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Austin Cline

Catholic Priest Says Women to Blame for Sexual and Physical Violence

By December 31, 2012

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A third of Italian women have reported being victims of serious domestic violence. According to Piero Corsi, priest of the San Terenzo parish, those women are themselves responsible for whatever sexual and physical violence. He actually wrote out this claim in a statement he posted right in his church.

Chastity vs. Sexuality: Grant me Chastity and Continence, But Not Yet!
Photo © istockphoto/diego cervo
Poster © Austin Cline

And what are women doing that causes them to become victims of sexual and physical violence? Apparently, it's all due to them dressing provocatively and acting uppity. You see, uppity women in short skirts deserve to become victims of violence. They deserve to be raped and beaten.

And what about men? Well, they can apparently do whatever they want without bringing violence upon themselves. Men can basically do what they want; women, in contrast, have to censor themselves so as not to forget their place as second-class citizens.

Never forget, though, that women are basically equal now in western society, there's no need any more for feminism, and religious institutions like the Catholic Church are repositories for all our best moral values. Right?

Piero Corsi wrote:

How often do we see girls and mature women going around scantily dressed and in provocative clothes?

They provoke the worst instincts, which end in violence or sexual abuse. They should search their consciences and ask: did we bring this on ourselves?

Is it possible that all of a sudden men have gone mad? We don't believe it.

The fact is that women are increasingly provocative, they become arrogant, they believe themselves to be self-sufficient and end up exacerbating the situation.

Children are abandoned to their own devices, homes are dirty, meals are cold or fast food, clothes are filthy.

Source: The Journal

Piero Corsi's bishop, Luigi Ernesto Palletti, has told the media that Corsi's statements are "unacceptable and go against the church's common feeling on the matter." Corsi has apologized, but few people seem willing to accept it because it's so weak. I doubt that he's genuinely sorry about anything because I think he sincerely believes everything he wrote. Why wouldn't he?

The problem is, there's little chance that Piero Corsi got these ideas entirely on his own, independent of the church and Italian society. It's no coincidence that these are the same ideas which women have been fed for generations -- not just in the Christian context, but in Jewish and Muslim contexts as well. This makes Bishop Palletti's criticism difficult to accept because it demonstrates no reflection on the role of the Catholic Church and Italian society on the existence, maintenance, and promotion of these ideas.

These ideas are certainly not limited to religious institutions, but religious institutions have a lot of cultural power so when they promote these ideas they can cause a lot of harm. These ideas can, for example, make it more difficult to get convictions in rape cases by polluting juries with the belief that women who are raped are responsible for what was done to them.

December 31, 2012 at 5:50 pm
(1) David says:

Well Berlusconi seems to feel that women are there
to be ‘used’ too.

So Piero Corsi is in good/bad company; and Berlusconi
may run for Prime Minister again I read. Why would any
woman vote for him?

All very confusing to this Brit

January 1, 2013 at 10:32 am
(2) RickRay says:

New Title: “Realistic People Say, Priests, Bishops & Pope are To Blame For Child Molestation and Child Sexual Abuse”
Let them answer to that.

January 4, 2013 at 4:10 pm
(3) Sally says:

Can’t men see how claiming that they need to be protected from ‘temptation’ or that that they “can’t control themselves” – even when prettied up by “the heart wants what the heart wants” – turns them into lesser human beings?

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