Pope sacks Swiss Guard Commandant

From The Telegraph:

Pope sacks the head of his Swiss Guard for being ‘too strict’
Daniel Anrig will no longer serve as commandant of Pontiff’s private army after Pope Francis is rumoured to prefer a ‘less military’ approach to security

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.
In a dispassionate one-sentence notice, the Vatican’s official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, announced on Wednesday that Daniel Anrig will no longer serve as the commandant of the 500-year-old corps after the end of next month.
No official explanation was given for the decision, but it was widely rumoured that the Argentinean Pope, who has established a warmer, more inclusive style of governance since being appointed pontiff in March last year, found the commander’s manner overly strict and “Teutonic”.
The 77-year-old pope is said to have been appalled recently to have emerged one morning from his private suite of rooms to find that a Swiss Guard had been standing guard all night.
“Sit down,” he told the young guardsman, to which the soldier said: “I can’t, it’s against orders.”
The Pope replied: “I give the orders around here,” and promptly went off to buy a cappuccino for the exhausted soldier.
[…]

Yeah… right. That last thing I would want from my security detail made up of military personnel is commitment, discipline and professionalism.

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63 Responses to Pope sacks Swiss Guard Commandant

  1. thomas tucker says:

    The (young, fit) soldier was “exhausted” from standing guard all night? That sounds suspiciously apocryphal.

  2. george says:

    Firing the commandant for doing his job? That’s not very warm and fluffy…

  3. Incaelo says:

    That’s a lot of rumours in one piece of text… That first line, of dismissed and demoted cardinals and even the Secretary of State (never mind the fact that Cardinal Bertone turned 80 yesterday), should be indication enough of that. Every personnel change is taken as proof that Pope Francis is doing everything so very different and is reforming everything… Colonel Anrig was, I gather, already serving in extended time, so his dismissal was coming up anyway. The only odd thing is that a successor hasn’t been appointed yet.

  4. YorkshireStudent says:

    This is awfully sad for the Commandant – I wonder if anyone has bothered to ask the Swiss Guardsmen if they want this more relaxed schedule his replacement is thought to favour? I cannot quite reconcile the attitudes which make some sign up for the Swiss Guards with complaints on the low level that are being used to justify this…

  5. AngelGuarded says:

    Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George brought a chair for the security guard to sit in at a clothing store. George was bothered “by the slightest human suffering.” Haha. Later the store was robbed while the guard slept.

    I trust the Holy Spirit that we have the right Pope. To me, Pope Francis seems a bit naive.

  6. Polycarpio says:

    I tend to agree with Incaelo. Buying cappuccinos for Swiss Guards smells to me like going out on night time sorties to feed the poor on the streets of Rome … (a rumor floated last year which grandiosely made the rounds last year but was 100% fiction)

  7. FrAnt says:

    Centuries of discipline, trial and error have told security forces that standing guard is optimal security of the person being guarded. Now if something happens to the Pope, who will everyone blame? Not the pope, rather they will blame the Swiss Guard.

    The disregard the Holy Father has shown for safety protocol not only puts his life in danger, but all those around him. It also makes the work of security details all that more difficult and in cases almost impossible.

  8. sirlouis says:

    Hard to believe the story about the tired guard. If a guard was posted outside the Pope’s chambers, it for sure wasn’t just that one night, it was every night. And he only just noticed? Nonsense.

    And he “sacked” Anrig for being too “Teutonic”? Pardon me, but the Swiss guards are, in fact, Swiss. They do not recruit in Latin America. Whom can the Pope promote to lead the Guard who is not a Teuton? Again, hard to believe.

  9. mamajen says:

    “No official explanation was given for the decision…” so, yeah, let’s just make some explanations up. Because we all definitely need to know.

  10. NBW says:

    Why doesn’t the Pope sack Cardinal Kaspar for being too “Teutonic”? Too bad Mr. Anrig didn;t reply;
    “Who are you to judge?”

  11. Reliquary says:

    The cappuccino was a sandwich in last year’s recounting of this story.

  12. Mariana2 says:

    ” and promptly went off to buy a cappuccino for the exhausted soldier.”

    Buy? Where?

  13. iPadre says:

    They can come stand guard at Holy Ghost. Might increase Mass attendance among the curious. ;-)

  14. Inigo says:

    I’ll be perfectly honest. I’m tired of reading about pope Francis, about his many publicity stunts, and always to worry about how to wash his questionable decisions white every time he utters some poetic nonsense. I’m tired to think of excuses to tell my coworkers at the water cooler, when they ask me about the stuff the pope says, and which are totally contradictory to my lifestyle as a practicing tradition loving catholic. I’m tired of this. I’m tired of having to duoblethink most of what I came to beleive is true, just becouse our pope chooses to be a populist. I mean, it is a bad sign, if a site like 9gag.com has a picure of pope Francis liked by tens of thousands that says: “the best thing that could happen to the Catholic Church”. The pope should engage the culture of death, not smile at it, wave at it, kiss it and pet it. I mean just think about it in military terms: how would it effect the loyalty and morale of soldiers fighting in the trenches, bleeding out and dying, if their supreme commander would in the mean time have parties and drinks with the enemy.Christian people are actually dying at the hands of Islam, and our pope lays in bed with them for the whole world to see and cheer.

    So this is my last uttering about this pope. I refuse to talk about him, because the only thing I could say wouldn’t be nice, so I rather choose not to speak about him at all.

    Sorry for the rant.

  15. mamajen says:

    Reliquary,

    Indeed! I just looked it up, and back in fall of 2013 there was a story floating around about Pope Francis giving the soldier a chair and a sandwich, which he allegedly made himself! LOL

    So now, a year later, he is “appalled” to discover that a soldier guards his door? Rigghhht.

  16. The Vatican is turning into Argentina.

  17. Dennis Martin says:

    I read this wire story last night and unthinkingly headed out for Dudgeonville but then stopped and thought to myself, “this sounds apocryphal. Perhaps I can use that to help my Twittered students learn some critical thinking in class on Friday.” I didn’t know about the sandwich version from last year.

    It has gotten to the point that we do need to stand guard vigilantly against feeding Pope Francis troglodytes. But, in this case, I am grateful that Fr. Z. posted it because I would never have known about the sandwich to cappucino miracle of Domus Sanctae Marthae.

  18. juergensen says:

    Burke + Anrig = “too strict” = canned.

  19. avecrux says:

    A “less military” approach to security…. like…..????
    So I thought that the Telegraph was a respectable source – but the Pope “promptly” going off to “buy” cappuccino? He should have rushed back into his kitchen and made it for the guard himself!
    Also – if you read further on in the article it says: “In October, the Pope was photographed shaking hands with a member of the elite corps, breaking years of protocol which demanded that pontiffs should treat the Swiss Guardsmen with aloofness.” Yes – years of protocol demanding aloofness – here is aloof JPII, aloofly shaking hands with a guard: http://publicaffairs.cua.edu/releases/2013/swiss-guard-papal-resignation.cfm And then we have Benedict aloofly shaking hands with a guard: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2011/may/06/vatican-34-new-swiss-guards-sworn-in/
    Sigh…..

  20. Scott W. says:

    I’m chalking this one up to the excesses of the internet age where one can’t go to the bathroom without having a bevvy of netizens scrutinizing it to the moon.

  21. Charles E Flynn says:

    It’s a miracle! A sandwich changed into a cappuccino!

  22. The whole story looks pretty fishy and therefore, it’s foolish to offer any reactions to what may be fiction, in whole or in part.

  23. Robbie says:

    The BBC article I read said the leader of the Swiss Guard was deemed to be too authoritarian. Well, I would remind everyone the Swiss Guard is charged with the personal security of popes so strictness would seem to be the right course.

    If the story about the chair is true, it reminds me of a Seinfeld episode (The Maestro) where George was upset a security guard at a store was forced to stand all during his shift. He thought he deserved a rocking chair to sit in during the day and finally the store gave him one. As soon as that happened, the security guard fell asleep in the chair and the store was robbed.

  24. pseudomodo says:

    Acts.6
    [1] Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.
    [2] And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.
    [3] Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty.
    [4] But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
    [5] And what they said pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Proch’orus, and Nica’nor, and Ti’mon, and Par’menas, and Nicola’us, a proselyte of Antioch.
    [6] These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands upon them.
    [7] And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

    OK got it! We are now going back to the REALLY early Church and I mean really EARLY where the Apostles waited on tables…

  25. acricketchirps says:

    So does this mean Anrig gets to keep his job?

  26. Polycarpio says:

    Absolutely, Fr. Fox. In fact, this seems to put in context what the Pope said in the services he had with the security personnel to feast St. Michael the archangel and he said to them, “The worst bomb inside the Vatican is gossip” (!).

    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1404025.htm

  27. AnnTherese says:

    The author admits the reason for the firing is a rumor. Widely and deliciously spread, no doubt, by the pope’s detractors.

  28. marcelus says:

    Well , the authoris mixing stories: the soldier standing by the door and the Pope making a sandwich remember?

    I’m surprised nobody has stated so far, that the Head of the Guard was a trad , reason why he is going home a few months early. Just that.

    And finally, speaking of rumors, let me tell you some papers in South America allegedly reported off the record commentaries by Swiss guards who said , and many appeared, that:

    “The Swiss guard was run like a dictatorship and that the guy had problems with a lot of the guards”

    So, who knows, as usual there may be something else with this measure.

  29. excalibur says:

    Several have mentioned the Seinfeld episode when George bought a chair for the guard, but I believe [and correct me if wrong] forgot to mention that the guard who fell asleep in that chair was fired after the robbery.

  30. jacobi says:

    So, the Holy Father wants to make the Swiss Guard less military?

    Personally I would not quarrel with the Swiss concept of what is the appropriate “military” approach. The Swiss have shown over the centuries that this is something they fully understand. Equally, as we Brits have noticed, the Argentines are not terribly good at soldiering, although their fighter pilots are another matter!

    So perhaps the Holy Father should leave them alone. The incident of him getting the guard a coffee, if true, is just daft and would have put the guard in a very difficult position!

    More to the point, the revelations of Elmar Maeder, the retired Commander of the Swiss Guard, reported in Rorate Caeli about secret groups in the Vatican, should be taken seriously.

  31. jacobi says:

    So, the Holy Father wants to make the Swiss Guard less military?

    Personally I would not quarrel with the Swiss concept of what is the appropriate “military” approach. The Swiss have shown over the centuries that this is something they fully understand. Equally, as we Brits have noticed, the Argentines are not terribly good at soldiering, although their fighter pilots are another matter!

    So perhaps the Holy Father should leave them alone. The incident of him getting the guard a coffee, if true, is just daft and would have put the guard in a very difficult position!

    More to the point, the revelations of Elmar Maeder, the retired Commander of the Swiss Guard, reported in Rorate Caeli about secret groups in the Vatican, should be taken seriously.

  32. JTH says:

    Ah, the Latin culture. Inventors of the 3 hour afternoon nap. Attitude: No te preocupes!

  33. JTH says:

    Ah, the Latin culture. Inventors of the 3 hour afternoon nap. Attitude: No te preocupes!

  34. kat says:

    So I have read the comments, and see some or all of the story may not be true. But I will say what I had planned: if the pope really thinks the soldiers guarding him are too disciplined, perhaps he needs to be taken to Arlington to see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier! That is discipline, and to protect the deceased!

  35. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Small point, if I may, but it keeps popping up: The Holy Spirit does not pick popes. Never has, never will. He protects popes, in certain circumstances, from certain kinds errors, but he does not pick them.

  36. Imrahil says:

    What I find hard to believe is that a Swiss Guard refuses to follow a Papal order with the remark “it’s against orders”. He might have said “I don’t mind standing”. He might have said “it makes it easier to keep me awake”. He might even have said “you’re the Vicar of Christ; sure a standing guard for you is due, and I’m honored to be it”. But appealing to the order of a lesser superior in front of the higher superior?

