A relative of one of the victims of the deadly prison riot in Honduras reacts outside the morgue in Tegucigalpa A relative of one of the victims of the deadly prison riot in Honduras reacts outside the morgue in Tegucigalpa 

Pope Francis prays for reconciliation after Honduran prison riot

At the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis expresses his sorrow over the riot in a Honduran women’s prison last week, and prays for reconciliation and fraternal coexistence.

By Christopher Wells

Pope Francis invoked Our Lady of Suyapa, the patroness of Honduras, at the Angelus on Sunday, praying that she might “help hearts to open themselves to reconciliation and to make room for fraternal coexistence even within prisons.”

The Pope made the prayer as he expressed his sorrow over a deadly prison attack that left more than 40 women dead in a female correctional facility in Tamara, Honduras, on 20 June. A preliminary investigation into the riot found severe security breakdowns that allowed gang members in the prison to attack their rivals with guns and machetes, and even burn some of them alive in their cells.

“I was very saddened by what happened a few days ago in the Támara Women's Penitentiary Centre in Honduras”, the Pope said, deploring the “terrible violence between rival gangs” that “sowed death and suffering” while praying for those who died and for their families.

Honduran president Xiomara Castro has confirmed that the prison riot was organized by gang members “with the knowledge and acquiescence of security authorities,” and has vowed to take “drastic measures” in response.

Orlandi anniversary

Also on Sunday, Pope Francis noted the 40th anniversary of the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old resident of Vatican City who went missing on 22 June 1983. The case has continued to resonate, especially in Italy, and has spawned numerous conspiracy theories.

At the Angelus, the Holy Father took the opportunity to once again express his closeness to Emanuela’s family, and especially her mother, assuring them of his prayers while also remembering all families “who bear the memory of a dear one who has disappeared.”

While interest in the case has never been lacking, a recent documentary and this year’s anniversary have provoked renewed efforts to determine what became of Emanuela, with renewed investigations opened both by the Vatican and by Italian authorities.

Thank you for reading our article. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to our daily newsletter. Just click here

25 June 2023, 12:42