What at first had seemed nothing more than a harmless eccentricity has now become a source of real disquiet among Mr. Hooper's parishioners. Not to put too fine a point on it, his constant wearing of the black veil creeps them out, and a number of them have taken the decision to confront Mr. Hooper about it.
After much debate among Mr. Hooper's parishioners it has been decided that a church deputation will go to see him in order to get to the bottom of the matter, so that a mystery doesn't develop into a full-blown scandal. But when they finally meet Hooper, the deputation are unable to discharge their responsibilities. After Hooper cordially greets them, the delegates are so unnerved and confused by the presence of the minister's black veil that they are unable to broach the subject. Truth be told, they're not used to conducting a conversation with someone wearing a vale, and it creeps them out.
Although they came with the express intention of challenging Mr. Hooper over his wearing of the veil they quickly leave without saying anything, returning to their constituents and dodging their responsibilities by proclaiming that this is a matter for a council for the churches, or even a church synod.