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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Bishops focus Day for Life on tackling domestic abuse

The Catholic bishops of England and Wales, Ireland and Scotland have agreed that the theme for Day for Life 2019 will tackle the shocking reality of domestic abuse.

One-in-four women and about one-in-six men suffer from domestic abuse in their lifetime, with two women killed every week in England by a partner or ex-partner.

Bishop John Sherrington, the bishop responsible for 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-fulfilment. 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 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.”

The Secretariat of State of His Holiness Pope Francis sent the following message of support: ‘His Holiness Pope Francis sends his cordial best wishes to all those celebrating the 2019 Day for Life being held in England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

‘As they consider the theme of the Scourge of Domestic Abuse, and in particular the shameful ill-treatment to which women are sometimes subjected (cf Amoris Laetitia, 54), His Holiness prays that their efforts to support the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters will bear much fruit and contribute to a growing commitment to fight against all form of exploitation.’

The Catholic bishops of England and Wales, Ireland and Scotland stressed that the good work carried out by the National Board of Catholic Women and other groups is of vital importance.

Day for Life is celebrated yearly by the Catholic Church in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. It is a day dedicated to raising awareness about the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition. This year, Day for Life is celebrated on Sunday, 16th June in England and Wales.

The proceeds of 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, since Jesus tells us, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10: 10 ESV).

The resources being sent to parishes in England and Wales include stickers which give information intended to help people who are suffering from domestic abuse.

All of the resources and more information about Day for Life can be found by visiting:

Picture: Picture posed by model – A shadow of a man with a clenched fist as a woman cowers in the corner. (Dominic Lipinski/PA).