The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has warned that hurting a woman is an insult to God and has called for an end to violence against them.
The Pope, in his New Year homily on Saturday at the Vatican, wove his themes on motherhood and women and used it to make one of his strongest clarion calls yet for an end to violence against women, saying it was insulting to God.
The 85-year-old Pope Francis was celebrating the new year mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on the day the Roman Catholic Church marked both the solemnity of Holy Mary Mother of God as well as its annual World Day of Peace.
During the homily, Pope Francis said women all over the world have been keeping together the threads of life and as such, must be accorded the greatest respect by all.
“And since mothers bestow life, and women keep the world together, let us all make greater efforts to promote mothers and to protect women.
“How much violence is directed against women? Enough! To hurt a woman is to insult God, who from a woman took on our humanity,” he said.
During an Italian television programme last month, Francis had told a woman who had been beaten by her ex-husband that men who commit violence against women engage in something that is “almost satanic”.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began nearly two years ago, Pope Francis has several times spoken out against domestic violence, which has increased in many countries since lockdowns left many women trapped with their abusers.