Monday, May 05, 2014

Dangers of Tradition and Young Children



One of our children is in deep trouble: its the mantilla thing. Some, not many of the women in our congregation wear mantillas and very elegant they look too.
Well to cut a long story short, Annie who is 5 often stays with a friend of her mum's who had some rather elegant Victorian lace curtains. Annie found some scissors, now Annie has a mantilla and so do her three of her dolls and her favourite pink dinosaur, and whilst mum's friend still has lace curtains but one is now quite considerably shorter than its pair, they are less elegant nowadays.
And Annie was bareheaded at Mass on Sunday and so was the pink dinosaur.

+++

Speaking of such things, I remember a whole family of reasonably devout traditionally minded Catholics; mother, father and four young children apostacising over the issue of veils. It was around the time the then Papal MC got St John Paul to kiss the Koran, that really did rattle them. They had come into contacting with a Baptist group who insisted on women wearing a head covering, in conformity with St Paul's teaching, "But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head". It was one of those things that wormed away at them until it overcame belief in the Real Presence, the Inerrancy of the Church and everything else. The Baptist pastor kept saying to them if the Catholic Church errs on this rather minor matter can it be trusted on anything, eventually they decided it couldn't and went off to join them, eventually believing the Church to be the whore of Babylon, the Pope the Anti-Christ and all of that extreme Protestant stuff.

25 comments:

Sean W. said...

Traditional Catholicism is heavy on symbols, and nearly everything it in is symbolic to some extent. They concretize the faith, make it into a lived reality. But because they are so bound up with the faith, the restriction or elimination of traditional symbolic activities is experienced as a repudiation of the faith which is expressed in them. Small wonder so many left the church in disgust during the post-conciliar silly season.

Sue Sims said...

Dear Father

This isn't for display - just that you might want to correct 'bear headed' to 'bare headed', as the former creates the sort of image which distracts the reader from your point...

Lynda said...

The child was "bearheaded"! I'm sure she was after a proper scolding from her parents!! That made me laugh - thanks!

Fr Ray Blake said...

oops!
St Christopher is often portrayed dog-headed!

Katharine B. said...

That's sad about the family, especially considering that the Church was right about that issue for most of its existence. But, it's still right about everything else? The keys? The flesh of Christ? Something's fishy about that story...

nickbris said...

In the 50's & early 60's there were quite a few widows at St Mary Mags ,my Great Grandmother was one of them and they always sat on the side of Our Lady,they were the "Women in Black";they never wore a Mantilla but they all wore a headscarf which was knotted under their chin. In those days it was unheard of for women to go uncovered

Cosmos said...

Sounds like the Mantilla was the straw that broke the camel's back. If someone is perstering you with the argument that the Church is the Whore of Babylon, its a tough time to pick up a newspaper and discover the Pope kissing a Koran.

The Church's repudiation of the head covering does seem, in retrospect, incredibly arbitrary. Many of us were spared that reality from the facts that our parents either (1) blindly trusted the wisdom of the hierarchy or (2) didn't really care that much in the first place.

Its almost as if the shephers have been going out of their way to change their appearance, smell, and voice, and then blame the sheep for getting terribly confused!

Mark said...

Perhaps Mantilla's should be compulsory and handed out at the door? When worn they do look classy & reverential. If I wasn't so bald I would wear one myself!

Gungarius said...

It has to be remembered that when Henry VIII broke from Rome it was due to the iniquties and corruption of the Church in Rome and to ensure proper er pious Catholicism remained in England. Lutherans continued to be burned. There is something slightly familiar about this scenario. Only after his Henry VIII death did the Protestant reformation occur as separation from Rome made the Church in England too weak to resist what the government wished.

viterbo said...

heheh. oh dear, antique lace. that's why hats are better than the lace things - there's no confusion with the venerable tradition of the doily.

as for the anti-christ, I figured he'd show up when Christ said; that being, when there's the great apostasy; oh wait! but I don't think he'll be a 'pope' - that would be too obvious - it'd have to be someone the protestants and others think is kosher too; oh wait!

Cosmos said...

Gungarius,

Please! Henry VIII wanted a male heir, plain and simple, and he did what it took to get it-- six marriages and a reformation. I am not sure what point you are trying to make.

