DOWRY AS A SOCIAL-STRUCTURAL SIN
The Preparatory Document of the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops considers dowry as one of the situations that requires the attention and pastoral care of the Church. This applies specially to India, as dowry is widely practised in India. In spite of the prohibition of dowry by the law, it is practised in almost all regions, irrespective of caste or creed. Though dowry was practised in some forms from ancient times, it was much different from the current practice. Today, the dowry system has become a sort of extortion of money and property from the bride’s family, causing constant tensions and violence in family life. Dowry is a social-structural sin and should be considered a personal sin that is against the Christian vision of the family. Although the Church is not supporting the dowry system, it has not undertaken any committed action to eradicate this evil that causes a lot of unjust suffering and violence, and contradicts the Christian concept of marriage and family.
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