Derry archbishop pledges help for abuse sufferers
January 2, 2018
The Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, has pledged that the Catholic Church will play its part in raising awareness about domestic violence and abuse and in supporting anyone affected to access information confidentially.
In a special New Year homily to be delivered today to mark the World Day of Peace, Dr Martin, the former principal of St Columb's College, also re-iterated Pope Francis's call to show compassion to refugees.
Archbishop Martin said: "Organisations like Women’s Aid alert us to the fact that at least 14% of all crime reported to the police last year was related to domestic violence with one call every 18 minutes.
"The high levels of depression, addictions and anxiety in our country, and the frightening reality of domestic violence is not often spoken about openly, but it is an indication of the huge need that exists for inner peace and family reconciliation.
"Just before Christmas, the Catholic and Church of Ireland Cathedral parishes here in Armagh came together for training in the Safe Church Initiative.
"We have pledged to play our part in raising awareness about domestic violence and abuse and in supporting anyone affected to confidentially access information. We hope to draw more attention to this initiative as we continue our preparations for the World Meeting of Families next August."
Archbishop Martin spoke also about 'the horrific acts of terror', such as the murder of 45 Coptic Christians in Egypt on Palm Sunday, which are being carried out by in the name of religion.
"It is shocking to learn that there have been further attacks during the Christmas season, most recently on Friday last when nine people were killed during an attack on a Christian Church in Cairo," he said.
"I am mindful also today of migrants and refugees who are languishing in camps or wandering in hope for a better life for their families. Pope Francis invites us, in a spirit of compassion, to 'embrace all those fleeing from war and hunger, or forced by discrimination, persecution, poverty and environmental degradation to leave their homelands."