16-November-2012 -- EWTNews Feature |

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Archbishop urges Scottish prisoners to find freedom in God

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow visited the largest prison in Scotland on Nov. 14, encouraging prisoners to "turn to God and ask for help and healing and freedom."

"Today I have come close to you and I can say with sincerity that you are my brother in Jesus Christ, an adopted child of God, and a fellow human being," he told the prisoners of Barlinnie Prison in a homily Wednesday.

" I can tell you that God loves each one of us unconditionally, and, if we truly ask forgiveness for what we have done wrong, the Lord will surely forgive us."

The archbishop grew up just down the road from the prison, which is on the outskirts of Glasgow. It houses all kinds of prisoners, but mainly holds short-term inmates, the Scottish Prison Service says.

Archbishop Tartaglia, who has headed the Glasgow archdiocese since Sept. 8, chose the prison for one of his first pastoral visits. He toured the facility and said Mass for the prisoners.

He acknowledged convicts' worries and concerns.

"You miss your loved ones," he said. "You miss your freedom."

He said inmates must be wondering whether they will be able to support themselves outside of prison and whether they will be able to stay away from crime.

"You may also have concerns or guilt feelings about the victims of your own crime - are they alright, will they recover, will they forgive me, can I make it up to them?"

The archbishop said that acknowledging sin and turning to God for forgiveness is "the first step towards true freedom." He strongly urged Catholic prisoners to regularly receive the Sacrament of Penance.

Archbishop Tartaglia said that prisoners can discover that Jesus is "full of love and mercy."

"This is the same Lord and God of whom I speak, in whom I believe, and to whom I commend you today," he said as he ended his homily.

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/World.php?id=6559#ixzz2CR7Z6EFt

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