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What does the Roman Catholic Church think regarding women wearing a mantilla at Church?

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Until very recently, Catholic women were required by canon law to veil themselves when in church.

Canon 1262 §2 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law provided that:

Men, in a church or outside a church, while they are assisting at sacred rites, shall be bare-headed, unless the approved mores of the people or peculiar circumstances of things determine otherwise; women, however, shall have a covered head and be modestly dressed, especially when they approach the table of the Lord.


This was requirement was based on both tradition and scripture. In 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 St Paul argues that women should wear a veil when praying.

Canon law no longer requires Catholic women to cover their heads in church. The 1983 Code of Canon Law did not include this requirement and, in fact, abrogated those parts of the 1917 Code not intentionally included within the new legislation (including Can. 1262 §2).

This means, therefore, that Catholic women are free to cover their heads in church but are not required to do so.

Following the 2007 Motu Proprio (Summorum Pontificum) many Catholic women (especially young women) have returned to the tradition of wearing a mantilla when in church. Although most commonly seen at the extraordinary form mass, some women also wear them to the ordinary form mass.

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