Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The veiling of women...



There ought to be a law?

I love Fr. Z - everyone who reads me knows that.  I do not comment on his blog because I'm not registered.  No I'm not afraid he wouldn't approve me - I was registered before and he approved me.  I just don't like to register over and over.  There is an advantage to that you know.  Yes, because I can make a post out of what would otherwise be a comment.  Smart, huh?  I did it earlier with Mark Shea and Henry.
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So anyway - Fr. Z has a pole poll up asking about mantillas on women in church.  Evidently a priest told a woman not to wear her veil while doing the readings for Mass and she asked Fr. Z about it.  Fr. Z felt the priest should not have said what he did - and I agree.  I honestly think that if a woman wants to wear a veil while doing the readings or leading the choir, she should be able to do so.  It is not any more a distraction than any woman doing the reading.  What if a nun in a traditional habit was up there?  Distracting?  See - that's just dumb.
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Anyway - back to Father's poll.  It seems to be mostly men who think women should wear a head covering in church - and so far 24% believe it should be a matter of canon law.  (But 28% think it should be on a voluntary basis.)   I came in at the end of the polling results after I voted: "I am male and NO. This custom should not return. (3%, 22 Votes)"
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I know no one here will be surprised by that.  Nevertheless, I don't think it is a big deal if a woman wants to wear a veil - it should be up to the woman to decide.  I'm so liberal, aren't I?
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Seriously, isn't it curious that so many men care about this?  I worked with a woman who suddenly purchased a mantilla.  I asked her what she was going to do with it.  She said she was going to wear it.  I asked "Why?"
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"My husband asked me to."
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Veiled men.
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On the other hand - sometimes men wear veils.  Greek Orthodox priests/monks do.  Middle eastern men do as well.  I found this photo of a Tuareg man wearing a veil with the following explanation:  Among the Berbers in North Africa and the Tuareq in West Africa, the women do not wear veils but the men do. The Tuareq men wear veils to protect from evil spirits (or desert sand in reality) and start to wear them at the age of 25. 
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Which reminds me, when I was in the monastery - a long time ago - one of the monks used to make nun's veils and would occasionally wear one himself.  True story.
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Anyway - Go on over and vote - spike Father's stats. 

19 comments:

  1. lol i bet i can guess what northern monastery THAT was ;)

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  2. I read a kind of intersting article on the subject:

    www.fisheaters.com/theveil.html -

    You know, it had not occured to me until just now, but it is sort of like those photos of nuns who are all mixed up--some in modified habits, some in polyester blazers, some in sweat shirts. The subject of veils, like the nuns in disparate garb, seems somehow symbolic of the confusion and division in the Church. I don't think wearing a veil makes one holier, do you? LOL. By the way how did that fella make it into the monastery in the fist place?

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  3. I find it amusing that that they call it "veiling" now. I wore a weil pre-Vatican II, and a bit beyond. We never called it "veiling".
    I attended a high school in DC called Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School. After they rid themselves of the habit and decided to no longer be cloistered they decided to refer to themselves as Georgetown Visitation Monastery.

    I think our poor Church is very, very confused....

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  4. And here all this time I thought you got yourself locked out of Father Z's combox. What made me think that?

    I like Father very much, even when he takes the dreaded red pen out. I commented on his thread about veiling and what I said is that I thought it should be voluntary. I'd be happy if we could just get women to cover the 3B's before they come to Mass before I'd make wearing a veil obligatory. I'd also outlaw men from wearing their jeans half-way down their butts and there would be no tank tops or shirts that advertise a sports team.

    As for the term "veiling", I almost think it's misused. I would call it veiling if the veil had to cover my face as well as my head.

    Maria, no, I don't think wearing a veil makes a person holier. I sin just as much as I did before I started covering my head at Mass. Shame on me for that. Dare I say that sometimes, the practice could be likened to putting lipstick on a pig?

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  5. Saw your blog. Isn't it great to be back. I too underwent a profound conversion several years ago. There is no place like home, right?

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  6. Agreed. We can't get people to cover their ti*s and a*s, but then we want them to wear a veil?

    Never gonna happen.

    I say all this as someone who is definitely NOT a modesty freak. I wear jeans to church.

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  7. Joyce--OR have the altar servers not wear jerseys that show through the albs, or donning flip flops in the summer, or both at the same time? (I know Father K is working on that--to the point of keeping a set of shoes, bowling alley style in with the kids vestments) ..anyways, sorry -a bit off topic, but had to get that off my chest. Here in the South of Philly where sports are worshiped IN CHURCH. roll of the eyes. Joyce, I know you are a sports fan, but you know when and where...:)

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  8. oh and PS--I have only commented over at Fr. Z's blog once or twice. I am intimidated and often don't know what people are talking about or what is being referred to. I have nothing against him, but I fear I am too stupid to sort of be "in the club". :/ I did vote however. Yes, but optional.

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  9. michael r.8:30 AM

    I answered that I don't care, one way or the other. It's a non-issue, imo.

    Don't be bored, Terry. There's plenty to write about...

    Something which I am very interested in, is the discussion on the Ipod confessional aide. I am SHOCKED to read that Fr. Z endorses this product. It would be one thing, if this were merely an aide -- something to be used between confessions for the penitent to use in privacy. And, it's obvious that many of his readers are assuming this is the purpose of the thing, based on their comments. BUT, people are actually taking this electronic gadget into the confessional. And this is endorsed by priests, and at least one bishop??? Do most priest-confessors know that this is happening? I'm assuming that most of these folks are going behind the screen, and just reading right off of their electronic gadget, and the priests are mightily impressed... but don't have a clue what is really going on. Remember some years ago, when "journalists" were going into the confessionals and tape recording confessions and then writing books, and the Vatican reiterated that automatic excommunication comes to anyone who lugs electronic gear into the confessional? How does this square with the wonderful new electronic confessional aide? I certainly hope that the Vatican will slam the phone on this hair-brained idea.

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  10. +JMJ+

    It is interesting that so many men care about it, Terry. You don't give that observation a lot of space here, but it seems to me the most important one. That anecdote you share makes me think of men who ask their wives to wear fancy lingerie: there's a male fantasy behind most of this masculine interest.

    (My own view, in general--which I share here because I know you can't sleep well until you hear my opinion on anything and I'm considerate like that--is that if you have to vote on it, then it's too bloody late.)

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  11. can you plse repeat that9:15 AM

    " ... there's a male fantasy behind most of this masculine interest..."

    just needed repeating ...

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  12. I voted yes, but optional. It is a little disconcerting that so many men want to see it enforced by church law.

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  13. Anonymous2:04 PM

    I am one of two woman that wear mantillas in our parish. The other woman is a follower of Bayside Veronica.

    I am not fanatical about it. It is not like I wouldn't drop in to visit Our Lord without it. In our Catholic grade school (back in the Stone Age), if you forgot your chapel veil they made you put a tissue on your head. In retrospect, it is funny; at the time, it was humiliating.

    If a woman chooses not to wear one, that's fine with me. Just don't go making judgments about me if I choose to wear one.

    Veronica

    P.S. Georgetown Visitation...now that used to be a beautiful school. Haven't seen it for almost forty years, so can't say what it looks like now.

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  14. School is still beautiful; however, the nuns abandoned all of their monastic life and habits. Now you will find them on You Tube parading themselves with sad fanfare...

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  15. Terry, this reminds me ...

    I know you have a particular devotion to St. Rose of Lima. One thing about her that's always made me wonder is how she disfigured her own face so that she wouldn't be a temptation to others. Lots of female saints did similar things. I guess stuff like that bothers me because it kinda *seems* to confirm the thoughts of the Catholic Taliban type men (and women) who think a woman should never look beautiful.

    Case in point: Charlotte had a quote on her blog from one of those charitable types who had told someone "if you have a good figure and you wear anything other than a long skirt, you ARE an occasion of sin." Or my favorite was a woman (probably ugly) who was pontificating on some forum about how beautiful women should not wear make-up or dress beautifully because they may incite other women to envy (this woman sounded like a b****, obviously).

    I dunno, it's one of my scruples things. If I were a pretty young girl with the kind of scruples I have, I'd consonantly be afraid. But no woman who is beautiful should ever feel ashamed of that. It just bugs me sometimes that the Saints seem to "prove" the more extreme positions. Obviously, only a scrupulous fool would think that - so what do you normal people think?

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  16. Hi Mercury - two things about women of old disfiguring themselves - remember women had no rights - they could be given in marriage - no suitor wanted someone difigured and so the pious women got a free pass to the convent. Rose and others went to extremes to preserve chastity and not to become an occasion of sin to others. The Spanish were rather extreme, and women were never allowed out alone or without a veil. John of the Cross mentions the saints disfiguring themselves - I'll have to look it up to see what he said.

    Like the 16th centtury Spanish, some female commenters on Catholic blogs and other traditional women can be rather extreme.

    Pay no attention to them. They probably have even bigger issues than temptations to envy beautiful women who wear attractive clothes and make-up. LOL!

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  17. Mercury - Google Queen Rania of Jordan and imagine how sad the world would be without beauty like her's. It would be a sin to disfugure or cover up a woman as beautiful as she is.

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  18. Good points Terry.

    "The Spanish are rather extreme"

    I once read a story where St. Ignatius Loyola, before he had his major conversion, got in a conversation with a Moor at a crossroads. It was apparently a friendly conversation, and ended with the Moor saying something like "Well, I don't see why Jesus is so great, he was just a prophet", and then he leaves. Ignatius sat there for a moment, and then thought about whether he should run after the guy and kill him for insulting Christ or just leave him alone (he left him alone). I just think it's kinda funny that he even had to think hard about it.

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