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Pope Francis inspires PH prison ministry workers

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Pope Francis blesses a prisoner as he visits the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia Sept. 27. (Photo:CNS/Paul Haring)

MANILA, Oct. 1, 2015— Pope Francis’ deep concern for inmates is definitely giving Filipino prison ministry workers a much-needed boost.

Rodolfo Diamante, executive secretary of the CBCP Commission on Prison Pastoral Care, said the Pope is a “model” they have been aiming to emulate.

“This strengthens our commitment to continue serving (the inmates),” said Diamante, who had been working in the prison ministry for more than two decades.

Visit to prisons

Prison ministry is one of the key areas of concern for Pope Francis ever since he assumed the papacy in March 2013.

During his trips around the world, the spiritual leader has had a consistent habit of visiting prisoners, emphasizing that they need to be shown compassion and forgiveness.

In his recent visit the United States, the pontiff visited a Philadelphia prison and called on legislators to focus efforts on rehabilitating convicted criminals.

“I am here as a pastor, but above all as a brother, to share your situation and to make it my own,” the Pope told the prisoners at the Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility.

‘Active role’

Diamante hopes the pope’s visit to prisons will rally the government and the institutional Church to work together effectively with inmates, ex-offenders, and their families.

According to him, the Church must take an active role to help inmates, saying it is not only a ministry to them but to Christ as well.

“I hope that our leaders in the Church and the government will see what Pope Francis has been doing… a Pope we consider an inclusive Pope,” Diamante added.

“He continues to become an inspiration to everyone especially to the inmates because of his humility,” he also said. (R. Lagarde / CBCPNews)


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