Holy See to issue document on prison ministry

.- The President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Renato Martino, announced this week his dicastery is preparing a document on prison ministry and the troubling human and spiritual condition in which millions of prisoners in the world find themselves.

The announcement came during the Synod of Bishops being held in Rome. Cardinal Martino explained that the document is the result of consultation with 80 experts and prison chaplains from over 30 countries, who described “a troubling picture of the human and spiritual conditions” in which prisoners live and which are contrary to the dignity of the human person.

In addition, the cardinal called on bishops to work to guarantee that “prisoners, who are often denied the right to practice their faith, have access to the Eucharist.”

On the other hand, Cardinal Martino denounced “the dramatic state of extreme poverty in which millions of men and women live” despite the increase of wealth in a globalized world.  He said it was truly a worldwide social issue of concern.

The cardinal noted that addressing the relationship between “the Eucharist and political and social charity” does not add up to politicizing the Sacrament, “but rather…to inspiring the social and political dimension of charity.”

He cited the words of John Paul II and noted that faced with a “new millennium that has begun under the spectrum of terrorism and the tragedy of war, Christians are to called upon more than ever to live the Eucharist as a school of peace, as a way to make amends for the injustices in world.”

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