I just read an interesting discussion at a blog called “St. Louis Catholic” about whether or not the Catholic Church still requires women to cover their heads with a veil or hat at Mass.
The unnamed canon lawyer whose opinion that, yes, women are still obliged to wear them (even if virtually none do anymore), critiques the contrary opinion, advanced by Father John Zuhlsdorf, canonist Ed Peters, and Jimmy Akin. Even though I have long been of the opinion that the Church no longer requires this custom, at least not at Novus Ordo Masses, I must admit that this article has gone a long way toward convincing me that I have been wrong about this. The fact that “nobody does this anymore” is not a good reason not to observe this venerable Catholic custom.
I do, however, have a respectful complaint for the proprietor of the St. Louis Catholic blog (who goes by “Tinman” rather than give his real name), and that is: It is a mistake for you not to name the canon lawyer whom you quote and whom you refer to only as “an out-of-state canonist.” There's no reason that I can see why he should not be named, especially since he publicly critiques others by name. That seems unjust to me. The unnamed canonist's argument has great merit, but its effects are blunted by his remaining anonymous.
I think, in the interest of fairness, you might clarify that even as I stated that there is no obligation under the Church's law at this time, I nevertheless think this is a very good tradition. I think woman and girls should use mantillas. I have always made sure to include that when stating that there is no obligation.
Dear Father Z,
Thank you for your comment. I am happy to let people know that you have always advocated the use of the mantilla.