2015-05-21 12:47:00

Pope to Italy’s police: act against the violent and corrupt

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Thursday (May 21st) encouraged Italy’s police officers to take action against violent and corrupt individuals, saying the country needs people to serve it with altruism, generosity and continuity.  He praised the police officers for their help in welcoming migrants landing on the nation’s shores and in counteracting the “unscrupulous human traffickers" and said their job is an important and noble mission of service to the entire community that sometimes can lead to the sacrifice of their own lives. The Pope’s remarks came in an address to the family members of Italian police officers who were killed or injured whilst on active duty.

Pope Francis said the work of a police officer is a mission that carries a strong sense of duty and discipline and a willingness, if necessary, to lay down one’s life in order to uphold “the rule of law, defend democracy” and engage in the struggle against “organized crime or terrorism.” Your mission, he said, requires "the courage" to rescue whoever is in danger and to stop the aggressor in order to protect the wider society from "the arrogance of corrupt or violent individuals." 

The Pope noted that nowadays police officers often find themselves on the front line, both in welcoming migrants landing on Italy’s shores and in taking action to apprehend the unscrupulous human traffickers. In this work, he said, you distinguish yourselves by "the moral imperative to do good, to save as many people as possible and to not spare yourselves in donating energy and time for this mission."  

Pope Francis concluded by urging the police officers to continue their mission and Christian witness at the service of all and said by defending the weak and the rule of law they are a role model for Italy that "needs people to serve it with altruism, generosity and continuity."  

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