Regional Bishops Councils
Catholic Council of India
Catholic Religious of India
Clergy and Religious
Dialogue and Desk for Ecumenism
Education and Culture
Justice, Peace and Development
Scheduled Castes/Backward Classes and Tribal Affairs
St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences
National Biblical, Catechetical, and Liturgical Centre
National Vocation Service Centre
National Institute for Social Communications, Research and Training
Society for Medical Education, North India
Church In India
Dioceses of India
Canon Law (Latin)
CCEO (Oriental Code)
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope John Paul II
Saints in the Catholic Church
Election of a new Pope
Appointment of a Bishop
Who is a Cardinal?
Praying for Prisoners
Vatican: "Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for the month of August is "that prisoners may be treated with justice and respect for their human dignity." But prisoners have little voice and their plight is rarely in the public eye. In the UK, the prison population has more than doubled over the past two decades and figures show that the nation incarcerates more of its population than any other country in Western Europe.
So, what is the current situation really like for prisoners held behind bars in Britain? To gain an inside view , Vatican Radio's Susy Hodges spoke to Monsignor Malachy Keegan who has worked as a prison chaplain for over 15 years and who is the Catholic Bishops' Prisons Adviser.
He says he's "delighted" with the choice of the Holy Father's prayer focus for August and recalled how during the Pope's visit to a Rome prison last year he told the inmates "he carried them in his heart."
Asked why Britain incarcerates a higher proportion of its population compared to other western European nations, Monsignor Keegan says he believes it is due to "a very punitive way of responding to offending behaviour."(in the UK). Often, he says, "there are alternatives to custodial sentences" such as "community-pay-back schemes." He goes on to talk about the "huge numbers of people in UK prisons" with mental health problems and says sometimes these problems can even be triggered by the often overcrowded conditions in which they are held.
When it comes to a prisoner's faith life, Monsignor Keegan says often the only thing that remains "is their faith and it becomes very important to them." Although prison can be "a brutal and often inhumane experience," he says that often "peoples' hearts open to the word of God like never before in their lives." He also tells of a " wonderful conversion experience" undergone by a prisoner he knows who was convicted of murder and who now "reads the Divine Office every day," has a theology degree and who after his imminent release wants "to care for other people" and help people "to discover God."
Church in India
Dioceses of India
Copyright © 2011 CBCI. All rights reserved