PopeWatch: Daniel Anrig





If Pope Francis is ever assassinated, please recall this story:

He has dismissed and demoted cardinals, bishops and the Vatican secretary of state, and now Pope Francis’s reformist zeal has claimed a new scalp – the head of his own private army, the Swiss Guard.

Go here to read the rest.  Pope Francis has shown himself on other occasions to be quite cavalier in his security arrangements.  I doubt if he realizes that lax security not only endangers his life, but the lives of those around him.

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  1. Well, perhaps there is another side to the story. If a Guard on duty is truly ‘exhausted’ then he cannot properly do his job. The story may not be accurate in that detail – as we all know many are not – but if it is then some Swiss Guard policies and procedures could use an overhaul.

  2. The Pope knows about as much regarding the running of a military unit as a pig does about penance. He does not care about security apparently, and he certainly does not care about military discipline, not understanding the necessity of either. I hope that he will not be taught the importance of both by a terrorist group.

  3. The foolishness of this Pope never ceases to appall me. If he wants to paint a target on his own back that says, ‘Shoot me!”, he’s free to do so. But as Don pointed out, he shouldn’t endanger those around him. IMO, Francis is a very self-centered man who doesn’t think about the welfare of others. He believes he’s the world’s buddy and no one would want to harm him. Hoo-Boy, is he going to get a surprise when a bullet goes whizzing pass his noggin some day!

  4. I believe Chesterton once said that before you take down a facially useless fence, you ought to inquire why it was erected in the first place. I do not think the Pope ever thinks in those terms.

  5. Well, if the pope has good intentions and decides he doesn’t really need good security and ends up being shot, who are we to judge?

  6. “The Pope replied: ‘I give the orders around here,’…”

    I thought he was the non-authoritarian Pope. I guess if you do it in a humble way you are non-authoritarian.

  7. “Teutonic” attitudes recalls the story of the Archbishop of Cologne, during the heady days of the Second Vatican Council, who instructed his major-domo that, in future, archbishops and bishops were no longer to be addressed as “Your Grace” or “Your Excellency,” but simply as “Father.”
    „jawohl Herr Kurfurst“ replied the major-domo, an old soldier – Yes, Mr Prince-Elector.

  8. . Next he may force them to carry pepper spray and turn in their Sig Sauer pistols. Am I kidding? I’m not sure. To date it’s a miracle terrorists have not hit such an iconic place. If he disarms them, what a soft target. Islamic State repeatedly uses the term “Rome” but they do seem to use it as symbolic of the West. The Pope might not know that the Swiss Guard also have armor piercing Heckler and Koch sub machine guns. Let’s hope he forgets the Guard after the leadership change.

  9. “I guess if you do it in a humble way you are non-authoritarian.”

    To my mind this is false-humility in that it fails to recognize that the Swiss guard posted outside the door has a job to do to. Instead of embarassing the poor guy for doing his job, the humble thing to do would have been to thank him for giving up a night’s sleep to stand his watch.

  10. Mr. McClarey: “If Pope Francis is ever assassinated, please recall this story”
    What a “stick to beat with” that would be for those who wish to legitimize same-sex sex acts (and other sinful doctrines) in the context of the Catholic Church.
    Folks be on your guard. I smell a fish. It is not a pleasant smell.

  11. While details of this story sound absurd (the Pope went off to buy a
    cappuccino? Really?), it is true that this Holy Father seems rather
    cavalier about the security surrounding both himself and the people
    in his vicinity. When Pope Francis visited the holy land this past spring,
    he insisted that he and those with him forgo the usual bulletproof
    vehicles and instead travel in standard-issue autos.
    For me, the disturbing thing about the Pope’s decision to roll the dice
    concerning the safety of himself, his suite, and those around them was
    that it was announced by the Vatican press office well in advance
    of the Mideast trip. Why on earth would anyone advertise a downgrade
    in security prior to a trip to such a volatile area? For the accolades?

  12. Buy the man a cappuccino???

    If I were that troop (prepared to lose his life for the life of the Pope) I would have preferred the Pope’s blessing.

    The simple soldier properly does his duty. Not so sure about the pope.

  13. Other units of the papal armed forces, the Noble Guard and the Palatine Guard were abolished in 1970 and the Papal Gendarmerie was converted into a civilian police force.

    Perhaps, the days of the Swiss Guard is also numbered.

  14. In my humble opinion, the Holy Father’s concern for the young Swiss Guard would have been better expressed by telling him to carry on as per his standing orders, then privately to confer with his commander concerning a modification to said standing orders. One of the obligations of command is to respect the chain of command. If it is to be a strong chain, the respect must run both ways. If I were the superior of the Guard in question, I would have felt obligated to tender my resignation, since the act would indicate that my own superior had degree of confidence in my leadership that was insufficient for the maintenance of the good order of the service.

  15. This Pope reminds me of President Jimmy Carter. He wanted to be just like everyone else…. AND President. He carried his own bags off the plane, stopped ” Hail to the Chief ” from being played, and tried to act non-Presidential….sorry but I gotta ask…. Did anyone know this Pope would be this Weird when they picked him???

  16. Andreas Widmer was a Swiss Guard in St. JPII’s day. As a brand new member of the guard, he was stationed at a desk outside the Papal apartments. He confided that the Pope was actually locked in. The walkie-talkie told him when to let the Pope out. He also said that St. JPII attended a lot of Swiss Guard parties and drank with the guys.

    I just wonder. Did Jesus have a security detail?

  17. I love this comment: “Before you take down a facially useless fence, you ought to inquire why it was erected in the first place.” Thanks for that Art Deco.

    There’s a more serious issue than the Pope’s safety or even that of the folks around him: his assassination could lead to war.

    Becoming a head of state or any other significant figure in society carries with it the heady responsibility of providing for your own safety, lest many others be forced to sacrifice to rescue or avenge you. That isn’t a happy prospect but it is a reality that one must contend with.

    The Pope’s security isn’t really about him, as a person, at all but about the position that he holds. He endangers the lives of many by refusing to act reasonably.

  18. We have a Pope and a Pope Emeritus. Of late my thoughts keep going to the seers of Fatima and their vision of the “Bishop dressed in White”. If the vision is for our time, perhaps one of them is that Bishop …

  19. I assume that the Swiss Guard does give the Pope a modicum of security. But Pope Francis has said he is old, and unafraid to die. The crux of the issue is, I think, the symbolism. The Swiss Guard, despite their readiness to die for the Pope, are mostly a symbol not only of protection, but of some degree of pageantry, and indeed of selectiveness and discipline. The breaking of this symbolism is following a paradigm of Pope Francis’ penchant for relaxing everything everywhere, and demolishing or diminishing the sturdy spine of boundaries. So we are going to end up being a Church that is mostly quivering Jello.

  20. “Did Jesus have a security detail?” Nope, and He ended up on a cross. – ”
    I think maybe he did; (based upon reading from some mystics). Anne Emerich, for example, mentions that at the Garden, the Apostles were merely waiting for the word from Jesus to beat up those who came to arrest Him. She writes as if this has happened before. (Of course, Jesus said no this time; in order that God’s will could be fulfilled.)
    Led by Peter, they don’t seem like the type to back down from a righteous fight.
    Sorry for dragging out the thread, but this came to mind the moment I first read that earlier comment, and I offer it hoping someone can shed additional light upon it.

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