By Linda Bordoni
As the Catholic Church in England and Wales prepares to celebrate the Day for Life focusing on the theme of the Scourge of Domestic Abuse, Pope Francis has sent a message of greetings, support and participation.
In the message, signed on his behalf by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Pope said that as the bishops consider the theme of Domestic Abuse, “and in particular the shameful ill-treatment to which women are sometimes subjected (cf Amoris Laetitia, 54).” He prays that the efforts of the bishops’ to “support the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters will bear much fruit and contribute to a growing commitment to fight against all forms of exploitation.”
“The responsibility to share the good news that every human life is beautiful and sacred is a noble calling”, said Pope Francis. He continued offering “his encouragement to all who strive to promote a culture of life, gladly imparting his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of strength and peace in the Lord.”
The 2019 Day for Life is being held in England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland on 16 June.
Commenting on the shocking statistics that reveal one in four women and about one in six men suffer from domestic abuse in their lifetime, and that two women are killed every week in England by a partner or ex-partner, Bishop John Sherrigan who is responsible for the Day for Life in England and Wales said:
“These shocking statistics call us to fight against the scourge of domestic abuse. For those who are experiencing domestic abuse, the home is far from being a place of security and self-fulfillment. Too often it is a place of suffering, fear, degradation, and isolation. Domestic abuse is often a hidden problem, and our aim is for anyone experiencing domestic abuse to feel able to have the confidence to seek help within the Church setting. We want to raise awareness in our churches which would be a step towards addressing this serious moral and social problem.”
He pointed to the good work carried out by the National Board of Catholic Women and other groups, saying that it is of vital importance.
The proceeds from the Day for Life collection held in parishes will be used for the promotion of the dignity of the human person through the distribution of grants. This will help to develop networks and work with others to support projects against domestic violence.