No to torture, Benedict emphasises
Pope Benedict has said that no form of torture can be condoned.
Vatican Information Service reports that the pope told prison chaplains that prison authorities must reject "any means of punishment or correction that either undermine or debase the human dignity of prisoners".
The Holy Father was speaking at the Twelfth World Congress of the International Commission of Catholic Prison Pastoral Care. The event has as its theme "Discovering the Face of Christ in Every Prisoner".
He said prisons "must contribute to the rehabilitation of offenders, facilitating their transition from despair to hope and from unreliability to dependability".
He put forward the prisoner's sense of worth as the measure of success of the institution.
"When conditions within jails and prisons are not conducive to the process of regaining a sense of a worth and accepting its related duties, these institutions fail to achieve one of their essential ends."
For their part, chaplains and their colleagues are to cooperate with civil authorities in the weighty task of helping the incarcerated rediscover a sense of purpose. With God's grace, this can reform their lives and reconcile them with families and friends.
Avoid punishment that debases dignity of prisoners (VIS, 6/9/7)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Pope condemns torture as affront to humans (CathNews, 28/5/04)
7 Sep 2007