2013-08-29 L’Osservatore Romano
Mumbai, 28. “Our women and our children suffer violence and abuse even in their families, as well as in a society that humiliates, degrades, discriminates, excludes and exploits them. As morality is corroded and values corrupted, our system of values is seriously compromised”. The brutal gang rape of a young photojournalist in Mumbai “reflects the decline in the spiritual, social and cultural life of our country”. Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, did not mince words, condemning the episode which took place on 22 August when in the capital of Maharashtra a 22-year-old was attacked by five men, who have all been arrested.
This incident is similar to the group rape of a 23-year-old woman who died following the attack which occurred on a bus in December 2012 in New Delhi. In an interview with AsiaNews, the Archbishop of Bombay underlined the need to “bring God back at the centre of our lives-in the family, in society, in the workplace-and lead us to the values of the Gospel”. Cardinal Gracias learned of the news with “deep anguish and anger” since it “is the worst thing a woman can undergo. Rape is physical and psychological terrorism, an abominable crime against the honour of women”.
The prelate also spoke on behalf of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India: “The Church is a tool to serve society and the nation through education and our facilities. I have already asked our schools to inculcate the values of justice and respect for gender not only to students but also to parents. Mothers and fathers are important in raising awareness of how we treat women in our families. The Church in Mumbai and all of India will encourage a noble culture and society, built on equality, justice and respect between men and women”.
For decades, according to AsiaNews, the Catholic Church in India dedicates the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on 8 September to girls.