Police should be ‘points of reference’ for people in need, pope says
By Cindy Wooden, CNS – Police work, including at the Vatican, requires courage and compassion for people in need, Pope Francis told the Italian police who are responsible for security around Vatican City State.
“It is a job that requires courage, tact, steady nerves, attention and understanding for the needs and emergencies of those who ask for your help and also of those who make your intervention necessary with problematic behaviour of various kinds,” the pope said Feb. 10 during a meeting with officials of the Inspectorate for Public Security at the Vatican, a special branch of the Italian state police force.
Police, the pope told them, should act in such a way that they are “points of reference” for people in need for everything from a simple request for directions or “for those who turn to you to express a discomfort, or because, feeling marginalised, they seek a little understanding and empathy.”
People should know that they can trust a man or woman in uniform, the pope said. “This is very important.”
The common good and peace in society, two things police are called on to ensure, “cannot be improvised and do not always flourish spontaneously,” the pope said. “The lights and shadows of our human nature, limited and wounded by sin, entail the need for there to be those who, when faced with evil, do not stand by and watch, but take the responsibility to intervene, to protect the victims and bring the transgressors back to order, always having the good of all at heart.”
Pope Francis thanked the officers for “the faithful and patient work with which you guarantee that everyone who comes to the Vatican, from Italy and abroad, has the possibility of experiencing moments of faith and prayer as pilgrims or simply of leisure as tourists in a serene atmosphere of order and security.”
“This is a delicate commitment, which deserves all the more appreciation because it is carried out daily, every day — and night! — of the year,” the pope said.