I was very moved by what Gene had to say about Scripture, church teachings, and domestic violence:
- That abusive men distort Ephesians 5:22 to justify their behavior. (“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.”)
- That abusers cite the gospels in demanding forgiveness.
- That church teaching on the permanence of marriage vows leads some women to stay in an abusive relationship.
The National Conference of Catholic Bishops has addressed these distortions and misconceptions. “Religion can be either a resource or a roadblock for battered women,” it wrote in 2002’s When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women. “As a resource, it encourages women to resist mistreatment. As a roadblock, its misinterpretation can contribute to the victim’s self-blame and suffering and to the abuser’s rationalizations.”
Thoughtful reading for all of us. … Here’s a link to the complete statement: http://www.nccbuscc.org/laity/help.shtml