Venice priest proposes ‘decency tax’ on brides with plunging necklines

Brides showing too much decolletage should be made to pay more for their wedding ceremonies, an Italian priest has proposed.

Cristiano Bobbo says he has noticed wedding dress necklines plunging lower and lower over recent years. Father Bobbo says brides who display too much flesh at the altar should be subjected to a sort of decency tax.

"We could establish a sort of offering to be levied in proportion to the decency of the dress of the bride, who often present themselves looking coarse and vulgar, so the least dressed pay the most," said the priest, from Oriago, near Venice.

Writing to parishioners, he said an increasing number of brides turned up in gowns that were “inappropriate for the circumstances” of a church wedding.

Weddings had turned into glamorous social events, rather than solemn spiritual occasions, he said. Brides should enter into holy matrimony wearing outfits that are simple and in “good taste”, he added.

Father Bobbo said his suggestion was a "jocular provocation" but something that he would like to implement given half the chance.

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The proposal prompted a debate on social media, with many Italians accusing the priest of being prudish and out of touch.

“It feels like we’re going back to the 1940s when there were loads of taboos in place,” one man wrote on Twitter. “Does a low neckline really still cause a stir?”

Another wrote: “So should we fine the Church on the basis of how many victims were sexually abused by members of the clergy?”

But others were more supportive. “Finally, a bit of common sense. If people want to turn up in church semi-naked, why are they getting married in church?” wrote "Nicoletta", commenting on the story on an Italian news website.

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