No doubt God uses the things of this world to accomplish his ends, and perhaps he was chastising the Church for its corruption, but Henry VIII was not some pious man, regardless of whether he believed the Church was the Church or talked in terms of reforms! Hardly anyone has ever done anything for purely evil intentions--its much easier to rationalize. People talk about Judas and Pilate similarly today ("they just misunderstood . . .").

William Tighe said...

"It has to be remembered that when Henry VIII broke from Rome it was due to the iniquties and corruption of the Church in Rome and to ensure proper er pious Catholicism remained in England."

Pure rubbish; it was due to Henry's inability to browbeat or persuade the pope to grant him the marriage annulment he so desired. One might read such books as Christopher Haigh's or Peter Marshall's on the English Reformation, or Henry Ansgar Kelly's 1976 "The Matrimonial Trials of Henry VIII" to see (1) how relatively incorrupt the English Church and its clergy were on the Eve of the (so-called) Reformation, and (2) how lacking the canonical basis was for Henry's contention that marrying a deceased brother's widow was "against the Law of God" and so unable to be allowed by dispensation by the papacy.

Lynda said...

Mark, I wish they were available at the door, as I sometimes forget my scarf . . .

gemoftheocean said...

Lynda, if you really want to go "old school" stick a Kleenex on your head and be all humble that way. Because that's what we were forced to do back in the 60s when we were kids and were attending Mass during the school day, if we didn't have our d***ed beanie. Hell could freeze over before I'd wear another veil. Don't get me started. No male would have ever been subjected to something that stupid, and I have resented it ever since. All I can say is there BETTER be a resurrection of the body, because I'll gladly stand in line to give Paul a good punch in the snout. And "Mark at the door to hand me a [insert adjective here] veil would get that [insert adjective here] veil in a place that would be uncomfortable for him plus a piece of my mind. Lynda, do you REALLY think Paul had some [insert adjective here] peptobismal pink veil in mind to make women feel like worms? Although I have to admit it *might* be fun to wear a baseball cap on my head backwards, and give people "that look" just for fun.

JARay said...

I have always liked mantillas. They are a very appealing (even sexy!) attire. The trouble is that, in general, Englishwomen do not know how to wear them. They put them on as their mothers used to wear scarves on their heads during wartime. The Spanish women know how to wear them in the most appealing fashion. The point should be over the forehead not dropped down the back of the neck. Then it is that the sides form lovely curves which frame the face, instead of the straight lines down the side of the face when the point is dropped down the back of the neck.

William Tighe said...

If I may add one more book recommendation to my previous posting, Peter Heath's *The English Parish Clergy on the Eve of the Reformation* (1969) largely vindicates the "moral character" and dedication to duty (despite some educational deficiencies) of the pre-Reformation English clergy.

Henry VIII couldn't have cared less about "the iniquities and corruption of the Church in Rome" until they proved useful to his "Agitprop team."

A real problem of the church was the quality of the episcopate, which varied from country to country. The Scottish, Danish, and German episcopates, e.g., were among the most corrupt (in terms of immorality, inattention to duty, and general unsuitability for their high office), while those of England, Sweden and especially Spain were among the best. The state of the Danish and German episcopates certinly contributed to the success of the Reformation in those countries, while in Scotland their attempts to hinder it came too late; and yet the good state of the English episcopate did not help much in the end (in Sweden, tha vacancy of most Swedish sees in the 1520s certainly aided the success of King Gustav Vasa's slow and stealthy severing the connection between Sweden and Rome over the period 1524-1532).

William Tighe said...

Gemoftheocean wrote:

"All I can say is there BETTER be a resurrection of the body, because I'll gladly stand in line to give Paul a good punch in the snout."

Who the Hell are you to criticize and ridicule (and not for the first time on this blog, either) the man whom the Church recognizes as one of the two primary apostles, and whose writings it accepts as inspired Holy Scripture?

gemoftheocean said...

Yes, JARay, I'm sure women "looking sexy" at Mass is exactly what Paul had in mind....I think Paul had something more "burlap sack" like in mind instead of some lacy last-of-the-7-veils frippery.

