Pope Francis calls for an end to violence against women in message

Pope Francis uses New Year message to call for an end to violence against women saying it is an ‘insult to God’

  • The Pope said hurting women ‘insults’ God at a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica 
  • Pope Francis, 85, in his New Year message, denounced violence against women 
  • He has called for ‘greater efforts to promote mothers and to protect women’

Violence against women is insulting to God, Pope Francis said in his New Year’s message yesterday.

Francis, 85, called for ‘greater efforts to promote mothers and to protect women’ as he celebrated a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on the day the Roman Catholic Church marks both the solemnity of Holy Mary Mother of God as well as its annual World Day of Peace.

The pope has ardently spoken out against domestic violence since the pandemic began, last month telling a woman who had been beaten by her ex-husband that men who commit such acts engage in something that is ‘almost satanic’ during an Italian television programme.

Violence against women is insulting to God, Pope Francis said in his New Year’s message yesterday

In the text of his Message for the World Day of Peace, Francis (pictured yesterday) said nations should ‘invert the proportion of public funds spent on education and on weaponry’

He said in his homily: ‘And since mothers bestow life, and women keep the world (together), let us all make greater efforts to promote mothers and to protect women.

‘How much violence is directed against women! Enough!

‘To hurt a woman is to insult God, who from a woman took on our humanity.’

Europe has seen a deadly resurgence of violence against women since the pandemic began.

The pope, pictured yesterday, has ardently spoken out against domestic violence since the pandemic began

The pope had called for ‘greater efforts to promote mothers and to protect women’

Last June it was reported that in Spain one woman was being killed every three days since the state of emergency ended in May, compared with an average of one a week before.

NGO figures from the summer also showed that in Belgium, 13 women had died from violence since the end of April to June compared with 24 in the whole of 2020.

In the text of his Message for the World Day of Peace, issued last month, Francis also said nations should ‘invert the proportion of public funds spent on education and on weaponry’ and put more into social care.  

Pope Francis said in his homily: ‘And since mothers bestow life, and women keep the world (together), let us all make greater efforts to promote mothers and to protect women’

Yesterday the pope the entire length of the central aisle of basilica, following an unexplained incident on New Year’s Eve where Francis attended a service but at the last minute did not preside over it as he had been expected to.

He had emerged from a side entrance close to the altar and watched from the sidelines.

The pope suffers from a sciatica condition that causes pain in the legs, and sometimes a flare up prevents him from standing for long periods.

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