Pope denounces violence against women, sexism

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Villavicencio (Colombia), Sep 8 (IANS/AKI) Pope Francis on Friday deplored violence and “patriarchal and sexist’ attitudes towards women.

“Pschological, verbal and physical violence towards women is evident,” said the Pope, who is currently visiting Colombia as he celebrated mass before an estimated 700,000 people including indigenous Colombians in the South American nation’s central city of Villavicencio.

“In a society where we are still dragged down by patriarchal and sexist attitudes, it should be stressed that the Gospel teaches how women have set trends and made history,” the pontiff stated.

Villavicencio is the second stop on the Pope’s five-day visit to Colombia aimed at consolidating the peace process after five decades of bloody conflict between government forces and left-wing rebels that was sparked by entrenched inequality.

“I hope that reconciliation will not remain just an abstract word,” Francis told Colombians at the mass.

“Reconciling means opening a door to all those who have experienced the dramatic reality of conflict. Every attempt at peace that is made without a sincere commitment to reconciliation is always a failure,” he warned.

–IANS/AKI

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