ASIA/INDIA - The Bishops against rape: "The dignity of each person is sacred: the challenge is education"
New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - As another episode of gang rape shakes the nation – the victim, a 29 year-old a woman in Punjab, raped by six men in Amristar – the Bishops of India reaffirm "the sanctity of life and the necessity of an effort in the field of education, to combat this practice that degrades the dignity of women."
In an interview with Fides, Fr. Dominic D'Abreo, spokesman for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, offers the official view of the Indian Church: "After yet another incident of rape in Punjab, we are very sad. We are all children of God, and such incidents should not happen because every person is worthy of respect". "The whole country, institutions, religious communities etc...- he notes - are working and must continue their efforts to ensure the rights and dignity of every person. The phenomenon of rapes has to be monitored, and the country is becoming aware and is making efforts."
The Church in this field offers its contribution: "We have always defended and will defend the dignity of women, respect for the sacredness of human life. The challenge today is that of education, which must be imparted to children and young people, centering it on the respect for the life of every human being. In this regard the Christian faith places respect for life at the top of human values. We will always be on the side of those who are deprived of their dignity, of those who are marginalized or abused in society." "The Church in India – explains to Fides the spokesman of Bishops - speaks in favor of the oppressed and encourages everyone to make greater efforts to combat the phenomenon of rape and build a better society. In this sense, the 'Day of justice for gender equality', which will be held January 27 in Mumbai, will be a sign for the whole country. It will be a very important moment to offer a light to the nation and encourage all people to follow this light."
In the debate on a new law that punishes rape, concludes Fr. D'Abreo, "we do not ask for death penalty, because we believe that life is always sacred. Instead, we ask that anyone who commits a heinous crime such as rape is punished severely, to say to all of society how serious the crime is, and for prevention policies to be initiated." (PA) (Agenzia Fides 14/01/2013)
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