Brides showing cleavage should have to pay a “decency tax” for their level of presumed immodesty, according to one Italian priest.
Father Cristiano Bobbo, who is from Oriago, which is near Venice, Italy, said recently a gradated fee should be imposed on women who wear wedding gowns with plunging necklines, which he argued is trending lower and lower, according to The Telegraph.
“We could establish a sort of offering to be levied in proportion to the decency of the dress of a bride, who often present themselves looking coarse and vulgar, so the least dressed pay the most,” Bobbo explained.
The priest explained in a letter to his parishioners that he was inspired to propose the tax after noticing an increasing number of women have worn dresses he deemed “inappropriate for the circumstances” of a church wedding.
Bobbo went on to say weddings have become glamorous events rather than serious spiritual occasions. He said women should enter into marriage wearing simple, conservative gowns that are in “good taste.”
One person responded on Twitter, claiming the priest’s suggestion is like “going back to the 1940s.” But others described the modesty proposition as “common sense,” with one asking, “If people want to turn up in church semi-naked, why are they getting married in church?”
For his part, the Italian minister described the “decency tax” idea as a “jocular provocation,” though he added it is something he would be interested in implementing.
Bobbo’s suggestion comes as the Catholic Church is embroiled in intense controversy over recent reporting revealing years of sexual abuse at the hands of ordained priests.
Pope Francis, in particular, is facing a lot of criticism for his silence on the accusations against disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who has been accused of sexually abusing priests and seminarians.
In his initial statement, Francis said he would not say “a single word” about the allegations facing McCarrick, which the pontiff has allegedly known about since 2013.
Francis also said earlier this week that silence is the correct answer to the controversy and division plaguing the Catholic Church, according to Crux.
“With people who do not have good will, with people who seek only scandal, who seek only division, who seek only destruction, even within families,” the pope said, “[the answer is] silence and prayer.”