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Christianity Women bring violence on themselves: priest

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Ishna, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Ishna

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    <TIME datetime="December 28, 2012 - 5:55AM">December 28, 2012 - 5:55AM

    A Catholic priest has sparked outrage in Italy by claiming women bring domestic violence on themselves by dressing provocatively and neglecting housework, Italian media report.

    "How often do we see girls and mature women going around scantily dressed and in provocative clothes?" Piero Corsi said in a Christmas message posted on the door of his church in the small town of San Terenzio in northwest Italy.

    "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?" it read.

    The leaflet, a copy of which was posted online sparking a wave of outrage across the country, said the 118 women killed in acts of domestic violence in Italy in 2012 had pushed men to their limits.

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

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

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

    The region's bishop, Luigi Ernesto Palletti, stepped in as the story went viral and said Corsi's words were "unacceptable and go against the church's common feeling on the matter".

    Amid protests from women's rights and anti-violence campaigners, Corsi was widely reported by Italian media to have apologised to his congregation and handed in his resignation.

    He later denied the reports, saying a resignation letter sent to news agencies was "probably a fake", adding that he was going to "take a rest" but had no intention of stepping down.

    "I don't know whether you're a queer or not, but what do you feel when you see a naked woman?" he asked a reporter for Rai Radio.
    "Are women themselves not causing harm by unveiling themselves like this?"

    The mayor of San Terenzio said the message had left the town's residents "dumbfounded and indignant", while an elderly female resident told Sky Italia television that Corsi "should keep a low profile as he has lots of secrets he would not wish to come out".


    Source: http://www.smh.com.au/world/women-b...lves-priest-20121228-2bybu.html#ixzz2GIagaAMf
    </TIME>
     
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  3. Harkiran Kaur

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    And the above is EXACTLY why I left the Catholic religion!!!! Well, in addition to that my beliefs in reincarnation etc really didn't sit well with Christianity either... but Catholicism is HUGELY mysogynistic!!! They believe that women should be barefoot, perpetually pregnant, and subordinate / slaves to men. Even birth control is forbidden in the Catholic religion. (Most people chose not to obey it though). Some people quote how Mary is revered in Catholocism as proof of women being treated well. It is in fact the opposite because Mary ... the very image of a virgin, submissive, mother, etc. is what all Catholic women are being compared to. So unless a women is stuck at home raising kids, is submissive, etc then she is not seen as leading a worthwhile life. The whole "equal but different" ideology that Islam seems to share.

    So my question is to the men: Do you not have a choice whether to act or not?? And if you can not control your own actions, then do you really think you are capable of being a leader??? It should not matter what someone else wears in front of you (though I do not believe in dressing provocatively at all myself), but even if someone does, a man should be in control enough of his actions that he doesn't immediately feel the urge to molest her!!!

    Women's issues are a BIG sore sport with me! And I know that in Punjab, culture speaks louder than faith and as a result many Sikh women there, do not get the equality that Sikhi teaches, but the fact remains that Sikhism teaches equality.... total equality. And that's what we should focus on.
     
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  4. spnadmin

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    Ishna ji

    From my own personal experience come these reactions.

    First of all the reaction of the "elderly" woman commenting to the television channel is classic. She could be a member of my own family. I am laughing so hard.

    Italy has always been torn culturally in many directions, between deep devotion to the Catholic faith and often ancient superstitious practices and beliefs which cut across levels of wealth and education versus unapologetic atheism, and virulent anti-clericalism. On religion, Italy is a land of extremes. I know because this is my own upbringing. The priest made an outrageous remark, and was quickly "hung by his heels" without any inhibition, by an old lady. No one shows reserve in expressing opinions because it would be more discrete, polite or politically correct.

    The other thing is more distressing. It has to do with the official messages of Roman Catholicism versus what clerics (nuns, priests, brothers) and the laity actually believe. The entire conversation about sex has both a public and a private side to it. My sister taking instructions to renew her connection to the religion after many years as a "non-believer" was told that a woman who becomes pregnant because of a rape, was not really raped. Pregnancy means she secretly found pleasure (you cannot get pregnant if you don't enjoy the act so it goes). If she found pleasure, it was not a rape. This is what she was taught: from the middle ages. Just about every aspect of talk about sex goes on like that. No need to make a list. But if you talk to the average nun or priest on the side, confidentially, they think this is mostly rubbish.

    I am not surprised, only concerned, to read this article. You know we have to forgive and be patient. We have to counter the message with messages of our own, given with patience and compassions.
     
