The Holy Father Visits the Prisoners of Rebibbia

There is a prison in Rome named Rebibbia. This morning, the Holy Father visited there, speaking to the prisoners.

If you read Italian, you can review his comments at:

I want to highlight one short segment. He said: Giustizia e misericordia, giustizia e carità, cardini della dottrina sociale della Chiesa, sono due realtà differenti soltanto per noi uomini, che distinguiamo attentamente un atto giusto da un atto d’amore. Giusto per noi è “ciò che è all’altro dovuto”, mentre misericordioso è ciò che è donato per bontà. E una cosa sembra escludere l’altra. Ma per Dio non è così: in Lui giustizia e carità coincidono; non c’è un’azione giusta che non sia anche atto di misericordia e di perdono e, nello stesso tempo, non c’è un’azione misericordiosa che non sia perfettamente giusta.

My Italian translation being: Justice and mercy, justice and charity, pillars of the social doctrine of the Church, are two different realities only for we men, that we might carefully distinguish an act of justice from an act of love. A just act for us is “that which is owed another,” while mercy is that which is given through goodness. One seems to exclude the other, but not to God. In him, justice and love coincide. There is no just act that is not also an act of mercy and forgiveness and, at the same time, there is not act of mercy that is not also perfectly just.

This point is so central to the whole teaching of the Church in her social doctrine, indeed in her teachings on life and marriage and family. Justice is part and parcel of love and mercy. “It is mercy I desire, not sacrifice!” somewhere in Scripture it says, and as Jesus himself commands us, “Render to Caesar what is Caesar, and to God what is God’s.” In other words, perfect justice is found in mercy and charity.


About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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