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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis: The situation in prisons is a reflection of our social reality

Pope Francis was received with applause by the participants of the international meeting of Catholic Prison Pastoral Care. He warmly greeted Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development.

During the meeting, the pope denounced the situation in prisons because it mirrors social reality. He said it is a product of society's selfishness and indifference.

“Today, especially, our societies are called to overcome the stigmatization of those who have made a mistake. Instead of offering the right help and resources to live a decent life, we have become accustomed to rejecting, rather than considering efforts the person makes to correspond to the love of God in his or her life.”

Pope Francis asked to foster a culture of encounter and integration. He said former prisoners are in an alien world that he or she is unable to trust.

“By preventing people from recovering the full exercise of their dignity, they are once again exposed to the dangers that accompany the lack of development opportunity, amid violence and insecurity.”

Before finishing, the pope asked a general question, addressed to all of society: If a person has already served the penalty for the wrongdoing, why is a new social punishment placed on his shoulders with rejection and indifference?