Pope Francis expresses concern about prison conditions in Latin America

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03/04/2023
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During his meeting with Colombian bishops, Pope Francis expressed his concern for the conditions in Latin American prisons. He encouraged the bishops and priests to visit prisoners. 

ABP. GABRIEL ÁNGEL VILLA VAHOS
Archdiocese of Tunja, Colombia

He asked us to show our solidarity with those in prison. He said that, especially in Latin America, there are sometimes very harsh conditions in prisons due to overcrowding. The pastoral care of the Church should place a special emphasis on being close to prisoners.

The Pope did not explicitly mention the mega-prison in El Salvador, but he did reference the overcrowded conditions. 

Opening El Salvador's mega-prison has generated controversy as each cell is approximately1000 square feet and holds nearly 100 prisoners. Their beds are sheets of iron without mattresses. 

Pope Francis has expressed his particular concern for prisoners and visited several prisons during his travels. 

POPE FRANCIS
Sometimes it seems that prisons are only designed to prevent people from committing crimes rather than promoting reintegration and addressing the social, psychological and familial problems that lead a person to a certain behavior.

In 2022, Pope Francis washed the feet of twelve prisoners in Borgata Aurelia on Holy Thursday—a gesture he often made as the Bishop of Buenos Aires. 

PA

TR: AT 

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