The noted apologist Patrick Madrid has written a post on his blog concerning my previous post on the obligatory nature of head coverings for women at Mass.

Here is his post in full:

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 would like to respond to Mr. Madrid that I appreciate the comments he made, and his acknowledgement of the persuasive nature of the argument I posted.

Moreover, I completely understand his desire to know the identity of the canon lawyer. If I were authorized to reveal his or her name, I would do so quite willingly. But I have not been so authorized. I apologize, but I am bound by the conditions this expert set for me in preparing the piece.

I had come to the conclusion that veiling was still obligatory some time ago, but as my particular background is not in the canon law, I decided to engage an expert to see what he or she thought.

As for my own relative anonymity, my screen name exists only because I am not in the public arena like Mr. Madrid or some other famous apologists, priests, and Catholic advocates. However, the contents of my blog over the last couple of years will easily provide a picture of my take on most of the issues of the day in Holy Mother Church.


Fr. John Zuhlsdorf was kind enough to comment on the original post. In order to make sure his position is made clear, I’m happy to post his comment and my response:

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf o{]:¬) said…

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.

thetimman said…

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.

God bless.