The Archbishop of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, lamented the growing involvement of young people in violent gangs and said the crisis stems primarily from family problems.
The cardinal argued that confusion among young people is one of the most serious social problems of today and he warned that gangs are just one its manifestations.
He called on parents to assess how they may have failed instead of feeling sorry for themselves and to never lose hope that they can get young people back.
“Society, in general, must become aware of these problems and try to find possible solutions, because if they grow, society itself will be in greater jeopardy,” the cardinal warned, speaking on Catholic television.
He suggested parents examine their own lives, without adopting attitudes of revenge or violence towards their children. “You should never forget that despite his or her mistakes a child never ceases to be your child, even though he or she may say this and want to demonstrate it,” he added.
Moreover, he said the parable of the prodigal son “is echoed in many homes, as there are many estranged children and many others who leave their homes, or who, if they stay at home, are practically not living there.”