50 prison inmates tour Vatican Gardens, Sistine Chapel

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last judgement

Michelangelo's Last Judgement inside the Sistine Chapel. RNS photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain (http://bit.ly/156Y0IK)

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) Since his election in 2013, the pope has met with inmates on a number of occasions and highlighted the need for society to have a more caring approach to prisoners and people on society’s periphery.

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  • Fran

    The prisoners were probably very impressed by all the Vatican’s wealth and things since they lead such a simple and unfulfilling life in their cells.

    Jesus himself led a very simple life (Matthew 8:20). He greatly promoted spiritual matters instead of physical things and riches (Matthew 6:19-21, 33). We do well to follow his example.

  • Greg1

    Fran, you must understand the two fold reason for the Vatican art. First and foremost, it is to give glory to God, and to bring to mind the awesome Reality of Who God really is. Art and grandeur cannot capture the depth and breadth of God, or his eternal kingdom, but it can arouse humans to pursue Him. Secondly, much of the Art and decor was given to the Church as a gift, and is priceless. For the Church to sell it off to a museum would be a violation of these gifts. Thus the Vatican and the Cathedrals of the Church become a mini-haven from this world, a touch of heaven on earth.

  • Betty Clermont

    “The Vatican allowed the prisoners to listen in to the pope’s midday Angelus prayer.” Two busloads of poor people were sent to view the Shroud of Turin accompanied by priests. In March, about a hundred homeless people joined other volunteers in handing out a free booklet in St. Peter’s Square with “34 questions on bad deeds committed and failures, to guide the faithful: a useful handbook for examining one’s conscience [on] why to confess, how to confess, what to confess …” and were given sandwiches. So sometimes, a dose of proselytizing is required.

  • Sr. Athens

    It’s great that the inmates have had a special tour at the Vatican gardens and the Sistine chapel. This gesture is part of history, and hopefully, history will repeat itself.

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