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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. What does the Catholic Church teach regarding husbands battering their wives or wives battering their husband?

A. 1. I recently read an article from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It is called "When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women." Allow me to quote three paragraphs from that article. It says:

"As pastors of the Catholic Church in the United States, we state as clearly and strongly as we can that violence against women, inside or outside the home, is never justified. Violence in any form"—physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal"—is sinful; often, it is a crime as well. We have called for a moral revolution to replace a culture of violence. We acknowledge that violence has many forms, many causes, and many victims—men as well as women."

"Domestic violence is any kind of behavior that a person uses to control an intimate partner through fear and intimidation. It includes physical, sexual, psychological, verbal, and economic abuse. Some examples of domestic abuse include battering, name-calling and insults, threats to kill or harm one's partner or children, destruction of property, marital rape, and forced sterilization or abortion."

"Church ministers should become familiar with and follow the reporting requirements of their state. Many professionals who deal with vulnerable people are required to report suspected crimes, which may include domestic abuse."

Spousal abuse may be a ground for annulment when it can be proven that the abusive spouse never intended on making the marriage work due to the immaturity of his/her character. You do not marry a person so you can control him/her. The two become one to grow in the faith according to the Commandments of God and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

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