06/26/2015, 00.00
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Card. Gracias: Catholic nun’s rape a national shame

by Nirmala Carvalho
The Salesian religious attacked a week ago in Chhattisgarh confirms that she was raped. Her head covered and supported by Christian leaders and human rights activists, the nun spoke to reporters about the attack. Archbishop of Mumbai: "Women treated as objects, and this is bad social growth. All of society must work to end this discrimination and devaluation".

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – The Catholic nun who was attacked on 20 June in Raipur, Chhattisgarh has confirmed that during her attack she was also raped. The religious sister described her fate to journalists yesterday during a press conference, which she spoke at with her face covered to protect her identity.

Contacted by AsiaNews, Card. Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Catholic Bishops of the Latin rite in India (CCBI), said: "I learn with deep sorrow of the violation suffered by our religious. It is a national shame and a disgrace that our women are abused and raped. "

At first, the police had questioned whether the religious, from the Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate, had been raped. However, the nun, 47, confirmed that she had never denied that she was raped.

Supported by Christian leaders and human rights activists, the religious sister courageously told reporters her rape. Two masked men broke into her room at Christ Support Centre (Khrist Sahay Kendre) around 1: 30 am. When she asked them if they wanted money, they replied: "We want something more." One of them blocked her, while the other forced to swallow drugs and gagged her with a cloth. They then tied her to the bed with her sari and used a scarf to tie her hands, before raping her in turn.

The nun, originally from Kerala, was alone at the time of the attack. She was found the next day in an unconscious state by her superior, who was worried about not having received a response to her calls.

"I am grieve - says Card. Gracias to AsiaNews - that this happened to Consecrated Woman Religious, who has dedicated her life to God.  Our Religious Nun was violated in a medical dispensary, the very place, where she selflessly served to  heal the wounds of people. "

"For decades - he said - the Catholic Church in India has tirelessly worked for the uplift of girl child and for the dignity of women through our Educational, Health and Social Apostolates.  It is agonizing that various social forces breed misogyny and shape ideas about male dominance and the devaluation of women, which can normalize abusive behaviour ".

According to the cardinal, "the objectification of women is a social evil in growth. Incredibly, the company minimizes and trivializes all forms of violence against women, even before they were born of women is an increasing societal malaise, shockingly, society minimizes, trivialize all forms of violence on women even before her birth [selective abortion female, ed].  It is urgent and essential that religious and political leaders- should all engage and collaborate - Administration. government agencies, educational institutions, health care institutions police, media, NGOs, religious leaders, political leaders community groups, to put an end to this discrimination and devaluation of girls and women, and usher in a enlightened era, where women can claim their rightful dignity”.

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