Rorate Caeli

Women veiling at Mass?
Local government: Yes, please!
Church: that will be haaarrrrrrd to do!

The following news comes from the Philippines, from one of its northernmost provinces, Ilocos Sur (pop. 568,587 as of 2010, the vast majority of them Catholic). This province is entirely under the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia, founded in 1595 and one of the country's four oldest dioceses. Emphases ours. (Portions of the article that are in the local language have been italicized.)

Ilocos Sur wants women to use veil during Mass

MANILA - The Ilocos provincial board has approved a resolution encouraging women to wear veils during Masses and religious rites as a sign of respect for “God, Mary, and all the saints.” 

The resolution, authored by Board Member Jeremias Singson, reads: “A resolution encouraging the revival on the use of veil among women while attending masses and other church rites and visits, as a show of respect to God - the Supreme Creator, Mother Mary and all the saints that we venerate.” 

He said it is just bringing back a tradition. “It will take some time, baka after one year, makita ang epekto.” 

The Catholic church in Ilocos Sur does not have any problem with the resolution, but noted it will be hard to sway the religious into doing so

Msgr. Vicente Avila of the St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral said it is best to encourage the faithful to use decent clothing when in church.

The 1917 Code of Canon Law obliges women to wear veils during Masses. This document has since been changed in order to comply with modern times.

"It must be noted that these ordinances, probably inspired by the customs of the period, concern scarcely more than disciplinary practices of minor importance, such as the obligation imposed upon women to wear a veil on their head; such requirements no longer have a normative value,” the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith dictates.

Avila said religion is about strengthening the faith of the people. “Give more emphasis on what is in a man’s or woman’s heart. The way he or she lives is more important.”

Lovely Joy Lazao, a fourth year student, said she last wore a veil during her first communion.
Siyempre magkaka-ilangan, pero kung talagang ipapatupad baka masanay din kami,” she said.