Priest’s com­ments very sad­den­ing

Bray People - - COMMENT - DEB­O­RAH COLE­MAN

WHILE I can­not imag­ine that the views ex­pressed re­cently by an Ital­ian priest about domestic vi­o­lence are those of many oth­ers, if any around the world, it sad­dened and en­raged me to read his com­ments.

Piero Corsi, a par­ish priest in the north­ern Ital­ian vil­lage of San Terenzo di Lerici posted bizarre com­ments on a church no­tice board call­ing on women to en­gage in ‘ healthy self crit­i­cism' re­gard­ing the is­sue of men mur­der­ing women.

Ac­cord­ing to the text which was later posted on­line Corse cites women wear­ing tight provoca­tive cloth­ing and hav­ing house­holds with ‘ ba­bies left to them­selves, dirty houses, cold meals and fast food and soiled clothes' as the rea­sons that pro­voke vi­o­lence and sex­ual abuse in men.

It is as­ton­ish­ing to me that any­one would hold this as a le­git­i­mate view, let alone a per­son in such a po­si­tion as Corsi.

While ev­ery­one is en­ti­tled to their opin­ion I can­not fathom how this man can jus­tify th­ese com­ments.

How can any woman be blamed for the vi­o­lent and crim­i­nal acts of her hus­band?

Com­ments such as this in cer­tain cases will only serve as jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the ac­tions of a vi­o­lent spouse who needs some­one else to blame.

This priest's com­ments are of course not the view of the clergy in gen­eral, I would hope that the church would make clear its view on mat­ters such as this.

The mean­ing of th­ese com­ments are cer­tain to have a po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous im­pact on the psy­che of both vic­tims and per­pe­tra­tors of vi­o­lence in dif­fer­ent ways.

Domestic vi­o­lence is no­to­ri­ously un­der­re­ported and this is ex­actly the sort of at­ti­tude that de­ters women in cri­sis from seek­ing help be­fore it is too late.

This is the last thing that a per­son trapped in a vi­o­lent re­la­tion­ship needs to hear and is pre­cisely the sort of so­cial at­ti­tude that pre­vents them from mak­ing a change.

Corsi clearly has lit­tle ex­pe­ri­ence of deal­ing with such vi­o­lence within his par­ish, oth­er­wise he would know that the vi­o­lent spouse (male or fe­male) is to blame for their be­hav­iour and not the ac­tions of their vic- tim.

It is im­por­tant to move away from damn­ing no­tions that ir­rel­e­vant mat­ters such as cloth­ing or house­keep­ing are le­git­i­mate provo­ca­tion for any sort of vi­o­lence. No­body can use them as any sort of ex­cuse to in­flict ter­ror on an­other per­son and this mes­sage must be sent loud and clear.

Piero Corsi, a par­ish priest in the north­ern Ital­ian vil­lage of San Terenzo di Lerici, posted bizarre com­ments on a church no­tice board call­ing on women to en­gage in ‘healthy self crit­i­cism' re­gard­ing the is­sue of men mur­der­ing women.

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