Brisbane parishioner Carole Danby hopes to see the Church do more to raise its voice against the scourge of domestic and family violence in Queensland. Source: The Catholic Leader.
Mrs Danby, a parishioner at Our Lady of Graces Church, Carina, is the Catholic representative on the Queensland Churches Together Commission set up to address the issue.
She said 11,000 children and young people were in out-of-home care, the majority coming from situations with violence in the home.
The Queensland Churches Together Commission’s 60-page booklet has a section that addresses the unique challenges and repercussions for children who witness violence in the home.
Mrs Danby said they did not have to see the violence; sometimes just hearing it could deeply affect children.
“It affects their education, it affects their ability to turn up to school, even, and they’re behind … in almost every way,” she said.
“They could also be over-protective and there’s also a sense that what you witness can play out in the next generation. It affects children enormously.”
Mrs Danby’s area of expertise on the commission was on the misuse of Holy Scripture and how it could be used for spiritual abuse, which she says is of particular concern for the Church.
She said sometimes priests could unintentionally reinforce attitudes that justified abuse during their homilies through certain interpretations of Scripture.
It was important that priests thought about the possibility that members of their parish might be experiencing violence in the home and how the words of their homily could feed into their lives, she said.
To find out more about what to do in a parish, head to www.qct.org.au.
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s 2022-23 Social Justice Statement, Respect: Confronting Violence and Abuse, addressed the issue of domestic and family violence and Church teaching on responding to the blight on society.
Churches Together raising awareness on ways to help eliminate domestic and family violence (By Joe Higgins, The Catholic Leader)