Friday, December 26, 2014
Pope to Abolish Swiss Guard? On-line Petition
The campaign was launched by the Guard sympathizers and former guardsmen, who fear Pope Francis wants to abolish the Swiss Guard - The initiative aims to "invite the Pope to make a commitment to Swiss Guard"
Zurich-Vatican City (kath.net/KAP) A petition to Pope Francis should be encouraged to maintain the Swiss Guard. This was reported by "Vatican Radio" on Sunday. The initiative, launched by the Guard sympathizers and former guardsmen began on Saturday. "We want to ask the Pope to make a commitment to the Swiss Guard", said the Swiss organizer Walter Gabriel, according to media reports. The future of the guard is something that the organizers have at heart, who fear Pope Francis may want to abolish the Guard.
Speculation about a reform or even the end of the Swiss Guard had arisen after the dismissal of the previous commander Daniel Anrig in early December. The Swiss Guard has been protecting the Pope and his palace since 1506. Today, the protection force has a nominal strength of 110 men and is responsible for the personal protection of the Pope and for the security of the entrances to the Vatican. Most recruits undertake a two-year service period these days.
Born in 1972 in Walenstadt in the canton of St. Gallen and raised in Sargans, Anrig was from 1992-1994 a Hellebardier in the Guard. After a law degree, which also included the canon law, he entered the cantonal police in Glarus, where he most recently held the rank of commander. In August 2008, he was called by Pope Benedict XVI. and appointed to succeed Elmar Mäder.
The Swearing in of the Swiss Guard: