Monday 5 December 2016

David Quinn: Our debt to Christianity is far greater than we think

Published 23/12/2011 | 05:00

Pope Benedict XVI greets members of the Roman Curia, the church's governing body, in the Apostolic Palace, in Vatican City yesterday
Pope Benedict XVI greets members of the Roman Curia, the church's governing body, in the Apostolic Palace, in Vatican City yesterday

A few days ago as part of his Christmas schedule, Pope Benedict XVI visited a prison in Rome to decry overcrowding and assure the inmates that no matter what they had done, they are worthy of respect and dignity.

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The Pope received a rapturous welcome from the prisoners, many of whom were visibly moved by the occasion.

This practice of visiting prisoners goes right back to the start of Christianity. It is a response to the words of Jesus to his followers: "I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you came to me, I was in prison and you visited me."

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