In an audience with penitentiary staff and prison chaplains, Pope Francis said Saturday that sentencing prisoners to life imprisonment diminishes their “right to hope.”
“It is up to every society … to ensure that the penalty does not compromise the right to hope, that prospects for reconciliation and reintegration are guaranteed,” Pope Francis said Sept. 14 in St. Peter’s Square.
“Life imprisonment is not the solution to problems – I repeat: life imprisonment is not the solution to problems, but a problem to be solved,” the pope said.
Pope Francis explained that he believes that during the penitentiary process of rectifying mistakes, hope for the future should not be eliminated.
“Because if hope is closed in a cell, there is no future for society,” he said. “Never deprive one of the right to start over.”
Directing his message toward all prisoners, Pope Francis said: “Never let yourself be imprisoned in the dark cell of a hopeless heart; do not give in to resignation. God is greater than any problem and is waiting for you to love you.”
Full story at Catholic News Agency.