October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the U.S. bishops' are urging Catholic priests and other pastoral leaders to preach against domestic violence and to learn about it to better assist women in need.
The bishops’ Committee on Women in Society and in the Church has sample homilies and examples of how to connect the Sunday readings and domestic violence to help priests preach about domestic violence.
They also include suggestions for dealing effectively with abused spouses and abusers in sacramental reconciliation and pastoral counseling. The resources are available at the USCCB Web site: www.usccb.org/laity/violence.htm.
The Web site also includes the full text of "When I Call for Help," the U.S. bishops' document about domestic violence, in which they state: "violence against women, inside or outside the home, is never justified. Violence in any form—physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal—is sinful."
The bishops took the action in response to the many Catholics who say they never hear about domestic violence from the pulpit.