    Well, he may have had a bad day, if the story is true.

    What I also find hard to believe is that the Pope (even at the Domus St. Marthae, I’d say) actually buys – pays for – a cappucino.

  37. Dave N. says:

    It is widely rumored (by the people sitting in my living room) that said story was circulated by those disgruntled with the Pope’s recent actions related to and surrounding the Synod on the Family.

    See how easy that was?

  38. Gerard Plourde says:

    The story about the Swiss Guard is suspect for several reasons.

    First, as noted, a similar story with the Pope getting the sandwich as the punch line floated last year.

    Second, the claim that the Pope went off to buy the guard a cappuccino stains credulity. Where did His Holiness go to buy the cappuccino? Why isn’t there a report of his wandering to the cafe to get the cappuccino? There are cell phones everywhere. The appearance of the unmistakable figure of the Pope in line at a cafe would certainly be worthy of a snap or two. Alternatively, had the Pope gone to the dining area of Domus Sanctae Marthae would there have been a cashier? I’m not familiar with the Domus, but if it’s anything like the traditional Gasthäuser like those I frequented in Austria and Germany in my youth, the billing is handled at the end of one’s stay or if one is residing for an extended period, on a weekly basis.

    In short, I find it lacking in credibility.

  39. Pope Kostanza. I love it. “It’s a papacy about nothing.”

    So who in this scenario is Kramer?

  40. robtbrown says:

    Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Small point, if I may, but it keeps popping up: The Holy Spirit does not pick popes. Never has, never will. He protects popes, in certain circumstances, from certain kinds errors, but he does not pick them.

    There are some times that seems more evident than others.

  41. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Kat,

    The rifles carried by the honor guard at Arlington are inoperable. Further, if the commandant of the Swiss Guard thinks that a Guard can maintain effectiveness over a full eight hour shift. The guards you referred to at Arlington change every 30 minutes.

  42. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Kat,

    The rifles carried by the honor guard at Arlington are inoperable. Further, if the commandant of the Swiss Guard thinks that a Guard can maintain effectiveness over a full eight hour shift, he should be replaced. The guards you referred to at Arlington change every 30 minutes. Putting a guard in from of the Pope’s door for a full eight hours without relief or other precautions is asking for trouble in these times.

    (Sorry for the double post. The original somehow cut out a portion of the comment.)

  43. chonak says:

    As blogger Ken Layne quipped years ago, on the internet, “we can fact-check your a–“. It’s good to see sharp-eyed readers on the job debunking a flimsy story.

  44. BenYachov says:

    >Yeah… right. That last thing I would want from my security detail made up of military personnel is commitment, discipline and professionalism.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2007/06/what_does_the_swiss_guard_actually_do.html

    Unless we are talking about a plain cloths security person(who would have firearms) who is a lone Swiss guardsmen going to protect the Pope from using a halberd? I’m imagining a bunch of disgruntled renegade anti-Catholic AD&D LARP gangs?:-)*

    HA!!! I am funny.:-)

    Alright enough levity(sorry Father I couldn’t help myself but I have been waiting to use that one all day)……when I was in the Navy at best I stood watch about 4hours maybe 6 at most in a row. This was during peace time in port. Only in an emergency or under battle conditions would we be standing watch longer.

    So I am with the people who find this story suspect.

    *BTW anyone who thinks I am saying guardsmen in ceremonial garb are not a threat just because I am being jocular should be warned these guys know hand-to-hand combat. I wouldn’t pick a fight with one unless I was Chuck Noris and even then I’d give myself 40/60 odds against.

    Cheers.

  45. Mojoron says:

    Standing guard is a responsibility that a soldier takes seriously, especially one who protects the Pope. I can almost guarantee that his outside Guard was honored to be there. Made him sit down? If I was sergeant of the guard I would make sure that his resting chair was the last job he had.

  46. Kathleen10 says:

    excalibur, nix, regarding the firing of the guard on Seinfeld. The episode ends with the sleeping guard, we never know what happened to him.

