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  • Pope gives head of Swiss Guard his marching orders:
  • 04/12/2014 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: Julian_Westerfolds ( 1 article in 2014 )
Pope gives head of Swiss Guard his marching orders: Colonel’s contract will not be renewed over claims Francis found his manner too strict

  • Colonel Daniel Rudolf Anrig's contract is not being renewed by the Pope
  • Pope Francis believes that Colonel Anrig is 'too strict' and not brotherly
  • The pontiff has recently removed a number of senior Vatican officials
  • Colonel Anrig will step down from the Swiss Guard on January 31, 2015

Pope Francis has 'sacked' the head of his Swiss Guard protection detail because the pontiff views the solider as being 'too strict'.

Colonel Daniel Rudolf Anrig has been told by the Vatican that his contract will not be renewed on January 31, when it runs out.

Pope Francis has been clearing out senior Vatican officials who do not share his modest outlook on life - including one cleric dubbed 'The Bishop of Bling'.

Franca Giansoldati, of Il Messaggero newspaper, told the Telegraph that the manner in which Colonel Anrig was informed of his sacking was quite unusual.

He said: 'From what we journalists have been able to reconstruct, there is a different vision between the Pope who wants relationships inside the Vatican to be humane, brotherly, even paternally.

'And then, there is the vision of the Colonel who is the Colonel of the smallest army in the world, but it is still an army, with very rigid rules, very severe soldierly.'

Pope Francis is believed to have been angered after he saw a young Swiss guard standing outside his papal suite all night.

The pontiff is believed to have told the young man to sit down, and the solider replied that he could not as it was 'against orders'.

Pope Francis responded by saying: 'I give the orders around here,' and went to buy the guard a cappuccino.

Reports of the decision to remove Colonel Anrig were carried in the official Vatican Newspaper Osservatore Romano.

Since Pope Francis' election, he has sacked his number two, Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone, three other members of the Commission of Cardinals, and the entire board of the financial watchdog.

It is understood that Pope Francis was not impressed that Colonel Anrig had moved into a grand apartment over the Swiss Guard's barracks in the Vatican.

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, Germany, known as the Bishop of Bling was sacked earlier this year after spending £26million on a luxurious new residence and office complex while cutting staff.

Pope Francis wants the corps to be run in a less military style, but Swiss guards found that the commander was too rigid, sources told agency ANSA.

The 42-year-old father of four was previously head of the criminal branch of a Swiss police force, before he was appointed commander by Benedict XVI in 2006. He had previously served a Swiss guard in Rome from 1992 to 1994.

The pope enjoys a familiar relationship with his bodyguards. He knows them by name and asks about their families. The corps are said to keep a glass that Francis drank out of when he stopped by their kitchens as a ‘relic’.

Swiss Guards are the Swiss soldiers who have served as bodyguards of the Pope since the 16th century and are responsible for the security of the apostolic palace.

They must be single Catholic men aged between 19 and 30, and at least 5ft 8.5ins tall.
They swear allegiance to the Pope and are famous for their Renaissance-style uniform, with a plumed feather in their helmet, leggings and a high ruff collar.


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