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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Prisoners use lunch with Pope to do a runner

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Again and again, Pope Francis proclaims his belief in the dignity of prisoners. Now two of them have apparently shamelessly taken advantage of Papal mercy.

Two Italian prisoners have been missing from the Castelfranco Emilia prison in the province of Modena, according to the Italian newspaper Il Mattino on Wednesday in their online edition.

The men, who had reportedly attempted outbreaks, were part of a group of 20 prisoners, who were scheduled for lunch together with Francis. Whether they disappeared before or after the meal with the Pope in the Basilica of San Petronio was still unclear. The two Italians had already served their sentence according to Adnkrono's news agency, but they were still under special supervision because they were classified as "socially dangerous". It was unclear why they had been convicted. The search for the escapees and the further investigations continued.

Pope Francis devotes his time and attention regularly to the prisoners. During his pontificate, he has already washed the feet of prisoners several times on Maundy Thursday. He has invited others to exclusive visits to the Vatican Museums or to visit them in prison. He called on the believers to do the same. Christians must "do everything to restore their dignity" in the face of the often unsafe conditions in prisons, according to Francis. For the Holy Year of Mercy, he decreed that every prison had the function of a "Holy Door".

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