AMERICA/ARGENTINA - New challenge for the Pastoral Care of Prisons: what happens after having found freedom?

Friday, 10 February 2017

Cordoba (Agenzia Fides) - Organized by the Pastoral Care of Prisons, on 3 and 4 February the retreat of prison chaplains in the Convent of San Alfonso, in Villa Allende, Cordoba was held. 22 chaplains from all over the country and members of the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Prisons, presided by His Exc. Mgr. Esteban Maria Laxague SDB, Bishop of Viedma were present.
The closing Mass coincided with the opening of another meeting, that of diocesan leaders who work in this field and which took place from Saturday 4 to Tuesday, February 7th. There were 32 dioceses of Argentina, while the slogan "and after the release, what is there?" was a clear reference to the problem of the situation of prisoners who regain freedom.
According to information from the note sent to Fides by AICA, Church leaders worked and exchanged experiences to deal with this new problem. His Exc. Mgr. Pedro Torres, Auxiliary Bishop of Cordoba, dealt with the theme of "Dignity of labor" for all. The final Mass presented new and difficult challenges, but also proposals for technical training of staff already working in this area.
In Argentina, the Catholic Church has the pastoral care of prisoners at heart (see Fides 08/11/2016). The reality of prisons, however, is very diverse and difficult to follow: in the country there are more than 250 prisons, which house around 69,000 prisoners, according to the latest publication of the 2014 National Statistical System. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 10/02/2017)