A Catholic priest in India has been filmed condemning women who wear jeans, saying they should be ‘drowned in the sea’. Father Sharlom told a crowd in the state of Kerala that he does not wish to let women in jeans into his church. He also can be heard justifying a man who raped his sister because she wore ‘revealing shorts and t-shirts’.
A video posted on Facebook by user Jasmine PK shows the pastor, in an address, saying that women who arouse men wearing by exposing themselves and wearing men’s attire should be drowned in the sea with rocks tied to their bodies. The video sourced from Shalom TV was posted on February 25 and is now going viral. The original video, however, was posted on YouTube 11 months ago.
Speaking on camera, Father Sharlom says: ‘After I lecture young men on the ways of God, they come to me later and tell me, “Father, after absorbing all the knowledge you give us, we exit and are exposed to semi-naked women. We’re involuntarily provoked and aroused”.
‘When a father or a young man has come to the church to offer themselves to the God, if you’re standing beside him, having dressed provocatively enough to distract him, you’re a sinner, and you deserve to be tied down to the depths of the sea.’
He goes on to talk about how he was visited by a man who had ‘got his elder sister pregnant’ for counselling. He says: ‘When I asked him why he had committed the sin, he shared his sorrow with me.
‘He told me when their parents left for work, it was just his sister and him alone at home. All he could see was her roaming around in her revealing shorts and tee.
‘If you are someone who provokes their own brother and family, my Lord won’t accept you if you come to the church.’
Father Sharlom was approached for comment but was reluctant to discuss the video. He told NDTV, ‘I have not uploaded it and the video has been edited with vested interest,’ before reportedly hanging up the phone.
Speaking on behalf of the Catholic Church, Father Paul Thellakkat in Kochi said, ‘What that preacher has said is unwarranted. No priest has the right to dictate a dress code to women.’
The video, shared on Facebook, has angered many people.