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  5. Rory

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    Let's not make the mistake of implying that all Catholic men are of even remotely similar misogynistic persuasion to this Italian priest.. because I seriously doubt that it is true & I seriously doubt you believe that it is true.
     
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  6. Harkiran Kaur

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    I wasn't speaking about any specific people or men at all... I was speaking about the teachings at the core of the Catholic religion.

    And I have had MANY years to debate it with my all Catholic family... I started to question the role of women in the church from age 8. It wasn't long after that when I realized I would never be able to follow that religion. That started my search for where I belonged that ultimately led me to Sikhism.
     
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  7. WWW

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    Really Akasha? Did we go to different churches? Your opinions are really out there, and I would refrain from taking your personal experiences and attributing them to the church. No disrespect intended, but you sound very ignorant of its teachings.
     
  8. Harkiran Kaur

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    I'm talking about the issues such as birth control, women being ordained, etc. which are well known. And women's issues in Christianity in general are also well known. Without quoting specific passages from the Bible, I'd suggest just going straight to Paul's writings and also Timothy. There are numerous references to women being subordinate to men, that the head of women is men and the head of men is Christ etc. ANd that the reason women need to cover their heads and men don't is that women need to be reminded of their 'place' in that heirarchy. Also that women should never hold positions of authority over men, and that women should 'keep quiet' in the church (because it's a disgrace for them to speak) etc. As I said, many people choose not to follow those core teachings anymore. But they are there, in the Bible!!!! .... And the Pope certainly will never allow women to be ordained meaning women will never have any input into the running of the Catholic religion.

    And I learned of these things when I questioned at 8 years old why I could not be an 'alter girl' and was told it was 'because I was a girl' and asked why there were no women priests and was told that women just can't... I didn't learn about Catholic teachings about birth control, abortion with rape or when a woman's life is in danger, until later. But by then I already made my decision that I belonged to a different path.
     
  9. spnadmin

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    Akasha's reactions, biases if you will, are not unusual. Many have found the personal experience of growing up a Roman Catholic both an oppressive and a confusing experience. For some, conversely, the Roman church was a window of peace, clarity and emotional support.

    It is very difficult for me to say "this is what sums the Roman church up." It is far too complicated. It is so complicated that Akasha's reactions are as true to her experience as those of the frightened Punjabi girl, a Sikh, who is looking for the moment to bolt from the rigid orthodoxy of her family, or the Chasidic teenager who suddenly realizes she will not be permitted to finish high school but will be married off at age 16.

    The bad news: Here is a priest, the shepherd of his flock who is keeping the tradition of blaming women, because blaming the victim is how top-dogs in any culture stay on top. If the sheep is caught by the wolf, I can blame the dog for falling asleep and the sheep for being dumb. And as long as I can bully the dog and the sheep are ashamed, who will blame me?

    The good news: An unknown number of followers, the flock, don't buy it. They probably never did, maybe for centuries. Just now, these days, they are feeling very brave and are speaking out. They are good at compartmentalizing, knowing when they need the offices of clergy, and when to tune the clergy out.

    My grandfather, in his youth, hearing the local priest would not bury an infant who had not been baptized, made his way to the church to say to the priest, "The next time I hear the church bell toll, I pray it will toll for you." That is an extreme reaction. My grandfather was an immigrant with a 4th grade education, who could not figure how a religion that preached love would refuse burial to an infant. The basic question is really a good one: How does one make that healing connection promised in scripture when God's appointed intermediary slams the door. I would be hopping mad myself.
     
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  10. Harkiran Kaur

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    As I said, many people do not actually follow the true teachings in Christianity anymore... but here are many examples in the Bible that aim to put women in their place. I realize many Protestant sects do not acknowledge the very obvious mysogyny. And many Catholic wives submit willingly... the picture perfect 'obedient Catholic girl' image. And the last 2 Popes have both said they will never Ordain women. Apparently, even if they wanted to, it would be considered invalid since only men can be validly ordained.

    "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." (I Corinthians 11:3)
    "For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man." (I Corinthians 11:8-9) - so it says women were made for men...
    "Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." (I Timothy 2:11-14) - women are blamed for all sin in the world (original sin) This pretty much seals women's fate for all time in the Christian churches
    "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." (Ephesians 5:22-24) - That kind of says it all - men get authority over women.
    "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." (I Corinthians 14:34-35) - consequently this is the verse often used as reason why women should never be ordained. It's a 'shame' for women to speak in church...

