The COVID-19 lockdown has caused a worldwide spike in violence against women, according to surveys around the world, points out Constance Phelps in a commentary for NCR at the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
"While some consider the problem intractable and outside the purview of the Catholic Church, daily parish activities abound with lost opportunities to reshape the cultural and moral environment in which abuse flourishes," she writes, adding that in her experience, domestic abuse has an uneasy and myopic relationship with parish life.
"The actual experience of being both a churchgoing Catholic and domestic abuse survivor is too often one of frustrated invisibility, listening to homilies that you know are inadvertently pressuring people to stay in abusive and dangerous situations," she writes. "Vague homilies warn against judgment, state that we are all sinners and imply that all our sins are equal, and then turn that idea into a prescription for blanket forgiveness and forbearance."
Jesuit Fr. James Martin writes about the steps that Pope Francis has taken to speak out for LGBTQ Catholics, which can add up to a sea change for the Catholic Church.
NCR political columnist Michael Sean Winters says we can all get ready for the synodal process by rereading the documents of Vatican II and Pope Francis' Evangelii Gaudium.
NCR readers respond to a recent commentary that says that some Catholics are leaving traditionalist parishes due to bigotry and toxicity. You can join in the conversation by following the guidelines here.