August 15.  (THE FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION IS TRANSFERRED TO SUNDAY 20 AUGUST IN SOUTH AFRICA) Child rape. A serious topic needing an urgent response from the groups was the question of abuse and rape of children.  “Are our children precious to us, are they a fruit of our love to be guarded and protected?”  “Should we not consider all children in the same light?”  “ How?”  “Child rape can of course never ever be justified but how can it be explained?  What could be going through a child rapist’s mind?  Surely that is an unnatural act? Is there some substance-induced behaviour underlying this?”  Rayhab agreed to organise some professional input on this subject and some  possible responses.

Reflect, share, act. Scripture Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of My Father who is in heaven.    Matthew 18: 1-5.   Pope Francis. The sexual exploitation of children is a scandalous and perverse reality in present-day society.  Societies experiencing violence due to war, terrorism, organised crime are witnessing the deterioration of the family, above all in large cities where the phenomenon of street children is on the rise.  Sexual abuse of children is scandalous when it occurs where they ought to be most safe, e.g. in families, schools, communities and Christian institutions. AL 45