ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II
I am indeed happy to welcome you all, representatives of the Catholic Police Officers of England and Wales, with members of your families, to this audience.
I am especially happy to renew my acquaintance with members of a category of public servants who played such a willing and generous part in facilitating my visit to your country in 1982.
This year you are celebrating the Seventieth Anniversary of the foundation of the Catholic Police Guild, established under the auspices of Cardinal Bourne in 1914. I wish to encourage you to persevere in the spirit and good works which inspired the intentions of the founding members.
Your visit to the holy places of Rome, especially to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, give a truly pilgrim character to your presence here. I pray that this religious dimension of your stay will serve to consolidate your Christian faith and help you to see your professional and family responsibilities in the light of the Gospel message of God’s love.
The high moral standards, the discipline, the self-sacrifice and the genuine concern for the common good which mark your public service are all ways of witnessing to the authenticity of your belief in the Paschal Mystery of the redeeming Death and Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Yours is a work of service and of brotherhood. As such it needs the support of a profound sense of the unique dignity of every human being. The special value of each person can only be fully understood where each one is accepted as an image of God himself and a brother or sister of Christ. I hope that your work, which sometimes brings you into contact with the darker side of human nature, will not deter you from enthusiastically serving the cause of civic harmony and well-being with sensitivity and Christian hope.
Through you I wish to send my Easter greetings to all the members of your Guild, and indeed to all the members of the police forces of England and Wales.
May the grace and peace of the Risen Christ accompany you always! And may your families and friends, here present and at home, be abundantly blessed with Christian strength and joy! Know that I am grateful to you and that you remain in my prayers!
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