Prisons : A penalty “with a horizon of hope” (full translation)

Pope Francis’ video message to “students”

Pope Francis' message to Students in Ezeiza Penitentiary (Argentina), 24/08/2017

Pope Francis' message to Students in Ezeiza Penitentiary (Argentina), 24/08/2017

Pope Francis pleads for a penaltywith a horizon of hope” in his video message to prisoners of the Federal Penitentiary Complex of Ezeiza (Buenos Aires, Argentina), who are now University Students.

The message has been realeased in Rome by the Holy See, this Thursday August 24, 2017, at 17:00. The initiative, which includes music therapy, is supported by Buenos Aires’ University.

“The inmates are paying a penalty, a penalty for an error committed. However, let’s not forget that for the penalty to be fruitful it must have a horizon of hope, otherwise it remains shut-in on itself and is only an instrument of torture; it’s not fruitful. Penalty with hope is then fruitful,” said the Pope.

Pope Francis explained that the initiative promotes “the hope of social reinsertion and for that, social training, looking at the future”.

“With this new music workshop, he says, you are looking to social reinsertion, you are already reinserting yourselves with your studies, with the University of Buenos Aires you are looking to social reinsertion.”

This an example of what the Pope calls “a penalty with hope…a penalty with horizon”.

“I say it again, there are and will be problems, but the horizon is greater than the problems, hope surmounts all problems,” said Pope Francis.

Here is ZENIT’s full translation of the Video-Message.

AB

* * * 

The Holy Father’s Video-Message

A warm greeting to my friends, who form part of the University Students’ Center of Ezeiza, a greeting that will recall those Sunday calls that I make to the prison. I am aware of all your activities and the existence of this area makes me very happy – an area of work, of culture, of progress; it’s a sign of humanity. And it wouldn’t be able to exist if there were not among you persons of so much human sensibility, among the inmates, the agents of the penitentiary service, managers, judges, members of the University of Buenos Aires and the students. Thank you.

Now a further step. You boosted the opening of the music workshop. I want to thank all those who helped in this initiative: the Head Mr Claudio Segura, the Director Mr Alejandro Gonzalez, the support and guarantee of the University of Buenos Aires and of the Judicial Power and, above all, the secretaries of <the Court of> Appeal, Luis and Victor , and the inmates in charge of the Students’ Center – Marcelino, Guille. Edo – whom I know by telephone. Thank you for all you’ve done.

What is happening in your prison is a breath of life. And life – you know – is a gift, but a gift that must be won every day. We are given it, but we must win it every day. We must win it in every step of life. A gift that’s not easy to keep. Courage every day, many difficulties, we all have them, but we take care of that gift and make it progress, we take care of it and make it flower.

The inmates are paying a penalty, a penalty for an error committed. However, let’s not forget that for the penalty to be fruitful it must have a horizon of hope, otherwise it remains shut-in on itself and is only an instrument of torture; it’s not fruitful. Penalty with hope is then fruitful. The hope of social reinsertion and for that, social training, looking at the future, and this is what you are doing. With this new music workshop you are looking to social reinsertion, you are already reinserting yourselves with your studies, with the University of Buenos Aires you are looking to social reinsertion. It’s a penalty with hope, a penalty with horizon. I say it again, there are and will be problems, but the horizon is greater than the problems, hope surmounts all problems.

Dear friends, I pray for you, I keep you close to my heart, I ask you not to forget to do so for me. May God bless you and forward, always with a smile — until our next call.

[Original text: Spanish]

© ZENIT’s translation

Virginia M. Forrester

Copyright 2017

Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a micro-donation

Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a micro-donation

Subscribe to the ZENIT Daily Email Newsletter

Receive the latest news of the Church and the world in your inbox every day. 

Thank you for subscribing! We will confirm your subscription via email. Please check your spam folder if you do not receive it soon.