Lynda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William Tighe said...

On St. Paul:

1. Oratio Super Populum 29 Junii in die: "Deus, qui huius diei venerandam sanctamque laetitiam in apostolorum Petri et Pauli sollemnitate donasti, da Ecclesiae tuae eorum in omnibus servare praeceptum, per quos Filii tui religionis sumpsit exordium. Qui tecum" (etc.)

(NB "eorum in omnibus servare praeceptum")

2. Byzantine Rite, 29 June, sticheria from the Lamp-Lighting psalms at Vespers: (a) "What songs of praise could be worthy of Peter and Paul? They are like two wings on which the knowledge of god spreads out to the far ends of the earth and soars aloft to heaven, two hands from which the Gospel pours fourth grace, two feet on which the doctrine of truth travels about the world, two rivers of wisdom, two arms of the cross through which the merciful Christ casts down the pride of demons," (b) "With what spiritual songs shall we praise Peter and Paul? The voices of the fearful Sword of the Spirit, the illustrious ornaments of Rome, the delight of the whole world (*), the God-inspired tablets of the New Testament, conceived and uttered in Sion by Christ, the all-merciful God!

(*) Except for "Gemoftheocean," of course.

nickbris said...

Quite right Karen,the whole thing is getting ridiculous

eulogos said...

Gem of the Ocean, I am sorry the nuns spoiled the head covering thing for you. I was on the outside in the 1950's, a mostly unchurched child, and waited outside while my friends pinned tissues on their heads to "make a visit" to the Blessed Sacrament on their way home from school. I was impressed by the whole thing, little as I understood it. I can't say I understand the reason for it in any deep way now, to be honest. Because of the angels? What about them? But I like pious customs, and tend to think there is some wisdom in them even if I don't grasp it. I usually wear a hat, as I don't have a mantilla. Sometimse I wear a headscarf the way women in some Orthodox churches do. But not every woman at the EF mass I attend wears a headcovering, and I don't see any pressure on those who don't. So if this is really a problem for you, pass it up and concentrate on your interior disposition.
Susan Peterson

Pablo the Mexican said...

"Lynda, if you really want to go "old school" stick a Kleenex on your head and be all humble that way. Because that's what we were forced to do back in the 60s when we were kids and were attending Mass during the school day, if we didn't have our d***ed beanie. Hell could freeze over before I'd wear another veil. Don't get me started. No male would have ever been subjected to something that stupid, and I have resented it ever since. All I can say is there BETTER be a resurrection of the body, because I'll gladly stand in line to give Paul a good punch in the snout. And "Mark at the door to hand me a [insert adjective here] veil would get that [insert adjective here] veil in a place that would be uncomfortable for him plus a piece of my mind. Lynda, do you REALLY think Paul had some [insert adjective here] peptobismal pink veil in mind to make women feel like worms? Although I have to admit it *might* be fun to wear a baseball cap on my head backwards, and give people "that look" just for fun...."

I am surprised this tripe passes for Catholicism on your blog.

Every time I hear a rant like this from an American Roman Protestant Liberal woman, I remember the part of the Passion of Christ movie by Mel Gibson where the Devil carries his darling little American Liberal through the crowd.








The Autistic Catholic said...

Apologies if someone has said this already, but it does make me smile that men are still expected to remove their head-gear whilst the issue of women covering their heads in line with the same passage of scripture is almost guaranteed to raise a furore.

Personally, I cover my hair in church and get a "Yay, you too!" thrill when I see another woman doing so... but in the absence of a clear requirement from the Church (and other than at an EF Mass where it seems positively discourteous to disregard the custom) I couldn't think any woman as wrong for not conforming to what my conscience requires of me.

Amanda Lewin said...

Dear Fr Ray,

Whilst I have not yet had any lace curtains spoilt, I do have a mantilla blog, which I hope you won't mind me posting the link to here;

http://lovingmantillas.blogspot.co.uk/

All head coverings originate from Our Blessed Lady and Jewish women always keep their heads covered either with scarves, snoods or wigs.
Being a Jewish convert, I love this link which has been passed down and believe to cover one's head for love of Christ in reverence and modesty a very beautiful act.