CBCI calls for action on violence against women

January 26, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india, Persecution

CBCI Calls for Government and Public Action on Violence Against WomenThe Office Bearers of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, recently gathered in a special session in Mumbai, profoundly shared the concerns and distress of the people across the nation over the recent developments seen at our society. Instances of sexual violence against women and children have increased in an alarming rate, the most shockingly being the sexual gang rape and murder of a young medical student in the capital city of Delhi. This dastardly act of violence had evoked unprecedented protest and anger from all well-meaning people, cutting across all barriers. But the fact remains that this is not an isolated incident. Besides, according to sources, hundreds of rape cases are being reported everyday across the nation and female feticide, infanticide, molestation, kidnapping, abduction, dowry deaths, trafficking for sex and slavery continue to be perpetrated in several parts of the country. This is indeed a very alarming situation.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India urges the Union Government and the State Governments to address these issues without delay, mindful of the fact that violence against women and children will crumble the pillars of our society and eventually cripple the nation in its march towards peace and prosperity. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India is happy that the Central Government, the Judiciary and some State Governments have already initiated some strong and stringent measures to curb the violence on women and children. We hope that this awakening should not be momentary, but it should result in evolving and implementing comprehensive laws and effective measures to ensure the security and safety of women in our metropolitan cities and in villages as well.

Different views were expressed from different quarters, suggesting ways and means to curb this type of incidents. Capital punishment, Chemical castration were some of the means suggested. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India feels that while dealing with such issues, emotions should give way to wisdom, and desire for vengeance should give way to forgiveness. Any punishment meted out to the culprits is expected to be deterrent of such evil practices in the future.

The Church has a clear stand on the capital punishment. Life is a precious gift of God and no one has the right to take away that life. Chemical castration is a dehumanising act and an assault on the dignity of the human person. We feel that the Church, society and the nation should address these problems at their roots. In the overall formation of a person, the parents, teachers, elders, spiritual leaders, people in authority, all have their role to play. Social conscience when well formed, all citizens will be guardians of law.  Gang-rape or any such deviations in human behaviour are disorders and social diseases. Let us all come together as a nation and put in all our efforts to guard against any such horrendous incident and irresponsible behaviour, totally inconsistent with our lofty ethos and age-old cultures and traditions. We need to bring God and spiritual values back to the centre of our lives.

As the nation is getting ready to celebrate its 64th Republic Day, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India appeals to all people of good will to take up this confidence and hope our responsibilities as citizens of India to guard against all such evil forces that weaken the moral and ethical fibre of our nation and to rediscover fundamental values on which to build a better India.

– Archbishop Albert D’Souza,
Secretary General, CBCI

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