There is a second discussion on chapel veils at WDTPRS. I love the good work of Father Z, but was miffed at his comment a couple weeks ago that he liked women to cover their heads at Mass. At the original thread, these were two of my various responses:
As a convert, I’ve had to sort out this chapel veil thing and decided for several reasons that it was not necessary to wear one any longer. I cannot think of a just reason why it’s honourable for a woman to cover her head but not a man (Believe me, I’m no feminist. I just addressed the international congress in Rome on Mulieris Dignitatem.) I understand the complementarity of the sexes (as well as we can, this side of the veil) but haven’t seen an argument that works. The letter of Saint Paul isn’t authoritative on that because his intention was a particular abuse in a particular place.
If it’s a sign of virtue, then I can see why Fr Z would like to see it. But I’m more inclinded to think it’s an indication of an older piety that he can recognise as bearing a “code,” then that’s a cultural construct in which I don’t want to take part.
Methinks that we are straining at gnats here, while ignoring the camels. A vast number if not the majority of women of child-bearing age in the pews are contracepting. Sexual license is rampant, theology of the body is not understood by most, divorce and remarriage is the same as other communions, Mass attendance is not taken seriously, families are in disarray, etc. To even think that mandating chapel veils (and suits for men) would be anything other than laughable is to be delusional. There is so much to do in order to win the hearts and minds of women, so that they understand their inherent dignity but beginning with frivolous accidents (which have no meaning to them other than a sense of playing “dress up”) would be to lose any possibility of serious discussion about more important matters. Veiling may come later—much later—after motherhood has won its rightful esteem and families are recognised as the domestic churches they are, but not before. Thus, if one woman says, “a ha! I get it!” and dons a veil, bully for her. But she cannot then cast her aspersions on the rest of her unwashed pew-mates as “less holy.”
This thread, though, is a specific request from a woman who is discerning whether she is called to wear one, and the responses are interesting. The reference to the "mandated veils" comes from Latin Mass chapels that require them, and shun women who don't comply. Obviously that's a very different situation than the average Novus Ordo woman at Our Lady of Third Avenue who is figuring out whether covering her head would be appropriate given the state of her personal journey. She would in no way be lumped in with the judgemental crowd I've referred to as a portion of Fr Z's flock.
I'm still not convinced that there's more imagination than theology involved, but then imagination is important, too.
UPDATE: a fuller reponse to Father Zuhlsdorf's particular comments is found here.