Pope visits Venetian prison for first trip in months

Every two years, countries set up their own pavilions for the biennale in different places in the city. The Vatican exhibition is in a Venetian prison on the island of Giudecca. The works are by nine modern artists in collaboration with detainees.

According to news website Vatican news, the Pope met more than eighty detainees as well as prison guards, prison staff and volunteers. “Prison is a harsh reality and problems such as overcrowding, lack of facilities and supplies and incidents of violence cause a lot of suffering. But it can also be a place of moral and material rebirth,” the pope told prisoners and prison staff in a courtyard. According to the church prince, people should not forget that everyone makes mistakes and deserves forgiveness.

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The Pope had come to the prison by helicopter. The 87-year-old suffers from health problems and has difficulty walking. His last trip was in September, to France.

After prison he visits a church and celebrates mass in the famous Basilica of San Marco. Over the next three months, he is scheduled to make four trips within Italy, including to the G7 summit in Bari. The intention is for him to make a long trip outside Europe in September, to Indonesia, among other places.

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