- The Pope said men who engage in violence against women are ‘almost satanic’
- Some of the strongest language the pontiff has used to condemn such violence
- Pope Francis spoke to three women and a man on Italy’s TG5 network on Sunday
- Since the pandemic began, he has often spoken out against domestic violence
Pope Francis has declared domestic violence ‘almost satanic’ in some of the strongest language he has used to condemn such actions.
‘The problem is that, for me, it is almost satanic because it is taking advantage of a person who cannot defend herself, who can only [try to] block the blows,’ he said. ‘It is humiliating. Very humiliating.’
He made the comment during a programme broadcast on Sunday night on Italy‘s TG5 network in which he conversed with three women and a man, all with difficult backgrounds.
Pope Francis (pictured in Vatican City on December 19) has declared domestic violence ‘almost satanic’ in some of the strongest language he has used to condemn such actions
‘The number of women who are beaten and abused in their homes, even by their husbands, is very, very high,’ he said in answer to a question by a woman named Giovanna, a victim of domestic violence.
Giovanna said she had four children to care for after they escaped from a violent home.
Pope Francis said Europe had failed to heed the lessons from history during his address on Sunday to people at a migration camp.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic began nearly two years ago, the pope has several times spoken out against domestic violence, which has increased in many countries since lockdowns left many women trapped with their abusers.
Police figures released last month showed there are about 90 episodes of violence against women in Italy every day and that 62 per cent were cases of domestic violence.
The pope said women who were beaten and abused had not lost their dignity. ‘I see dignity in you because if you didn’t have dignity, you wouldn’t be here,’ he told Giovanna.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic began nearly two years ago, the pope (pictured meeting children helped by the Santa Marta Dispensary during a special audience on Sunday) has several times spoken out against domestic violence
Turning to other examples of human misery, he listened to a homeless woman speak of life on the street and a man trying to get back on his feet after 25 years in jail.
Francis has set up services in the area around the Vatican to give Rome’s homeless healthcare, bathing, and hair-cutting facilities.
In 2020, when a palazzo just off St Peter’s Square that was once a convent became vacant, he ordered it to be turned into a homeless shelter, overruling suggestions that it be converted into a luxury hotel.