Churches play vital role against violence

Head of the Catholic Church in Fiji Archbishop Peter Loy Chong arrives for the Synod Thanksgiving Mass at the Sacred Heart College grounds yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

CHURCHES play a vital role in curbing this menace, says the head of the Catholic Church, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong as he reaffirmed the church’s strong stand against domestic violence and sexual abuse.

Archbishop Chong, in a statement released earlier to all parishes and Catholic schools, stressed that the question of violence and the roles of men and women within the family as part of marriage preparation.

“We do not minimise the complicated nature of sexual abuse or the task involved in prevention, intervention, and support of people seeking to surmount the past,” he said.

“We believe, however, that parishes can play a crucial role in this process through the liturgy and sacraments, education, and support of empathetic and knowledgeable parishioners.”

He also reminded church leaders that abused persons and abusers turned to their parishes to find healing and reconciliation.

“Abused persons need justice and compassion; abusers need accountability, repentance, and support.

“A prayer service or special liturgical ceremony can help people as they set out on renewed lives.”

Archbishop Peter Loy Chong has also encouraged victims of violence and abuse to look to their parish as a source of support, strength, and assistance.

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