I’m a faithful Catholic Bakersfield woman who attends Saint Francis Church. I also veil during Mass. In a recent article in The Bakersfield Californian, Kyle Humphrey made a wildly dangerous statement regarding women who veil in this town as doily wearers (it’s been called a veil, or mantilla, for thousands of years, as a Catholic, he should know that) and suggested that we are somehow responsible for Father Craig’s recent troubles ("Californian exclusive: Suspended priest Craig Harrison, back from self-exile, formulates his defense," June 9).
He owes Bakersfield Catholic women who veil an immediate apology. Some of whom, by the way, are Craig supporters.
Wearing a veil, or mantilla, during Mass is a time-honored right of Catholic women across the globe. We wear it to show our devotion and humility before our Lord’s body present at the altar.
Humphrey’s remarks puts women like myself in danger for intimidation in the Bakersfield community and is drastically “anti-woman.”
In so doing, Mr. Humphrey put a target on every Bakersfield woman’s back who prefers to veil during Mass and attempted to make us an enemy in our own hometown. Why he would use a PR stunt to bash fellow Catholics is beyond irresponsible.
Humphrey is even insinuating that we veilers are somehow connected to SNAP and further puts us at risk. Obviously, Father Craig supporters are going to see women who veil during Mass as some sort of threat because of Mr. Humphrey’s irresponsible, dangerous remarks.
This will dramatically affect how we are received by fellow parishioners during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at Saint Francis, in particular.
Would his law firm be willing to apologize and put out a statement that women who veil are not a threat to Catholicism or to Father Craig (as Mr. Humphrey tried to insinuate)?
This has been very difficult time for Catholics in our town and this attack by Humphrey has turned a difficult time into a very dangerous one for women veilers.
An immediate apology is in order.
Steph Gordon, Bakersfield