VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis said his care, concern and prayers for those in prison flow from a recognition that he is human like they are, and it’s a mystery they fell so far and he did not.
“Thinking about this is good for me: When we have the same weakness, why did they fall and I didn’t? This is a mystery that makes me pray and draws me to prisoners,” the pope said Oct. 23 during a brief audience with about 200 Italian prison chaplains.
Pope Francis told the chaplains that he still makes Sunday afternoon phone calls to the prison in Buenos Aires that he used to visit and that he continues to correspond with some of the inmates.
Most prisoners find in serving their sentences that one day is fine and the next is awful, he said, and “it’s this up and down that’s difficult.”
“Please,” he said, tell the Italian prisoners that “I pray for them, that they are in my heart, that I ask the Lord and the Blessed Mother to help them overcome this difficult period in their lives.”
The task of a chaplain, he said, is to let them know that “the Lord is inside with them.”
“No cell is so isolated that it can keep the Lord out,” the pope said. “He is there. He cries with them, works with them, hopes with them. His paternal and maternal love arrives everywhere.”
Pope Francis also said that Catholics need to recognize just how much God shares the situation of detainees: “He, too, is imprisoned today, imprisoned in our selfishness, our systems, and many injustices because it’s easy to punish the weakest, but the big fish swim free.”
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103