After celebrating Mass with detainees and people who had been in prison, Pope Francis called on governments to mark the end of the Year of Mercy by extending clemency to deserving inmates.
The pope also called for renewed efforts to ensure justice systems not only punish crimes but also work to give prisoners hope for the future.
Civil authorities must work to improve living conditions for those serving time “so that the human dignity of prisoners may be fully respected,” the pope said during his Sunday Angelus address in St Peter’s Square on 6th November.
The pope’s appeal for “an act of clemency toward those imprisoned who are considered eligible to benefit from this measure” came after his celebration of a jubilee Mass for prisoners. Some 1,000 current and former prisoners from 12 countries, as well as priests, religious men and women and laypeople who work in prison ministry, attended the Mass.
Picture: Pope Francis celebrates a Jubilee Mass for prisoners in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on 6th November. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters).