On Friday, November 11, 2022, a book presentation was held for a new book by Friar Vittorio TRANI, OFM Conv., entitled, “Come È in Cielo, Così Sia in Terra – Il Carcere tra Giustizia, Perdono e Misericordia” [As It Is in Heaven, So May It Be on Earth: The Prison between Justice, Forgiveness and Mercy]. The book is published by Edizioni Paoline [Pauline Press] with a preface by Cardinal Pietro PAROLIN. The presentation took place at the Palazzo Venezia in Rome.
The book, whose title paraphrases the Our Father, is a discussion of the prison system together with two journalists. It examines incarceration from the inside and outside point of view. The purpose of the book is to shed light on the human aspect of the detention experience and the need for everyone, without exception, to approach the issues of punishment and sentencing from the perspective of the Italian Constitution.
Friar Vittorio has served as a prison chaplain for fifty continuous years, starting in 1972, where as a young friar he worked for two years in Rome’s Rebibbia Prison and forty-eight more years in Rome’s Regina Coeli prison. Friar Vittorio’s rich pastoral experience has transformed his life as a Franciscan into a humanitarian mission dedicated to his fragile, needy brothers on their way to human and spiritual redemption.
In his book, Friar Vittorio poses questions about many issues surrounding the prison system: the meaning of punishment, the function of prison pastoral care, the importance of alternative measures, faith and religion behind bars, the value of volunteering, the rights of prisoners, and caring for those being released from prison.
The venue for the book presentation was packed with personalities, friars and prison volunteers. Various speakers lectured about the book, highlighting the challenges of a situation that provokes the conscience of every citizen to see the prison, not as a place to relegate inmates to the margins of society, but as a place of friendship, a place to become humanized while respecting the rules that need to be updated, a place that can restore dignity to prisoners. Today there are 56,000 inmates in Italian penitentiaries.
The presentation was moderated by Vincenzo MORGANTE, the Director of TV2000. The event was led by Father Antonio RIZZOLO, the Director General of the Society of San Paolo; Father Francesco OCCHETTA, a Jesuit political scientist; and by Agnese PELLEGRINI and Stefano NATOLI, the two journalists who had spoken with the author.
Friar Vittorio concluded the presentation by thanking the attendees and outlining some of the reasons that led him to address the sensitive issues in the book, citing his long experience working in prisons and being in daily contact with the suffering of the prisoners, namely the 250,000 inmates he has met during his fifty years of service inside prisons.
Friar Paolo FIASCONARO