India: 50,000 Children Sexually Assaulted

The case of a 5-year-old girl in Delhi, who was kidnapped and raped repeatedly for 48 hours by two men, has shocked India, yet it is just one among many such attacks reported recently. The Rev. Dominic D’Abreo, spokesperson for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, said: “We are very sad. The whole country is in shock. These episodes ruin the name and image of the nation. People of every religion are shocked and protest. The government and [nongovernmental organizations] are making efforts to eradicate the phenomenon. It is urgent to work on awareness in society at the grass-root level, not just at a high level. Everyone must take responsibility.” According to the Asian Centre for Human Rights, almost 50,000 such attacks on children were recorded between 2001 and 2011, reflecting a 336 percent increase between those years in the number of attacks reported and verified. Father D’Abreo said the phenomenon indicated “a culture that relies entirely on money, pleasure, power” that has neglected the value and the profound meaning of human life.

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Chris NUNEZ
5 years ago
These are incredibly horrific events being reported. But in 1984, Catholic theologians met at Notre Dame University and discussed the importance of culture as part of the work of understanding the challenges to the Church now considering, and recognizing itself as a 'world church.' One of the participants was the Director of India's association of two hundred colleges -- Protestant, Orthodox, and Catholic -- Sr. Braganza pointed out three (3) problems which 'center on education and transmission of cultures." In her own words, she recounts: " - Formal education in her distinctive national setting causes conflict between "classical culture" of Western style schools and local traditional culture. - Since newly introduced Western culture does not build up Indian traditions, the erosion of all particular cultures results and danger arises of homogenizing all culture. - The family has filled for millennia a dominant role in transmitting culture, but now in India the role of family fades and the main transmitter of our culture is being lost." The question is 'where' does this 'culture that relies entirely on money, pleasure, power' originate? Sr. Braganza's statement can be found in the late Joseph Gremillion's edited work of that Notre Dame event "The Church and Culture Since Vatican II." There are some of us who believe that 'culture' is still the unfinished business of the Church.

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