Pope's June prayer intention: for an abolition of torture
The Pope Video message, entrusted to the entire Catholic Church through the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, is an appeal for "the abolition of torture in all of its forms throughout the world."
Pope Francis' monthly prayer intention for June is for the abolition of torture in all of its forms throughout the world.
The Pope made this appeal to eradicate the phenomenon in his Pope Video message, entrusted to the entire Catholic Church through the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
The Holy Father decried torture as a scourge that is not just a thing of the past, but is still present today.
Our Lord's torture
Pointing out that our Lord, Jesus Christ, endured torture; and how many endure such suffering today, the Pope urged the International Community to commit itself concretely to eradicating this source of suffering.
The Pope questioned how is it possible that the human capacity for cruelty is so great.
There are extremely violent forms of torture, the Pope observes, including "sophisticated ones," such as "degrading someone, dulling the senses, or mass detentions in conditions so inhumane that they take away the dignity of the person.”
But this, he warned, is not something new.
"Let’s think of how Jesus Himself was tortured and crucified," he said.
Stopping the horror
“Let us put a stop to this horror of torture. It is essential to put the dignity of the person above all else.”
Otherwise, the Pope warned, "the victims are not persons, they are 'things,' and can be mistreated mercilessly, causing death or permanent psychological and physical harm lasting a lifetime."
The Pope also insisted that the international community guarantee support to victims and their families.
Commitment against an ongoing phenomenon
The timing of his condemnation of the practice, and the prayer intention itself, is not accidental.
June 26th is the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, for it was on this date in 1987 that the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment went into effect. The convention was ratified by 162 countries after its adoption in 1984.
Torture is a practice dating back to antiquity. In the 18th and 19th centuries, western countries officially abolished its official use through the judicial system.
Today, it is entirely prohibited by international law.
Nevertheless, it continues to be practiced in many countries.
Since 1981, the United Nations Fund for Victims of Torture has assisted an average of 50,000 victims of torture each year, in countries in every corner of the globe.
Deborah Castellano Lubov