VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Police officers follow Jesus’ path in serving and defending others, rather than seeking to be served, said Pope Francis.
The pope met May 21 with members of the Italian state police and with the family members of officers who died in service.
The police profession is an “authentic mission,” which puts into practice the values of duty, discipline and sacrifice — even of one’s life — to defend public order and democracy, which are in contrast with organized crime and terrorism, he said.
“The community is indebted to you for the possibility of living an orderly life, free of the arrogance of violent and corrupt people,” he said.
Reflecting on police work from the perspective of faith, the pope said, “whoever serves the community with courage and self-sacrifice encounters, along with the difficulties and the risks connected to one’s role, a high level of self-fulfillment because he or she walks on the same road as our Lord, who wanted to serve and not to be served.”
In seeking to serve others, a person “fulfills his or her life, even in the eventuality that he or she may lose it, as Jesus did by dying on the cross,” he said.
The witness of Christian values is “all the more eloquent in these times,” when people are often unable to channel their sense of generosity toward a commitment that is “coherent and stable,” the pope said.
Police work is a commitment to something that has been “solid through time” — guaranteeing citizens order and lawfulness so that they can enjoy all other goods, he said.
The pope also recognized the work of the Italian police “on the front lines” in assisting the hundreds of migrants who land on Italy’s shores, distinguishing themselves by their “spirit of service and humanity” and motivated by the “moral imperative to do good” rather than simply to fulfill a legal duty.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103