Pope says prison inmates should not be deprived of hope

Pope Francis looks at the crowd before delivering the Urbi et Orbi Christmas day blessing
Associated Press/Gregorio Borgia

Pope Francis said Wednesday prison inmates should not be deprived of hope while they are incarcerated.

“For this, I want to recall today in a particular way our brothers and our sisters who are in prison,” the pope said in a weekly address, The Associated Press reported. “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.’’

“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,” he added.

The pope did not point to any certain countries or policies to condemn their prison systems, but the Catholic Church’s official stance is against the death penalty, which is legal in many nations. 

“We risk being imprisoned in a justice that doesn’t allow one to easily get back up again and confuses redemption with punishment,” Pope Francis said, according to the AP.

The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with more than 2 million people in prison. 

Tags American prisoners Pope Francis

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