About a week ago, a friend of mine handed me the copy of a blog by someone who calls himself the “Catholic Knight.” It was an article saying that Catholic women are “required” to wear veils or head coverings in churches or chapels. It was not nuns he was talking about; it was all Catholic women!
As I read his very long piece, I realized that he is well acquainted with pre-Vatican II theology and biblical imagery. He spells out the traditional “Eucharistic” imagery he says is behind men not covering their heads, and women covering them. Just one crucial problem he overlooks: this may have been meaningful imagery for St. Paul, but it makes absolutely no sense in today’s world or today’s church. And it certainly makes no sense for today’s Catholic woman. What does headdress have to do with reverence for the Eucharist?
He dismisses the idea that attempts to veil women are due to male dominance. But he doesn’t make his case at all. When do Catholic women ever dictate what Catholic men will wear? My Muslim feminist friends would add a few interfaith insights on the same subject.