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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Pope says torture is a mortal sin; Vatican urges help for drug abusers

Calling torture a ‘mortal sin’, Pope Francis called on Christians to help victims of this crime against human rights.

Marking the United Nations’ International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26th June, the pope tweeted: ‘Torture is a mortal sin! Christian communities must commit themselves to helping victims of torture.’

The pope has spoken out many times against torture, calling it a “very serious sin.” During his visit to concentrations camps in Poland in 2016, he said: “Cruelty did not end at Auschwitz, at Birkenau. Today too, people are tortured; many prisoners are tortured at once, to make them speak…It is terrible! Today there are men and women in overcrowded prisons; they live – I’m sorry – like animals.”

The Vatican also marked the UN International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on 26th June with a message from Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

The cardinal called for outreach and support of all those who have been caught up in the world of illicit drugs, which is run by people “without scruples, who, giving into the temptation of easy money, slow death, cut off hope and destroy so many families.”

Picture: Packages of marijuana are seen before an incineration by Panamanian police in Panama City April 1. (CNS photo/Carlos Jasso, Reuters).