Fury as priest displays article blaming women for domestic violence

Fri, Dec 28, 2012, 00:00

An Italian priest has provoked outrage after putting up an article that said women were partly to blame for encouraging domestic violence by failing to clean their houses and cook properly and for wearing tight and provocative clothing.

Italian media reported that parish priest Fr Piero Corsi fixed a text to the bulletin board of his church in the northern village of San Terenzo di Lerici, which said women should engage in “healthy self criticism” over the issue of femicide, or men murdering women.

“Worst instincts”

The text, posted on a website by a conservative Catholic named Bruno Volpe, attacked pornography and erotic television advertising but said women shared the blame for “provoking the worst instincts, which then turn into violence and sexual abuse”.

“Let’s ask ourselves, is it possible that men have all gone mad at one stroke? We don’t think so,” said the text, which was reproduced in several newspapers.

“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 to crime (a form of violence which should be condemned and punished firmly), often the responsibility is shared,” it said.

Lerici mayor Marco Caluri, said yesterday that the article was “astonishing and deeply offensive” while the bishop of La Spezia ordered it to be taken down, saying it contained “unacceptable opinions which are against the common position of the church”.

It said that as many as 127 women were murdered by men in 2010, often as a result of “honour, men’s unemployment and jealousy by the perpetrator”.

Maria Gabriella Carnieri Moscatelli, head of Telefono Rosa, an association that helps the victims of violence, said a subsequent apology from Fr Corsi was not sufficient.

“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,” she told SkyTG24 television.

Reports denied

Fr Corsi denied reports that he intended to resign. “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,” he said. – (Reuters)