    Many Christians ignore the passages above... (and many more like them) but this is the Bible... the Christian Holy Book... The simple fact that parts of a religion's Holy Book need to be ignored at all (some people say they were just put in there because at the time it was a patriacrhial society) but shouldn't a Holy Book (if it is indeed divine) have no need to have parts of it ignored because they don't 'fit' with today's society??? It's not up to humans to choose only parts of their religion's holy book to follow while ignoring others... If indeed it is divine knowledge then it should be truth and followed.

    What I love about Sikhi is the simple message about humanity - everyone being equal, even gender. And that we are all ONE. And nothing in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji needs to be omitted because it 'doesn't fit with today's society' In fact, it's pure truth and holds true today as much as when it was written!

    Sorry if I seem to have strong views on women's viewpoints from Catholicism but it's been ingrained since I was a child. My dad actually studied for 3 years to be a Catholic Priest, before he decided to have a family instead. I grew up listening to how 'women could never be a priest' and his reasons were that we were just 'below' men. Remember he learned this stuff from the Seminary....

    And back to the original post... it is deeply ingrained things like from the above quoted passages within Christian society, that cause people to come up with things like blaming women for causing their own rapes etc. It's easy to blame women when we are already blamed for all sin in the world!!
     
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  11. Ishna

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    Having learned the hard way about context and reading whole sections instead of single passages, I am compelled to play devil's (ahahaha) advocate here for a moment.

    Akasha bheinji, I am by your side with regards to women's rights. Women and religion has been a focus for me personally throughout my spiritual journey so far.

    Just to balance things out a little bit with regards to some of your Bible quotes (I can't defend Timothy though, maybe brother Vouthon can):

    If we keep reading Corinthians 11:10-12 it says

    So it kinda evens out I think here.

    If we read more of the section of Ephesians 5 it says

    I think this is actually quite a beautiful passage about harmony between husband and wife. There are some parallels between it and Gurbani, namely this famous shabad from ang 473.

    I can't say much about Corinthians 14:34-35 except to say when I challenged a presbytarian friend about it once he said his (female) minister said it was due to the culture of the time.

    And thus brings us back to the problem of all religions getting stuck in time and culture.
     
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    #10 Ishna, Dec 28, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  12. BhagatSingh

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    I'm looking for some clarification here.

    Let me get this straight. The priest basically says that women should not dress provocatively.

    Why?
    Because dressing provocatively can:
    1. "provoke the worst instincts"
    2. "end up exacerbating the situation"

    He says one more thing but let's put that aside for now. Is there any misogyny in the above? Where misogyny is defined as "the hatred of women". Do you disagree with it? why?
     
  13. Harkiran Kaur

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    Ishna.. that Ephesians 5 quote in its entirety still puts women in subordination to men. It says the men have to love their wives but not submit to them. (treating someone well and loving them is not the same as submitting to them...) In other words, women are supposed to do what the man says and serve him and he is supposed to treat her well in return. Still sounds like a slave / master relationship to me. When I say equality, that means nobody has to 'submit' to the other at the detriment of their own desires and dreams. You work as a team. Thinkof it like my career in the Navy. I always have to submit to my higher authorities... and in return they must treat me with respect and not abuse that authority. But that authority is always there and I must always submit to them. The only difference is that in the Navy I have chances for promotion and advancement where I get a chance to be the higher authority. According to the Bible that submission / authority is ordained and can never be challenged, no chance for advancement in the hierarchy. Women are always to be at the bottom. In fact by simply being in the Navy and being a few ranks up in the chain, puts me against the Bible where it says women should never be in a position of authority over men at all.

    Why I brought the misogyny into this, is that the ingrained attitudes toward where women place in the hierarchy in the Catholic Church (at the absolute bottom), causes these kinds of thoughts, that women cause the violence against themselves because they are not 'submitting' and accepting their subordination, their place.

    And I realize that Sikhism has its own issues with women... but at least they are cultural and not found within the core teachings of Sikhi. In fact, Sikhism teaches that the soul has no gender at all. So in reality... we are all the same and gender difference is only part of Maya.

    What it comes down to though:

    Men should have enough self control to NEVER attack a woman, no matter what she is wearing or is doing.
     
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    #12 Harkiran Kaur, Dec 28, 2012
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  14. linzer

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    Really Akasha? Did we go to different churches? Your opinions are really out there, and I would refrain from taking your personal experiences and attributing them to the church. No disrespect intended, but you sound very ignorant of its teachings.

