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Monday, January 16, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JAN 14, 2006 (VIS) - In keeping with an annual tradition, Benedict XVI today received members of the General Inspectorate for Public Security at the Vatican, which oversees safety and security in St. Peter's Square and surrounding streets.

  Safety and order, said the Pope, "require technical and professional training, coupled with no small amount of patience, constant vigilance and a spirit of sacrifice."

  The Holy Father then recalled "the great efforts" made by the Inspectorate and other members of the Italian armed forces during the period of the illness, death and funeral of John Paul II, "and on the occasion of my own election to the See of Peter. I take this opportunity to renew my collaborators' and my own thanks to all those people who, in those historic circumstances, contributed to ensuring that everything proceeded in an orderly and tranquil fashion; the entire world was able to admire the efficiency of the organization."

  After highlighting the importance of "always working in a spirit of harmony and true cooperation," the Pope said: "Families, communities, organizations of all kinds, States, and the world itself would be better if, like a healthy and well-composed body, all members conscientiously and altruistically carried out their duties, however large or small they may be."

  Benedict XVI concluded by appealing: "Let us open our hearts to Christ, and faithfully welcome His Gospel, a precious rule of life for those people who are searching for the true significance of human existence."
AC/.../VATICAN INSPECTORATE                        VIS 20060116 (260)

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