Month to Focus on Domestic Violence

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WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 29, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. bishops' Committee on Women in Society and in the Church is urging priests and other pastoral leaders to note October's Domestic Violence Awareness Month.



To help Church leaders, the committee has posted homily helps and other information on domestic violence on its Web site at www.usccb.org/laity/violence.htm.

The resources provide practical assistance to priests, deacons and pastoral leaders to help them preach about domestic violence. They also include suggestions for dealing effectively with abused spouses and abusers.

The bishops took the action in response to the many Catholics who say they never hear about domestic violence from the pulpit.

The committee recognized that some pastoral leaders hesitate to preach about the topic because they are not familiar with it or do not know how to assist abused women and abusers.

The committee resources include sample homilies and examples of how to connect the Sunday readings and domestic violence. The Web site also includes the text of "When I Call for Help," the bishops' document about domestic violence.

In the statement, the bishops declared that "violence against women, inside or outside the home, is never justified. Violence in any form -- physical, sexual, psychological or verbal -- is sinful."