At Bolivian prison, pope calls himself man ‘saved from his many sins’

The pope ended his speech by asking the inmates to pray for him, “because I, too, have my mistakes, and I too must do penance.”

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Watched by prison guards, Pope Francis greets prisoners and family members during a visit to the Palmasola prison in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, July 10. (CNS/Paul Haring) Watched by prison guards, Pope Francis greets prisoners and family members during a visit to the Palmasola prison in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, July 10. (CNS/Paul Haring)

By David Agren Catholic News Service

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia (CNS) — Pope Francis visited one of Latin America’s most notorious prisons, calling himself “a man who was and is saved from his many sins.”

“I couldn’t leave Bolivia without seeing you, without sharing the hope and faith given in the cross,” he told people at Palmasola prison in Santa Cruz.

Speaking on the final morning of his less than 48-hour visit to Bolivia, the pope called for conversion and a changing of attitudes among inmates in their relations among each other and the broader society, which often views such populations with suspicions.

“When Jesus becomes part of our lives, we can no longer remain imprisoned by our past,” Pope Francis said. “Instead, we begin…

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