  47. Michael_Thoma says:

    Was that guard’s name Greg Burke? His office seems to be the only one working 24/7+, pushing every story to the secular media outlets with free doses of positive spin.

    The complaints on constantly reading about the ‘fluffiest Pope evvaah’ should be directed to Greg Burke himself or McKinsey & Company, since they are the one’s with the public relations mega-$$contract for the Holy See.

    Seems to be working, at least among the non-church attending, post-Christian secular world.

  48. Cantor says:

    The relationship between a Protectee and his Protectors was best summed up in an episode of The West Wing:

    BARTLET
    You’re telling me that the Secret Service, you’re telling me my own bodyguards
    are gonna escort me to the bunker?

    LEO
    Your feet may touch the ground a couple of times along the way but I doubt it.

  49. Patti Day says:

    This story is too silly. I don’t believe the pope knows anything about this story, unless he has read it, but I do think there’s every chance the pope thinks the Guard is too military, with their disabled weapons, and feathers and ruffles. I hope he doesn’t get rid of them or try to force them to wear business suits. That would be awful.

  50. Allan S. says:

    It can be difficult to figure the Holy Father out:

    http://youtu.be/WEchg1KhmTY

  51. Sadly, the last bastion for uncompromising truth is getting undermined. Little by little, with undermining things even as seemingly nonessential to the Faith and our Church as “strictness” for the Swiss Guard – these little things, one here, one there, one today, one yesterday, one tomorrow – all aggregate to a point that before we even realize it, the very fabric holding our identity together is unraveled and we are left with an empty shell of its former self.

  52. Clinton says:

    I have to agree with Fr. Martin Fox’s comment above– far too much of this story seems
    unlikely. Why on earth would the Telegraph publish so much unsubstantiated
    rumor?

    That said, this Pope does seem a bit cavalier when it comes to his security detail. This
    past spring, while preparations were being finalized for the Holy Father’s trip to the Mideast,
    the Vatican press office announced that the Pope had refused to use bulletproof vehicles,
    which are rather standard procedure in that volatile part of the world. Instead, Fr. Lombardi
    explained, the Pope and his retinue would be using factory-standard sedans.

    Now, my first impression of that story was to be astonished that the Pope would be so
    willing to expose not just himself, but his security detail, his suite, his Israeli hosts and
    innocent crowds to higher risk. Upon further reflection, I was even more baffled to realize
    that not only had the Holy Father made this decision to roll the dice with his security, but
    he (or his staff) had also obviously decided to announce his security downgrade a few
    weeks before the trip.

    Fortunately, none of the crazies in that volatile part of the world exploited the intel the
    Vatican press office so freely provided. This time. But what would possess sensible men
    to offer up such information in advance of a trip like that? That sort of thing could get a
    lot of people, not just the Pope, badly hurt or worse.

  53. KM Edwards says:

    More to this story than meets the eye as Rorate Caeli reports. It appears that the latest Teutonic leader, like his predecessor, has admitted to a certain sexually oriented secret society within the Curia. This is more than likely the reason behind the dismissal.

    Which is all rather disheartening. But what else would one expect from a prelate like our current Pope who has just expressed his personal opinion that the Kuran is a ‘prophetic book of peace’… indeed, just ask the Chaldean Catholics of Northern Iraq.

  54. KM Edwards says:

    More to this story than meets the eye as Rorate Caeli reports. It appears that the latest Teutonic leader, like his predecessor, has admitted to a certain sexually oriented secret society within the Curia. This is more than likely the reason behind the dismissal.

    Which is all rather disheartening. But what else would one expect from a prelate like our current Pope who has just expressed his personal opinion that the Kuran is a ‘prophetic book of peace’… indeed, just ask the Chaldean Catholics of Northern Iraq.

  55. BenYachov says:

    Not to get off topic but I would like to correct a misrepresentation of the Holy Father’s words.

