Columns / Commentary

September 20, 2021, by Stephen M. Colecchi, Catholic News Service
Every person enjoys occasional solitude. The busy business person, the hectic homemaker, the struggling student all welcome solitude at times. Persons of faith need solitude to connect with God in prayer. But what about enforced solitude? What about solitary confinement within four bleak walls for many hours a day for weeks or months? This prison practice is all too widespread. Solitary confinement is torture. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: “Torture which uses physical or moral violence to ... punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity” (No. 2297). Torture is not only “physical,” but also “moral” violence. In the encyclical “Veritatis Splendor,” St. John Paul II quotes…


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