The Catholic Church has sparked outrage in India after it blamed "consumerism" and bodily "temptations" for the alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl.
Priest Mathew Vadakkacheril, from Kerala in India, was accused of raping the child and later arrested.
The girl was allegedly raped several times and became pregnant, according to India Today.
The child has since been delivered at a private hospital and since
taken to an orphanage, reportedly without the mother's consent.
Yet it is the response to the incident among the Christian community in India that is now making headlines.
A Christian weekly magazine, which is backed by a Catholic Sabha or
association, blamed the alleged victim for the event and said Mr
Vadakkacheril may have momentarily “forgotten his position”.
“Daughter, why did you forget who a priest is?" read an extract in the Sunday Shalom, according to an India Today
translation. "He has a human body and has temptations. He may have
forgotten his position for a few seconds, my child who has taken the
Holy Communion, why didn't you stop or correct him?"
Father Paul Thelekat from the Bishops’ Council, also commented on the incident and blamed consumerism for the rape.
"Consumerism is indeed a situation affecting everyone in the world
and priests are also in the world. It is in celibacy and in virginity
the crisis become apparent first, then it will become a crisis of
fidelity in marriage with extra-marital and premarital sex,” he told The News Minute.
“Women are presented as commodity both in media and in advertisements
and all commodities are marketed with girls and women, where
[the] human body is dehumanise[d]."