Pope Greets Italian Inspectorate's Vatican Force

Calls Work a «Valuable Service»

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 8, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI thanked members of the Inspectorate for Public Security at the Vatican for their work, which he considers «particularly important for the mission of the Roman Pontiff.»

The efforts of the security force, he affirmed, favors «a climate of serenity and tranquility, which gives those who come to the centre of Christianity the chance to enjoy an authentic religious experience.»

The Inspectorate for Public Security at the Vatican, which is made up of 150 officers, was established in 1929. It forms part of Italy’s State Police, which is a civil national police force.

Benedict XVI called the work of the security force a «valuable service,» and said that he hopes «the Lord will repay you for the often hidden sacrifices» made by the officers.

“Required from each one of you is commitment and great responsibility in the fulfillment of duty,» the Pope said.

The Holy Father said their work constitutes «a special way to serve the Lord, almost as if to ‘prepare the way for Him,’ so that each pilgrim’s and each visitor’s experience at the center of Christianity may represent a special occasion to encounter the Lord, who changes lives.»

He praised the officers’ faith and love for the Church, and assured them that their work will make them «stronger and more coherent in your faith.»

Benedict XVI also urged the officers «not to be afraid or ashamed to express that faith in your own families, in the workplace and wherever you may find yourselves.»

On Thursday, the Pontiff greeted members of the Carabinieri’s Vatican police corps, which is an Italian military police force.

Italy has eight separate police forces, five of which are national.

Security in Vatican City is also provided by the Gendarme Corps of Vatican City State, and the Pontifical Swiss Guard, a military unit of the Holy See.

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