Pope calls for justice system of hope and open doors

(ANSA) - Vatican City, October 23 - Pope Francis on Wednesday told 150 Italian prison chaplains that God is imprisoned with prisoners, and that the prison system must become one of hope and "open doors".

The pope spoke to the chaplains, who work in a system notorious in for overcrowding and inhumane living conditions, before giving his general audience.

''Even God is a prisoner. He doesn't stay outside of the cell...He is inside with them. He too is a prisoner - of our selfishness, of our systems, of the many injustices,'' Pope Francis said.

The pope explained that the way the current system functions, it is easy ''to punish the weakest, while the big fish swim freely through the waters''.

''Recently you spoke of a justice of reconciliation, but also of a justice of hope, of open doors, of horizons. This is not a utopia. It can be done,'' the pontiff declared.

''It is not easy because our weaknesses are everywhere. The devil is everywhere, the temptations. But one must try,'' the pope said before giving the chaplains his blessing.

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