By Robin Gomes
Pope Francis on Saturday met some 7000 members of Italy’s National Association of State Police (ANPS), and urged them to enlarge their group by involving and welcoming other citizens, in order to spread the culture of legality, respect and security in their commitment to the common
ANPS is an association that includes both police in service and those retired who together aim to carry forward the ideals and traditions of the State Police.
The Pope found it very significant that their association can also include ordinary citizens who assume the association’s values and commitment. He encouraged them to establish a large family that is open to all those who wish to commit themselves to the common good on the basis of the association’s principles - a family that would like to involve and welcome every citizen, in order to spread a culture of legality, respect and security.
Without these foundations, the Pope warned, the social context degenerates into a tangle of personal interests without achieving the common good.
The good of society, he explained, is not the well-being of the majority or the respect of the rights of almost all. As long as someone suffers, “all the members suffer with him".
Gospel values – leaven in society
The Pope encouraged the National Association of State Police to become greater promoters of their loving care for people, which is the synthesis of their ideals, that generates new relationships and leads to a more just order. “Through your commitment, in fact,” he said, “you help to introduce into the dough of society the leaven of equality and fraternity, which never fails to bear fruit.
Pope Francis noted how in the early Christians centuries, the Gospel values radically transformed the life and mentality of the whole of human society. A notable example of this transformation in later centuries is the abolition of slavery as an unjust institution. The Gospel has also overturned the hierarchy of values and given new dignity to the abandoned and excluded, to women, the sick and children.
The Pope said that the values of solidarity and peace which find their summit in Jesus, have always been able to and continue to be so even today, ito renew interpersonal and social relationships.