Archbishop Braulio Rodriguez, of the Toledo Cathedral, has caused quite a controversy regarding domestic violence toward women after a sermon held on December 27. Rodriguez claimed that “disobedient wives” are to blame for domestic violence and that asking for a divorce simply invites further violence against the woman. In his mind, a woman should not only be obedient, but also faithful to the point that she never asks for a separation or divorce.
The Huffington Post published portions of Archbisop Rodriguez’ sermon, translated to English, that claim a cause for domestic violence is often the request for a separation of some kind, which is an act of disobedience in the church, at least in his view.
“Often, the macho reaction comes about because [the woman] asked for a separation.”
Archbishop Rodriguez went on to state that the domestic abuse, which has led to death on occasion, is simply the mans’s reaction to the woman rejecting his demands. The full sermon can be read on the diocese’s web site, in Spanish.
Archbishop Rodriguez blames the majority of domestic violence on a lack of a “true marriage” and the allowance of quick divorces for couples that are experiencing issues. The ability to divorce quickly allows the woman a means to leave the relationship without taking the time to work things out, thus creating an instance of disobedience to the husband and the marriage, within which the domestic violence becomes an issue.
“The serious problem lies in that these couples have not had a true marriage.”
Public service announcements warning against domestic violence also warn against the dangers, both emotionally and physically, of being treated in a harmful manner by a spouse. Regardless of who is to blame, many believe the disobedience should be owned by the one that inflicts the abuse, not the one that wishes to leave the abusive relationship.
Metro reported on the sermon, stating that many individuals that heard the sermon, or read it, were outraged by Archbishop Rodriguez’s remarks, some claiming he should be incarcerated for his words, feeling they justify the abuse toward women.
Twitter quickly became overrun with individuals that felt Archbishop Rodriguez overstepped his bounds and spoke out of line.
Paco a la Naranja could not believe that Archbishop Rodriguez would say such things, claiming that his attempt to justify domestic violence toward women was horrible.
“Another archbishop that justifies the unjustifiable.”
Jon Johnson wonders if the Archbishop realizes why the women may want a divorce, and if domestic violence may have conjured the thoughts of separation, rather than vice versa.
“The archbishop doesn’t take a second to consider why these women ask for a divorce in the first place.”
Bob Uhler attempted to clarify the Archbishop’s points in a comment on the Huffington Post.
“The Archbishop is saying is that if women would just obey men, men wouldn’t have to hit them so much. Seldom is a thought as horrible as it sounds.”
Correspondents reached out to the Vatican for their comment on the Archbishop’s remarks, but Father Thomas Rosica, a Vatican Spokesman, refused to comment on the sermon or the remarks made within.
Archbishop Rodriguez has also been quiet regarding the sermon, failing to clarify if the sermon was misinterpreted or to explain in more depth why he feels domestic violence is the work of disobedient wives.
Although there is a chance that the sermon did not come off as intended and that Archbishop Rodriguez did not meant to blame disobedient wives for the domestic abuse they endure, his words have sent outrage across the world.
What are your thoughts?
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