An Italian priest has provoked outrage after claiming that women are to blame for domestic violence by wearing tight clothing in his Christmas bulletin – and pinning the notice to the door his church.
Father Piero Corsi also attacked women for not cleaning their houses and serving fast food, and called on women to engage in ‘healthy self criticism’ over femicide – men murdering women.
In an astonishing message, he attacked pornography but said women shared the blame for ‘provoking the worst instincts which then turn into violence and sexual abuse’.
Father Corsi’s letter, pinned to the door of the church in the northern village of San Terenzo di Lerici, said: ‘Let’s ask ourselves. Is it possible that men have all gone mad at one stroke? We don’t think so.
‘The core of the problem is in the fact that women are more and more provocative, they yield to arrogance, they believe they can do everything themselves and they end up exacerbating tensions,’ it said.
‘How often do we see girls and even mature women walking on the streets in provocative and tight clothing?
‘Babies left to themselves, dirty houses, cold meals and fast food at home, soiled clothes.
‘So if a family ends up in a mess and turns into crime (a form of violence which should be condemned and punished firmly) often the responsibility is shared,’ it said.
The mayor of Lerici, Marco Caluri, said the article was ‘astonishing and deeply offensive’.
A UN report found that one third of women in Italy had reported being a victim of serious domestic violence and in 2010 127 women were murdered by men.
They were often as a result of ‘honour, men’s unemployment and jealousy by the perpetrator.’
Amid protests from women’s rights and anti-violence campaigners, Father Corsi was widely reported by Italian media to have apologised to his congregation and handed in his resignation.
However, he later denied the reports, saying a resignation letter sent to news agencies was ‘probably a fake’, according to The Journal.
He was quoted as saying he will ‘take a rest’ but had no intention of stepping down.
He also asked a reporter for Rai Radio: ‘I don’t know whether you’re a queer or not, but what do you feel when you see a naked women?
‘Are women themselves not causing harm by unveiling themselves like this?’, he was quoted as saying in The Journal.
Maria Gabriella Carnieri Moscatelli, the head of Telefono Rosa, an association that helps the victims of violence, said an was not sufficient.
She told SkyTG24 television: ‘I thank the bishop who had the paper taken down but I’m still not satisfied because I think someone needs to talk to this person and understand why he has these attitudes.
‘I think he needs to make a deeper examination of his conscience that goes beyond apologies.’
Following protests he told weekly newspaper Oggi: ‘After everything that’s happened, which has certainly been well beyond what I intended or expected, I think there’s need for calm, rest and silence to respond with the serenity and harmony required to carry on.’