    KM Edwards wrote:
    “Which is all rather disheartening. But what else would one expect from a prelate like our current Pope who has just expressed his personal opinion that the Kuran is a ‘prophetic book of peace’… indeed, just ask the Chaldean Catholics of Northern Iraq.”

    That is not what he said.

    http://www.jpost.com/Christian-News/Pope-blasts-Christian-Muslim-fundamentalists-while-leaving-Turkey-383405

    QUOTE:”The Argentine pope, who has been trying to foster cooperation with moderate Islam in order to work for peace and protect Christians in the Middle East, said it was wrong for anyone to react to terrorism by being “enraged” against Islam.

    “You just can’t say that, just as you can’t say that all Christians are fundamentalists. We have our share of them (fundamentalists). All religions have these little groups,” he said.

    “They (Muslims) say: ‘No, we are not this, the Koran is a book of peace, it is a prophetic book of peace’.”

    Francis said he had made the suggestion of a global condemnation of terrorism by Islamic leaders in talks on Friday with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.END QUOTE

    The Pope didn’t call the Koran “a Prophetic book of peace” rather he clearly said Muslims called it “a prophetic book of peace”.

    That is how Muslims of good will might stylize their religion idealy. Abdul Hadi Palazzi the famous pro-western/pro Israeli Italian Imam comes to mind.

    You can debate till the cows come home how we should react to Radical Islam but don’t misrepresent the Holy Father. That is wrong.

  56. jflare says:

    I can’t honestly say that I know enough about the daily doings of the Swiss Guard to have any idea whether a guard standing outside the popes door would be routine or not. I’m thinking a guard posted around the building, especially at access points like doors to outside would be more effective generally.
    If they do, in fact, typically have one guard posted outside the pope’s quarters, I should hope that he either would be standing up or else be seating at a desk with displays from security cameras.

    As to the assertion that the Swiss Guard is too strict, I don’t think we have enough information to make any reliable assertions about why the Commandant got the boot.
    I will hope that Pope Francis didn’t dismiss him because the corps was too military.
    That would be incredibly foolish.

  57. marcelus says:

    KM Edwards says:
    5 December 2014 at 12:09 am
    Which is all rather disheartening. But what else would one expect from a prelate like our current Pope who has just expressed his personal opinion that the Kuran is a ‘prophetic book of peace’… indeed, just ask the Chaldean Catholics of Northern Iraq.

    You are mistaken there. He did affirm say that. He was talking about what Muslims said to him :

    Reuters reports:

    “They (Muslims) say: ‘No, we are not this, the Koran is a book of peace, it is a prophetic book of peace’.”

    BVXI had this line on the qran after the Regensburg lecture:

    ” I hope that the reader of my text can see immediately that this sentence does not express my personal view of the Qur’an, for which I have the respect due to the holy book of a great religion.”

    And Of course St. JP2 for some reason went ahead and kissed it.

  58. Grumpy Beggar says:

    As Dave N. and several others have pointed out – it is widely rumored that “it is widely rumored” , is neither so wide, nor even a rumor at all.

    Until the Telegraph and so many others start sending their journalists back to Responsibility School for some badly needed obedience training , that they might rediscover the meaning of the word integrity , we’re better off to check our sources and at least contrast the original source to several (hopefully credible) additional sources. Several other expressions recommended to the the watchlist and which are rarely substantiated:

    – “By and large, the general consensus is. . . ”
    – “Given the need for. . . ”
    – ad nauseum
    So, we get the idea ? However good it is to be aware of these things, still, it is widely rumored that we shouldn’t let them keep us up awake all night on our feet.

    The Swiss Guards have a lot of history . They had to protect Pope Clement VII and in 1527 most of them gave up/sacrificed their lives in direct performance of that duty during The Sack of Rome.
    New Swiss Guards Swear to Protect Pope Francis

    Now, here’s a crusher : I almost wish (emphasis on “almost”) motive had actually followed along the lines of the Telegraph’s Nick Squires in Disneyland musings , because there is a more plausible theory within the account offered by EWTN News here. If one of the reasons they advance is true, then it’s sad.

