No Formerly Incarcerated Individual Should be Deprived of Hope: Pope Francis

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Cath News | January 20, 2022


In remarks at his weekly public audience at the Vatican, Francis told the faithful that “we risk being imprisoned in a justice that doesn’t allow one to easily get back up again and confuses redemption with punishment”.


“For this, I want to recall today in a particular way our brothers and our sisters who are in prison,’’ the Pontiff said. “It’s right that those who have made a mistake pay for their mistake, but it’s even more right that those who have done wrong should be able to redeem oneself from their mistake. There can’t be sentences without windows of hope.’’


Francis didn’t cite the prison policies or justice systems of any particular countries as problematic.


Catholic teaching holds that the death penalty has no justification in modern society. During his papacy, Francis has made attention to the needs of communities on society’s margins, including prison populations, a priority.


“Let’s think of our incarcerated brothers and sisters, and let’s think about the tenderness of God for them and pray for them so that they may find in that window of hope a way out toward a better life,’’ Francis said in concluding his remarks.


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