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Italians Outraged By Priest's Claim That Women Bring Violence On Themselves

In Italy, a Catholic priest has stirred widespread outrage after he blamed incidents of domestic violence on the way women dress. Father Piero Corsi's remarks were in a Christmas message he put on a church bulletin board; photos of the note soon went viral.

As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, "a record 118 women have been murdered this year alone in domestic violence" in Italy, reportedly the highest number in Europe.

Here's more from Sylvia, in Rome:

"The title of message was 'Women and Femicide, How often do they provoke?'"

"Father Piero Corsi said scantily dressed women bring out the worst instincts in men and cause violence or sexual abuse. He claimed women end up exacerbating tensions by 'leaving children to themselves, having filthy houses, serving cold meals, buying fast food and providing dirty clothes.'"

The bishop who oversees the region in northwestern Italy that includes Corsi's church denounced the message and ordered it to be removed. But women's advocates are calling on Pope Benedict to act, as well.

"Maria Carnieri, head of Telefono Rosa, an NGO fighting violence against women, called for the Pope and Italian Prime Minster Mario Monti to intervene," reports The International Business Times.

The firestorm isn't rare for Corsi, who in October posted anti-Muslim cartoons on the church bulletin board, Italy's La Repubblica newspaper reports. The paper adds that he also scuffled with a homeless man months earlier.

As Sylvia notes, Corsi has denied media reports that he apologized and resigned over the leaflet.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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