    WWW

    I think here that linzer ji is quoting WWW. If you want linzerji, I will adjust the formatting to show that you are saying something different, just below. Then remove this edit. spnadm
    in


    Really??? You pehaps haven't heard of the doctrine of original sin. According to the church all of our problems originated with Eve.

    But Aksha ji has already covered this.
     
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    #13 linzer, Dec 28, 2012
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  15. linzer

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    BhagatSingh ji,
    Is there any misogyny in the above?

    I trust your not serious.

    "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?" it read.

    Blaming sexual violence on the victim, ie a women, makes it a misogynist statement.
    If a man is raped , yes men get raped, you don't hear anyone say that it was because he wearing provactive clothing.
     
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    #14 linzer, Dec 29, 2012
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  16. Harkiran Kaur

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    linzer Ji,

    What I was referring to was the core teachings of the religion of Catholicism (and Christianity in general) that many do not adhere to anymore. Most Catholic Churches (in the West) if you walk in you will not hear those passages mentioned. However, in many 3rd world areas where the Roman Catholic Church still has great pull on the political powers, they are much more harsh and do enforce those 'rules'.

    Chile is one example... predominantly Catholic, where the population growth is out of control, but the Church has so much pull on the Government (to the effect of threatening excommunication if they don't do what the Church wants) they disallow birth control... the one thing that would alleviate the out of control population growth. This puts women by extension into the perpetually pregnant, homemaker role and subordinate to the men who bring home the money. Catholicism is against birth control... which is a huge hit on women's independence.

    In North America, most Catholics ignore the core teachings. Also in Europe too... so that's why you may not have been exposed to it. But it exists. And if the core teachings of a religion need to be ignored in order to fit that religion to current society, then are you 'really' following it??

    I personally don't believe in original sin. And I believe that Genesis is all an allegory and symbolic, not literal. My personal beliefs include reincarnation, and other truths such as God being within everyone and everything, not separate from creation... those don't fit with Christianity at all... so women's position was not my only reason for leaving. But I have read the Bible. So I do know what I am talking about. What individual churches do, doesn't necessarily fit with what is written in the Bible.

    I was merely pointing out that Priests are taught according to the written word in the Bible as the ultimate authority... some loosely follow it in their congregations (ignoring some passages or just avoiding them), some follow it to the t including the misogynistic views of women. And the Priest in this case probably learned his views from his training in the Seminary.
     
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  17. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Veera Self control is made easy or hard dependent on the value we assign to the form in question,this priest like the world puts too high a value on the physical form ,the strange thing is what men obsess about is not even liked by the owner.
     
    #16 Scarlet Pimpernel, Dec 29, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  18. spnadmin

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    I am told just now that the Delhi rape victim has died. Did she will her own death? Will the world get over its monstrous notion that women do this to themselves. It is scandalous that these attitudes persist. I anyone going to demean "himself" by asking if she covered her legs?

    We will post later regarding her death.
     
  19. Ishna

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    Akasha ji

    Why do you think Catholicism holds fast to these rules while Protestants generally don't? You find plenty of female Christian ministers and pastors these days.

    It is mind boggling that some parts of a religion can be ignored. In this case it's generally for the better, but how do people pick and choose what they want from their sacred texts?

    If that's what the book says, then that's what the book says, for Catholics and Protestants. Weird!
     
  20. spnadmin

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    Ishan ji

    In part this happens because it is convenient to speak of rape, and so many other problems of social victimization, in the abstract. To say that principles of this or that have been violated; and that these problems can be cured by this or that remedy. Only the principles and the remedies are free to change labels. What is forgotten every single time is that a real human being, real human beings, have been injured. They are injured by the crimes against them; and they are injured by treating as abstract examples inside of abstract arguments that lose sight of what is real.
     
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  21. Harkiran Kaur

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    That's what I was trying to say... and why I couldn't follow Christianity.


    spnadmin: That is so so sad news. I knew her situation was grave, but was hoping she would pull through. I hope now, that those responsible will be punished appropriately, and that some good may come of her suffering - in that I hope India will look at the horribly high rates of sexual harassment, molestation and rapes and that Police will become educated and hopefully prevent some of this from happening in the future. Her case became global, so they can not ignore it. Let's hope she brings some change for the good. I feel so badly for her family and for her... she had a promising future in healthcare, she wanted to help people. :( Very sad...
     

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