Pope Francis greets directors and staff of the Vatican Inspectorate of Public Security Pope Francis greets directors and staff of the Vatican Inspectorate of Public Security  (Vatican Media)

Pope greets Italian police who provide security around Vatican

Pope Francis holds his traditional audience for directors and staff of the Vatican Inspectorate of Public Safety, the Italian security forces that maintain public order and provide security in St Peter’s Square and the areas surrounding Vatican territory.

By Christopher Wells

Pope Francis took the opportunity of the traditional audience with members of the Vatican Inspectorate of Public Safety to thank them for the service they provide “with self-denial and a spirit of sacrifice.”

Created as part of the implementation of the Lateran Accords between Italy and the Holy See, the Inspectorate is an Italian police force charged with maintaining public order in St Peter’s Square and the areas adjacent to the Vatican. The Pope recognized their work in providing security during gatherings of the faithful and pilgrims at the Vatican, as well as their assistance during papal visits to the city of Rome and on pastoral visits to Italy.

“For all this, I heartily reiterate my esteem and appreciation for your helpfulness and for your dedicated and professional service.”

The Holy Father encouraged members of the Inspectorate “to persevere in the ideals and intentions” that inspire their life and work, and said he hoped their work, with all its difficulties, would “always be animated by the desire to help your neighbour and your community.”

Bearing witness to the love of God

At the same time, he invited them to be inspired by the Gospel, in order to “courageously bear witness to God’s love” everywhere, including in the workplace. He told the police officers that their service “can be a sign of God’s closeness to the brothers and the sisters whom you meet every day, and who await a gesture of kindness and welcome from you.”

This service, he continued, is a concrete way to be “artisans of peace,” in a world that desperately needs people to build peace with deeds, not words.

Pope Francis concluded his remarks by assuring those present of prayers, and by entrusting them to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of St Michael, the patron of police officers.

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12 January 2023, 12:38