La Habana (Agenzia Fides) - The national commission for penitentiary pastoral care of the Cuban Bishops' Conference, together with Bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laity, "join the happiness of families who, with joy and affection, welcome the pardon granted by the State Council of the Republic of Cuba to 2,604 people". The note, sent to Agenzia Fides, is signed by His Exc. Mgr. Jorge Enrique Serpa Pérez, Bishop Emeritus of Pinar del Río, President of the Commission.
Following the guidelines of the new Constitution of the Republic, which favors the social reintegration of detained persons, the Council of State granted a pardon to 2,604 condemned to effective penalties of deprivation of liberty. Those who behaved well during imprisonment will benefit of the pardon. In addition, the time elapsed since the sanctions, the facts for which they were convicted, the age and the illnesses of which some suffer were taken into consideration. Especially women, young and old were included. In all cases these are people who have already served at least one third of the penalty imposed by the Courts.
"The pardon, which in itself is a humanitarian gesture of mercy - continues the communiqué of the Commission - shows how this, being superior to animosity, favors the reintegration into society of the people who benefit from it and a better social coexistence, according to what Pope Francis taught us in the Year of Mercy and in his unforgettable visit to our country, in September 2015, as a Pilgrim of Mercy".
Finally, the note underlines that this pardon constitutes "the occasion to sensitize the communities towards a greater alternation and support for this specific commitment of penitentiary pastoral care, which is based on Jesus' teaching: I was a prisoner and you visited me". (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides, 23/7/2019)