Through his Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis addressed a message to the participants of the European Meeting of Prison Chaplains.
The three-day meeting is underway in Strasbourg, France, through Wednesday.
Here is his message:
His Holiness Pope Francis was pleased to learn of the European meeting of prison chaplains, entitled “Radicalisation in prisons: a pastoral view”, to be held at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg from 30 May to 1 June 2016. With appreciation to the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences, the International Commission of Catholic Prison Pastoral Care and the Permanent Mission of the Holy See for organizing this important event, the Holy Father sends cordial greetings to all those participating.
He especially wishes to assure all who are serving prison communities of his prayerful solidarity and deep gratitude for their efforts in upholding the human dignity of all those incarcerated. So too Pope Francis thanks prison chaplains for assisting prisoners to celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy fruitfully:”May the gesture of directing their thought and prayer to the Father each time they cross the threshold of their cell signify for them their passage through the Holy Door, because the mercy of God is able to transform hearts, and is also able to transform bars into an experience of freedom. (Letter according to which an Indulgence is granted on the occasion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, 1 September 2015).
With these sentiments, Pope Francis willingly invokes upon you and all gathered the divine blessings of peace and joy.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State