Bilibid inmates seek audience with Pope Francis

Manila Archbishop Antonio Luis G. Tagle as announces the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines on January 15-19 next year during a press conference July 29, 2014 in Intramuros, Manila. (MNS photo)

Manila Archbishop Antonio Luis G. Tagle as announces the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines on January 15-19 next year during a press conference July 29, 2014 in Intramuros, Manila. (MNS photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – Inmates of the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City have sought an audience with Pope Francis when he visits the Philippines in January 2015.

Saying they are doing their best to repent and live a life of good, the inmates wrote a letter dated September 26 to the pope via Apostolic Nuncio Giuseppe Pinto.

“We hope and pray that as you continue God’s mission of loving all His children and inspiring them, you will give us a few minutes of your most precious time during your visit here in January 2015,” they said.

Pope Francis is to visit the Philippines on Jan. 15 to 19 next year.

“At this point, we know that it is impossible to happen, but we are still taking our chance of inviting you our beloved Father, to please visit us here in prisons. We would like to share with you how God’s eternal grace transforms sinners like us. It will be a great blessing for us to have Christ’s disciple and our Father here in our midst, to give us and many other prisoners strength and unwavering hope in God’s love and forgiveness,” the letter said.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines noted Pope Francis had shown acts of kindness to inmates, including washing the feet of young offenders in Rome on Holy Thursday last year.

Last February, he welcomed prisoners to his residence at the Casa Marta, prayed with them and listened to their stories.

Last June, he responded to about 500 letters he received from US inmates sentenced to life in prison for crimes they committed.

Pope Francis expressed his closeness with them and emphasized the need to reintegrate them into society.  (MNS)

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