A firestorm lit up Twitter after a priest asked women to dress modestly in order to “protect the purity of men at Holy Mass.”
Father Kevin M. Cusick, a former Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy chaplain corps and a priest from the Washington, D.C. area, received incredible pushback and criticism after he asked “ladies” to cover their shoulders.
“Ladies,” Father Cusick wrote, “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,” he added. “Thank you.”
The tweet immediately faced backlash with both women and men, catholics, and non-catholics responding to his request.
Here were some of the responses on Twitter:
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.
— Kimberley Johnson (@AuthorKimberley) June 4, 2019
Actually, Jesus said if her shoulders are causing u problems, it’s on YOU, not her to fix the situation👇
“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell”
— Zack Hunt (@ZaackHunt) June 3, 2019
And this is why I despise organised religion. A woman's shoulders are not provocative. 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.
— Jane Caro (@JaneCaro) June 4, 2019
— Luke Konchar (@Luke587) June 4, 2019
Father, I understand your organization is most comfortable covering things up.
— A.R. Moxon (Julius Goat) (@JuliusGoat) June 4, 2019
Although many on the internet were angered at Father Cusick’s tweet, there were others who stood behind his request.
Stephanie Nicholas, a Catholic writer, wrote: “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.”
“Have you considered speaking to good, Godly men and seeing what they think?” she posed.
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. Have you considered speaking to good, Godly men and seeing what they think?
— Stefanie Nicholas ☩ (@StefMNicholas) June 4, 2019
Father Cusick responded, despite the criticism, saying “I’m not backing down from this. 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.”
Even though he said he was standing his ground, by Wednesday morning, it appears that Father Cusick’s Twitter account was deleted.
In an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle, Cusick shared: “Twitter does not lend itself well to some sensitive subjects.”
“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,” he concluded.