    If we add 2 + 2 together , considering that it is this same pontiff who shuns fancy trimmings such as the papal limousine . . . (which, incidentally, it is widely rumored on an occasion leading up to Pope Francis’ shunning of the papal limousine : He came outside on a cool morning to discover that the limousine had been running 15 minutes while he was sleeping and was still running in order to be warm. Accordingly, he ordered the limousine to turn itself off – to which the limousine immediately replied, “I can’t – I’m a car! Actually, I can’t even talk – [except maybe to Nick Squires in Disneyland”]. At which point the Pope is said to have first replied, “I’m in the driver’s seat around here !”, then to have promptly gone off toting a 5-gallon jerrycan to buy some premium gasoline for the tired, overworked limousine. Next, it is said he sent Nick Squires out to buy a sandwich so he wouldn’t catch him washing the limousine

    [But the rationale on that one is rather suspect too : It is more narrowly rumored that the sandwich rationale in this particular instance may have fallen more in the vicinity of, “Oh well, as long as that sandwich is in his mouth, he probably won’t be able to say anything” ] ).

  59. alanphipps says:

    “The author admits the reason for the firing is a rumor. Widely and deliciously spread, no doubt, by the pope’s detractors.”

    Yep.

  60. ChadS says:

    I think this story may be getting blown out of proportion. Other sources indicate that Anrig, served one 5 year term with a 3 year extension. The 3 year extension ends at the end of January, the same time Anrig will be leaving. It seems a bit of a stretch to say he was fired, even if his contract was not renewed.

    Don’t the Swiss Guards all have limited contracts or only serve for a few years? The rest of the story about wanting somebody less authoritarian etc. seems to be speculation without much to back it up. Unless shown otherwise I’m inclined to believe this is a normal changing of the guard made more interesting by some sour grapes.

  61. KM Edwards says:

    I appreciated the correction. I misread Pope Francis’ comments re Islam, it happens and I’m sorry if I offended. However Rorate’s expose on the likely causality of this dismissal being the commander’s admission of a sexually oriented secret society within the Curia does appear perniciously verifiable. This is very troubking because we see under this papacy a complete divestment of every natural and supernatural defense of Holy Mother Church. Francis and Benedict XVI have my daily fervent prayers.
    God bless you all.

  62. marcelus says:

    http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1750369-changes-of-the-swiss-guard-it-was-a-mere-renewal-is-sane-to-know-that-nobody-goes-on-forever

    -Is it true that you fired the head of the Swiss Guard, Daniel Anrig, for being too strict?

    -No, that’s not true. Last year, two months after my election, his five year term expired. Then I told the Secretary of State -Pietro Parolin wasnt there yet- that I could neither appoint him or dismiss him, because I didn’t know the man. So I decided to extend his mandate with the typical formula “donec alitur provideatur”, “until provided otherwise.” It seemed unfair to make a decision at that time, one way or the other. Then I learnt more about all that, I visited the barracks, I spent an afternoon with the swiss guards, I also stayed for dinner one evening, I got to know the people and I felt a renovation would be healthy. It was a mere renewal, because his term was over and it is healthy to know that nobody is eternal. So I talked to him and we agreed that he was leaving by the end of the year. Heknew that since July.

    -Then it is not true that you fired him because he was too strict?

    -No, it’s not true. It is a change, a normal change. He is an excellent person, a very good Catholic, a family man.

    -It was also said that you fired him because he lived in a luxurious apartment. That’s also false?

    -Last year, he renovaated his apartments, which are certainly spacious because he has four children. He is a good Christian, a believer, a very good man, I have an excellent relationship with him, so I talked with him face to face and said: “Look, I prefer a renewal”. There was is nothing unusual in it. There’s no fault in him, no blam

  63. gaudete says:

    The Holy Father himself explains the reason why the Swiss Guard Commander has to go in his latest interview: “It was a mere renewal… is sane to know that nobody goes on forever””
    http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1750369-changes-of-the-swiss-guard-it-was-a-mere-renewal-is-sane-to-know-that-nobody-goes-on-forever