A Catholic priest was blasted on Twitter for asking "ladies" to dress modestly to "protect the purity of men at holy Mass." And while Father Kevin M. Cusick later tweeted that he isn't backing down from his request, it appears his Twitter account has since been deleted.
Cusick — who's from the Washington, D.C., area — on Monday posted the following tweet: "Ladies, a priest I know was forced on Sunday to ask a woman at Mass to cover her shoulders. Please help the priest to protect the purity of the men at holy Mass by choosing to dress modestly. The alternative is awkward for all involved. Thank you."
Image source: Twitter screenshot
As you might imagine, Cusick's tweet ruffled a few feathers:
- "A woman's shoulders are not provocative," Australian novelist Jane Caro shot back. "Women's bodies are not grenades, liable to explode at any moment. Men's sexual/emotional/paranoid reactions to other people are entirely their own responsibility." Caro also said "this is why I despise organised religion."
- Feminist author Kimberley Johnson asked, "Why? Is the alternative that men will think about sex? Why blame the women for what men think? 'Purity of men'? What a crock. Why don't you preach that men should be respectful of women and not treat them as sex objects? Go pray on that." She added, "Men who are not able to control themselves around women's bare shoulders/arms/legs/abdomens — and the men who defend them — should not be permitted to be in public spaces with women."
- The editor in chief of BitchMedia replied, "Something is really wrong in any religion that is more concerned with women wearing their shoulders out than priests sexually assaulting children. Make it make sense."
- "In honor of this tweet, I will now be taking up the hobby of attending church in only tube tops," another Twitter user declared. "I will show my shoulders to every man in the establishment, I won't stop until my collarbone has caused countless erections, and it will all be your fault."
But not everyone was against Cusick's plea.
"I am honestly very saddened by how many women take a 'not my problem' stance when it comes to how men feel when exposed to the way most women dress today," Catholic writer Stephanie Nicholas noted. "Have you considered speaking to good, godly men and seeing what they think?"
Later on Monday Cuscik said he wasn't about to bow down to the outcry against his tweet.
"By the way: I'm not backing down from this," he tweeted. "I've thought about it, I've prayed about it, and I'm not to going to engage in the endless Vatican II style debate that goes back-and-forth constantly and ends up nowhere."
Image source: Twitter
But as of Wednesday morning, it appeared his entire Twitter page had been deleted.
However, Cusick did tell Yahoo Lifestyle that "Twitter does not lend itself well to some sensitive subjects" and that "even though we may have a very valid point to make sometimes it just happens that we don't express it in a way that takes into account certain sensitivities and so because of that somebody becomes offended when that wasn't intended at all."
This story has been updated.