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Pamela Morin wrote:

Hello Mike,

I am writing this to ask a question. I have read your "resume" and feel you may just be the right person to answer my question, before I write to the Pope and cause all sorts of trouble to the ladies in our parish. Here's my question:

In the Scriptures, in the book of Corinthians, God, not Paul, commands a woman to "cover her head when she prays or prophesies, or she embarrasses her husband". I have read what Mary Ann has said in regards to her answer to Debi who is new to the faith. You also added a reply to her question as well. Both have some very good points but this is my dilemma.

I want to be a Eucharistic Minister in my parish, however, I have been wearing a kippa for years, and in fact the bishop of the diocese complimented me, at the time of his service (in the early 1980's), and said he had one just like mine from Israel. I continue to wear one presently but my pastor has said:

"No hats on the altar, unless the bishop of present time, or the pope initializes the wearing of hats again according to Vatican II."

Now, I go with:

"if God said it, I believe it, so that settles it."

I'm not going against what He has to say about the issue. He has the trump card over anything and what anyone says, as far as I'm concerned. Having said all that:

  • What does Vatican II say about women wearing a [hat/head] covering to church, and if you find it in the Writ of Vatican II, could you please direct me to the correct page paragraph and number?

I, like you, am one who has looked into "why, or why not," since I was old enough to walk . I hope I am not asking for the impossible to be done. I just need to know what the documents of Vatican II say about this issue.

On my behalf, and that of other Catholic women, thank you very much for your time and effort in answering my question.

Very, very kindly,

Pamela

  { What do the documents of Vatican II say about women wearing [hat|head] coverings to church? }

Mike replied:

Hi Pam,

Thanks for the question.

My colleagues can correct me if I'm wrong, but to my knowledge none of the sixteen documents of Vatican II barred, prohibited or even talked about women wear head coverings. As a matter of fact, if you attend a Latin Mass (also called the Mass of the Extraordinary Form) today, you'll see many women wearing them.

The only reason why it appears to be a Vatican II issue is because at the time, in the 1960s, the Latin Mass was the only form of the Mass that the Church had approved. When Pope Paul VI promulgated the Novus Ordo Mass, around 1962, most people started attending that Mass and did not wear head coverings.

If you are being drawn to be an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, you should follow your calling, head cover, or not. If you do follow the call, you have to obey your pastor and local bishop on these non-doctrinal issues.

Keep this calling in your prayer petitions and ask Our Lord for His Guidance.

Mike

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