Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 13, 2004
Stop family violence with love, prayer, no violent TV
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
The only way to put an end to abuse is to talk about it, says John MacDonald, associate director of family life and health care for the archdiocese.
An abuser has absolute power when the victim says nothing, but very little when the person speaks up, MacDonald told the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council Dec. 4.
"It is not a popular topic but there is good news," he said.
MacDonald said the Alberta government has held several discussions on abuse - elder, physical, spiritual. It is currently developing a comprehensive set of recommendations for action that will form the cornerstone of provincial strategies to address family violence and bullying in Alberta.
MacDonald suggested there is much Christians can do to curtail violence.
"We are the solution to the problem," he said. "This Church, this Christ who motivates us and walks with us, is what will turn around a world that is upside-down with its own destructive nature, and turn it back into a loving community following Christ."
The APC members were shown a short video with several prominent Albertans discussing the issue, including the Rev. Dale Lang whose son, Jason, was shot and killed by a schoolmate at his Taber high school in April 1999.
Ordinary Albertans were brave enough to describe their own horrific experiences. A man feared talking about his sexual abuse because he might be branded weak; another woman described how her young son was murdered by his father.
MacDonald said the government hopes to use the video to encourage people to speak up. He said the Church is absolute in its position on violence.
"Peace comes from love, and peace in our families is a great place to start."
MacDonald said we should get rid of any violent video games in the home. He has removed cable television in his own home.
He believes peace in the home comes when families spend time praying together. "Prayer is one of our most powerful resources. God has a way of answering prayers and in a better way than we asked," he said.
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.