At least nine women were canonized because they chose death over rape, yet none of them were raped. Is the Church saying that rape victims have lost their purity and are no longer the same because of the rape, and that death is preferable to rape?

The Catechism (CCC 2356) defines rape as "the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person." It does state that rape can wound the "moral integrity" of the victim. But integrity here means wholeness. Rape wounds a person’s wholeness. That does not mean that it makes the victim sinful; rather, it means that it can shatter the victim’s innocence. The Catechism then goes on to mention how evil such an act is. It then refers to the horror such a violation is to children. It does not suggest that such children—or any victims—are responsible in any way for what has happened to them or that they are morally corrupted by having been abused.

Some saints who have fended off attempted rapists, such as Maria Goretti, have been honored for their purity. This in no way implies that others who were unable to fend off their attackers were sinful. In either case, it is the perpetrator, not the victim, who has sinned. Morality lies in the act of the will.

Anyone who treats victims of rape with anything other than profound compassion and understanding is acting against the teachings of the Church and needs to be corrected.