A priest in Italy has sparked outrage after telling a rape victim that the assault was her own fault.

Lorenzo Guidotti, a parish priest in Bologna, was writing on Facebook to an underage girl who had been raped.

According to The Local, he said "I'm sorry but if you swim in the piranha tank you cannot complain if you lose a limb."

The girl, who had been allegedly raped by a North African man she had met in the city, was attacked by the priest for allowing it to happen.

The girl claimed that the man attacked her and she woke up hours later, half naked and without her clothes.

The priest said "I'm sorry, but... you get revoltingly drunk... and then who do you go off with? A North African?

"Do you understand that, along with the alcohol, you've gulped down the ideological tirade about 'welcoming everyone'?

"Darling, at this point, waking up semi-naked is the least that could happen to you."

The Facebook post was only visible to the priest's friends, but was picked up by Italian press and shared widely.

The Bologna archdiocese did not share the same views as their priest, and distanced themselves from him.

A spokesperson said the opinion of Guidotto, "in no way reflects that of the Church, which condemns every sort of violence".

Following backlash, the priest apologised, claiming that he was just "trying to make kids and their parents think".