Pious Trash: Modesty Veils for Females

Posted by Censor Librorum on Apr 18, 2020 | Categories: Faith, History, Humor, Pious Trash

Rules were a big thing growing up Catholic in the 1950s and 60s. Rules had to be followed, no matter how silly or irrational they were. The Church’s insistence on silly rules – missing one Sunday Mass would condemn a good person to Hell forever – did more to undermine Catholicism’s credibility than the conflagration of the 60s. Silly rules ultimately sapped believability.

An example of a silly rule is that females must have their heads covered in church. Going to church on Sunday was fine since I always had a chapel veil or bonnet; but going to church during the week presented a problem since I went to public school. I did not have a veil with me when I went to catechism class on Wednesdays. The sisters remedied that by requiring all girls without a veil to wear a tissue on their heads when we went into the church. The sisters handed out tissues as we entered the vestibule. We walked into the sanctuary with one hand on our heads to hold the tissue in place. I spent the lesson trying to keep the tissue on my head as we knelt or stood up. The drafts in the church didn’t make it easy. Obviously, the pastor and the nuns did not consider the impression that this exercise would make…what was important was that we followed the rule.

My revelation at age 10: having to wear a tissue on my head was stupid. It was my first step down the road of disbelief of other rules, including birth control, salvation limited to Catholic humans, chastity, and the secondary status of females in the Church.









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3 Responses to “Pious Trash: Modesty Veils for Females”

  1. Póló Says:

    That’s an interesting one. And don’t forget the opposite was true for the males – head uncovered. If I remember rightly it was all St. Paul’s fault. Something to do with the male mediating the female’s contact with the Lord.

  2. Censor Librorum Says:

    Thank you for reminding me!

  3. Aenne Says:

    “Pious trash”? Yes, thank goodness women are no longer required to cover their hair in church, based on pesky old Scripture. Our nuns no longer do because veils clashed with their pants suits and their kicky little hairdos! It’s also safer for nuns to have ditched them because they posed a fire hazard when the sisters lit up their cigarettes. And what teenage girls in their best “go to church” tight pants or top wants to ruin the effect with a chaste head covering? That’s so “yesterday”.

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