Last year, Pope Francis broke with tradition to hold a major Easter Week service at Casal del Marmo young offenders’ prison in Rome, telling fifty inmates: “I’m happy to be with you. Don’t give up hope.” The Pope then washed and kissed the feet of twelve young prisoners; some were Gypsies or North African migrants, and were not necessarily Catholic.
Vatican Radio carried the Mass live. Pope Francis told the detainees that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples on the eve of his crucifixion in a gesture of love and service
“This is a symbol, it is a sign – washing your feet means I am at your service,” Francis told the youngsters. “Help one another. This is what Jesus teaches us. This is what I do. And I do it with my heart. I do this with my heart because it is my duty, as a priest and bishop I must be at your service.”
Later, the Vatican released a limited video of the ritual, showing Francis washing black feet, white feet, male feet, female feet and even a foot with tattoos.
About 2,000 prisoners in American correctional facilities give birth each year. The issue of shackling pregnant inmates during and after labor raises a broader concern about excessively punitive aspects of prison culture.
- Democratic and Republican politicians alike have pushed for anti-shackling legislation.
- Doctors have called shackling a threat to the health of both mother and child.
- Criminologists have deemed it unnecessary; as it appears that no unshackled pregnant inmate has ever escaped during labor.
Quoting and Photo Source: “In Labor, in Chains” by Audrey Quinn
See also: “Shackled During Childbirth” by Sadhbh Walshe
“Childbirth in Chains” by Colleen Mastony
“Should a Woman Be Shackled While Giving Birth? Most States Think So.” by Cristina Costantini
“Bill To Stop The Shackling Of Pregnant Inmates Introduced By D.C. Lawmaker” by Arin Greenwood
Holocaust Museum (By Jane Shore) http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/237966
[The following two stanzas are from a longer poem that describes the experience of three friends walking through the Holocaust Museum.]
but shoes—mountains of shoes—
each shoe still shaped to the human
foot it had once belonged to,
a man’s shoe, a woman’s shoe,
a left or a right shoe, its mate
lost in a pile somewhere;
dusty, scuffed boots and pumps,
heels worn down to the shank,
shoes that appeared to have walked
miles and miles to arrive here.
The odd thing was—
the room smelled like feet.