Toronto diocese lays out plans to address youth violence in city

Published March 1, 2006

Bishop Colin Johnson of the diocese of Toronto has appointed his executive assistant, Archdeacon Peter Fenty, as commissary for safe communities following a rash of violent incidents in Toronto.

“I think that youth violence has a lot of components, so this is not going to be a simple solution,” said Bishop Johnson. “It’s not just about youth, although youth happen to be the perpetrators of a fair amount of the violence. I think it involves a growing lack of respect and lack of involvement in civil life that cuts across all sorts of boundaries.”

Fifty-two people were killed by guns in Toronto in 2005, nearly double the statistics in 2004.

Mr. Fenty will gather Anglicans engaged in ministries in their parishes and their communities to co-ordinate resources, said Bishop Johnson. He will act as diocesan liaison to outside agencies including government, the police, community groups, and other faith groups responding to the issue.

“I think that we as a church have some specific ways that we need to look at responding to violence,” said Bishop Johnson. “Some of the things we need to look at are our youth programming, what we are doing in terms of addressing the issue of family abuse situations, and how we are advocating and working on issues of poverty. We must work to provide meaningful relationships in the community so that there is a growing sense of belonging to one another.”


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