Earlier this week, Pope Francis spoke out forcefully not only against the death penalty but also against inhumane prison conditions. Here’s the heart of the statement:
“All Christians and people of goodwill are called today to fight not only for the abolition of the death penalty be it legal or illegal, in all of its forms, but also for the improvement of prison conditions in the respect of the human dignity of those who have been deprived of freedom. I link this to the death sentence. In the Penal Code of the Vatican, the sanction of life sentence is no more. A life sentence is a death sentence which is concealed”.
More of the Holy Father’s remarks to the International Association of Criminal Law are available at http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-no-to-death-penalty-and-to-inhuman-prison-con
What can ordinary Catholics do to put these words into practice? The latest Georgia Bulletin describes a surprising friendship between an Atlanta family and an inmate on Georgia’s death row. Don’t miss the story of Joshua Bishop and the Shertenliebs, who brought this troubled young man into their own family and the family of the Catholic Church as well: http://www.georgiabulletin.org/news/2014/10/friendship-catholic-death-row-inmate-began-letter/