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Pope calls prisoners to hope, appeals for better prison conditions

November 07, 2016

As part of the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy, Pope Francis celebrated Mass for the jubilee of prisoners on November 6 in St. Peter’s Basilica.

During his homily, the Pope emphasized the virtue of hope.

“God does not rest until he finds the sheep that was lost,” he preached. “So if God hopes, then no one should lose hope.”

“For hope is the strength to keep moving forward,” he continued. “It is the power to press on towards the future and a changed life. It is the incentive to look to tomorrow, so that the love we have known, for all our failings, can show us a new path. In a word, hope is the proof, lying deep in our hearts, of the power of God’s mercy. That mercy invites us to keep looking ahead and to overcome our attachment to evil and sin through faith and abandonment in him.”

Following his Angelus address, the Pope appealed for better prison conditions.

“I would like to make an appeal for the improvement of living conditions in prisons around the world, so that it fully respects the human dignity of detainees,” he said. “In addition, I wish to reiterate the importance of reflecting on the need for criminal justice that is not only punitive, but is open to hope and the prospect of reinserting the offender into society.”

He added, “In a special way, I submit to the consideration of competent civil authorities of each country the opportunity to make, in this Holy Year of Mercy, an act of clemency towards those prisoners who will be considered eligible to benefit from this measure.”

 
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