Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The ACLU Fights for the Rights of Catholic Inmates

An inmate at Angola Prison in Louisiana called in the ACLU to fight for the right to view the Roman Catholic Mass on television. They fought for him and he won the right to the mass, the holy eucharist and personal meetings with a priest. Read the story here: Death row inmate, ACLU win fight to have Catholic Masses shown in cells

This type of activism that allows prisoners dignity is freedom fighting in its true form. I would say that for the fight for members of Islam to have prayer carpets also, and members of Protestant churchs to have bibles.

The beauty of the story is that it allows for the individual, no matter what they have done, to repent in the fullest way they know how. As the prisoner who kissed the crucifix three times before he died in the story of St. Therese of Lisieux, inmates have the opportunity to recieve Christ's full mercy.

I had no idea that prisoners in Louisiana weren't allowed to view the Catholic mass. I am not sure how that is in the southern area of LA, but I know Angola just touches the Bible Belt of the US and I have lived on that edge where most people practice a protestant faith. I want to take a moment to suggest everyone read A Saint on Death Row: The Story of Dominique Green by Thomas Cahill. It was so amazing to see this man changed by love he experienced while on death row that he had never recieved in the outside world. So many, many people do not know love, therefore to allow the fullness of God's love, the Holy Eucharist, into one man's life is one step closer to Christ's Kingdom Come.