,aul advises #omen to cover their head in the church are:

$ur ?ord commanded itB +t is a visible sign of an invisible order established by @odB The &ngels at %ass are offended if #omen don)t use itB +t is a ceremonial vestmentB +t is our heritage.

!hristian #omen around the #orld have other reasons to #ear a hat" mantilla" reboEo" gele" scarf" sha#l or veil. <ome #ear it out of respect to @odB others to obey the ,ope)s re-uest" or to continue family traditions. 'ut the most important reason of all is because $ur ?ord said: "if you love %e" keep %y commandments" 2John .;:.C5. We should al#ays be ready #ith our bridal veils" #aiting for (im and the promised #edding 2&poc. 33:.75" follo#ing the e*ample of our 'lessed %other" %ary" #ho never appeared before the eyes of men but properly veiled. To those #ho still think that the veil is an obsolete custom" remember that: "Jesus !hrist is the same" yesterday and today" yes" and forever" 2(eb. .1:05. FThe above taken from the G%odesty eilsH #ebsite.I