KOCHI: Giving hope for a new life to young widows in the Christian community in Kerala, the apex body of Bishops of all Catholic denominations in the state has decided to help remarriage of widows preferably those below 40 years of age.
The Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) Family Commission is coming up with a matrimonial website, which will have a separate option for the widows to register.
Fr Paul Madassery, KCBC Family Commission Secretary, told TNIE that in our society even today widows are ostracized and their remarriage is a rarity even when they are very young and have long years to spend. The Church's effort is to empower them, he said. "Even today the society prescribes them the dress code and forces them to behave in a certain manner in the social gatherings. They are human beings and in no way are they to be discriminated from the society. We want to bring in a change in the overall outlook to widows in our community," said Fr Madassery.
"We will help the young widows to register in the online matrimonial site and set up a new life for them. People today prefer to marry women widowed rather than divorced. The new matrimonial site will be fully operational in the coming days," said Fr Madassery.
Aiming for widow empowerment in our community, the KCBC Family Commission is also all set to take count of the total number of widows in all Catholic churches including Syro Malabar, Latin, and Syro Malankara churches. As an initial step, a 'widow forum' has been formed in a meeting held in Kochi last week to co-ordinate and impart training to the widows.
"We believe that there will be over lakh widows in the Catholic church. As we are collecting the data on a state level basis for the first time, it will take over a year for us to get the whole details. We will coordinate each diocese to collect the list of widows from the parishes," said Fr Paul.
Select widows from the 'widow forum' will be given training, who will be divided into groups to impart the training to the widows. "A widow will be able to understand the emotions of another widow, therefore we will give training to the widows who will be able to relate to the problems and issues of others. There are widows from low-income groups, who are unaware of the benefits they can get from the government, we want to educate them so that they can reap its benefits," said Fr Paul.