When speaking to a group of police officers, St. John Paul II exhorted them to seek holiness of life above all things.
Being a police officer is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Every day police officers are confronted with difficult situations, many of them requiring split-second decisions.It isn’t easy, and that is why St. John Paul II urged police officers to seek holiness of life above all things. An intimate relationship with God is key to being a good and just police officer, able to treat others with respect and dignity, while also protecting the public from various threats.
While speaking to representatives of the Catholic Police Officers of England and Wales, who were celebrating the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Catholic Police Guild, John Paul II wished to “encourage you to persevere in the spirit and good works which inspired the intentions of the founding members.”
He praised their pilgrimage to Rome, saying to them, “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.”
Furthermore, John Paul II gave them a powerful address that applies to all police officers around the world.
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.
In a different address to Polish Military and Police, John Paul II pointed to the biblical character of Cornelius as an example.
May you be accompanied on this pilgrimage by the example of a courageous soldier, a just and pious man: the centurion named Cornelius. It was he who received Baptism after meeting Peter, and together with him his soldiers and his whole household (cf. Acts 10: 1-48).
I hope that, after this pilgrimage, you will return spiritually strengthened to your places of service and to your families, and be ready to bear witness to the Gospel and the Cross. Stay faithful to Christ by defending “justice and peace”!
Pray for police officers, that they may stay close to Christ and not be afraid to treat all people with respect and dignity.