Genoa, December 27 - An Italian priest who stirred nationwide outrage by claiming women's provocative dress and refusal to bow to male demands were to blame for violence against them on Thursday said he was leaving the priesthood. Father Piero Corsi of Lerici near Genoa said after speaking to his archbishop he felt "unworthy" of his holy attire and apologised to "all women who were offended" by a notice he put up on Christmas Day reflecting on a recent wave of murders of women. Entitled Women and Femicide, How Often Do They Provoke?, the message said "the nub of the question is that women increasingly provoke, fall into arrogance, believe they are self-sufficient and end up exasperating the existing tensions. "They provoke the worst instincts. And if it comes to violence or sexual abuse (which, we repeat, are disgraceful), they should examine their consciences: perhaps we went looking for this ourselves?" Italy has recently seen a spate of murders of women by their partners or exes.