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Pope Francis: to Inspectorate of Vatican Public Security, “I was pleased to enter the room with the autumn nostalgia of Buenos Aires”

“I would like to thank you, because I was pleased to enter the room with the autumn nostalgia of Buenos Aires”. With these words, spoken off the cuff at the end of the Argentine tango played in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope started the audience he granted to the “large family” of the Inspectorate of the “Vatican” Public Security, marking the 75th anniversary of its foundation. The Holy Father paid tribute to the musicians on stage also at the end of his audience. He approached them to thank them personally and speak with them. In his address, the Pope stressed the role played “with competence and passion” by men and women of the police. “A mission that flows from the 1929 Lateran Pacts”, Pope Francis recalled, retracing their history, which originate “in a context of precariousness and national emergency, when the political and social forces were engaged in the democratic revival”. The occupation of Rome by German troops in 1943, in particular, “gave rise to many difficulties and concerns: the issue was raised of respect by the German soldiers of the neutrality and sovereignty of Vatican City and the person of the Pope. For nine months, the border between the Italian State and Vatican City, traced on the floor of St Peter’s Square, had been a place of tension and fear. The faithful could not easily access the Basilica to pray, so many of them gave up”. “On 4 June 1944, Rome was finally freed, but the war left deep wounds in consciences, rubble in the streets, and poverty and suffering in the families”: “This is the fruit of war”, he remarked off the cuff.

 

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