The really important things about the Church

Yes, folks, some things are more central to the Church’s life than others.

For example, what the Vatican police wear.

The gendarme of the Vatican have a new look.

Here is the design.  Note that the shape of the hat has changed, as as the color (darker blue than before).  The necktie is gone, except on the dress uniform with the jacket.


 

The Vatican Gendarmeria have accompanied Benedict XVI to Bressanone to help with security during His Holiness vacation.

The really important things about the Church
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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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16 Responses to The really important things about the Church

  1. Rob in Maine says:

    Halbards! They need halbards.

    Well, at least they get to wear some really nice Italian shoes.

  2. David Andrew says:

    Didn’t I read somewhere (perhaps even here) that there’s been a push to get rid of the Swiss Guards who wear the traditional garb, and put them all in modern uniform, sans pole arms (halbards)?

  3. PMcGrath says:

    No, no, they need the big bearskin shakos that the pre-Paul VI Pontifical Gendarmerie had. I mean, you had the Swiss, the Noble Guard, the Pontifical Gendarmerie, and the Palatine Guard. Four different incredible uniforms — now only one remains. This dinky new hat just doesn’t cut it.

  4. pjsandstrom says:

    On the hat — I detect a French &/or Swiss influence.

  5. They look too casual, almost like shopping mall security guards, not the Gendarmes guarding the Eternal City.

  6. Andy Milam says:

    I don’t find anything wrong with this uniform. Let’s not forget that the “traditional” uniforms that we are all pining for were once the modern day standard. While they should most definitely keep the traditional uniforms for State events and the like, I have no issue with an every day uniform that is modern in design.

  7. Willaim Young says:

    The Pope is holidaying in a German speaking part of Italy, the South Tyrol. The historic name of the town is Brixen.

  8. Deusdonat says:

    William – roughly half of the population speaks German as a first language. The other parts speak Italian and Ladino as a first language. But all citizens speak Italian, so I wouldn’t characterise the Alto Adige as “German speaking”.

  9. Steve K. says:

    Last time I was in Suedtirol, (in Bozen/ Bolzano) which was last October, I heard far more German being spoken than Italian and as much written German on signs and printed publications as Italian, and of course the province was actually German (Austrian) until the relatively recent past, also according to the 2001 census native German speakers form about 70% of the population. Thus it is no stretch to say that it is a German-speaking province.

  10. Deusdonat says:

    Steve – I don’t think it is worth arguing the point. Suffice it to say, the latest figures put the number of <a href=http://www.regione.taa.it/biblioteca/minoranze/Tn_bz.aspxnative Germans at 64%. This simply means those who identify as coming from German heritage, and not necessarily those who speak the language as a mother-tongue. And as I stated, all citizens speak italian. Regardless of whether you annecdotally “heard” far more German.

  11. Deusdonat says:

    Steve – I don’t think it is worth arguing the point. Suffice it to say, the latest figures put the number of Germans at 64%. This simply means those who identify as coming from German heritage, and not necessarily those who speak the language as a mother-tongue. And as I stated, all citizens speak italian. Regardless of whether you annecdotally “heard” far more German.

  12. Sid Cundiff says:

    The French kepi is a vastly superior cap to the peaked cap (forage cap) which most non-French police and soldiers are obliged to wear. Even the beret, though inferior to the kepi, looks better than the peaked cap. And ANY worthwhile cap should have a space between the crown of the head and the top of the cap: It keeps the heat away in the summer and keeps the heat in during winter. The kepi shows the cockade better, has a better visor, and adds height to a figure of authority (Did someone say “tiara’? shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!).

  13. Mike Dwyer says:

    Now, if we could get some of the other Papal units that Paul VI disbanded brought back, like the Noble Guard!

  14. Of course you will hear more German being spoken in this part of Italy, this is part of the regions Italy stole from Austria!

  15. JC says:

    Well, some of you would be surprised (or not) to see that the new kepi is actually a “return to tradition” of sorts… the pic in this article dates the kepi around 1970, before Papa Montini changed the name to Ufficio Centrale di Vigilanza, in 1971.

    http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gendarmeria_Pontificia

    and also at:

    http://www.vaticanstate.va/NR/rdonlyres/844C6B34-32FE-44FD-BFDA-DC384C957D95/1309/Gendarmeria4.jpg

    The new design seems to apply only to the ordinary uniform, and loosing the tie in the summer edition is just logical considering the infernal (oops) heat in the Eternal City.

    I hope they did not loose their winter capes, and that the ceremonial uniforms will still be present on some occasions. There is a recent pic of an papal audience to a certain group (I believe it was the Rota or the Penitenzieria, but cannot be certain), and the Gendarmes appear in the old dress uniforms, including shakos, swords, etc…

  16. Rudy B says:

    I am eternally grateful for their service to the Holy Father and the Vatican, but I find it amusing that the drawings posted show the policemen with size 25 waistlines… I was only in Rome for a semester, but I can’t recall seeing a guard with a waistline that small…