6 Prisoners Meet Pope at Audience

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 6, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Six young prisoners who discovered or rediscovered their faith behind bars met John Paul II today at the general audience.

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The inmates of Arienzo prison were accompanied by Bishop Giovanni Salvatore Rinaldi of Acerra, and by the prison chaplain and two diocesan priests. They greeted the Holy Father at the end of the general audience.

“The chaplain had the idea to take a group of young prisoners to see the Pope; since the month of October, they have been on a journey of faith and Christian initiation,” Bishop Rinaldi explained.

“Indeed, some of them are preparing to receive the Eucharist for the first time; others will be confirmed; and one has to be married,” he added.

The chaplain hoped to bring 10 prisoners, but a judge only granted permission to six. Those who went to Paul VI Hall were all Catholics: four Italians, a Croat and an Albanian. Among the other prisoners the chaplain works with, is a Muslim who wishes to be baptized.

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