Pope removes head of Vatican’s Swiss Guards for being too strict

The commander of the Swiss Guard Daniel Rudolf Anrig (Getty Images)

It’s not easy being a member of the Swiss Guard. There’s the silly uniform to wear, and occasionally you might have to step in and risk your life to save the boss. But now the current Pontiff, “People’s Pope” Francis appears to have done them a favour then by letting their current commander go – he was a bit too strict.

In 1505, Pope Julius II turned to Switzerland for help when he needed new personal guards. Back then, before clocks and wristwatches were big business, the country only had manpower – often in the form of mercenaries – to offer.

Over 500 years later, and true to the Swiss Guard’s origins, it appears the commander, Colonel Daniel Rudolf Anrig, 42, is a bit of a hard nut. Too hard a nut, even, because softly-softly Pope Francis has given him his marching orders for being overly strict and autocratic.

Vatican insiders say the commander’s sacking on Wednesday came as a complete surprise, and so far the Holy See has provided no official explanation…

  • ntt1

    The pope would be a prime assassination target by muslims, just give it one attempt and the pope will be thankful to have “hard nut” guards.

    • Exile1981

      I was thinking that he’s going to be sorry when the first terrorist tries to kill him.

    • favill

      Perhaps in the never disclosed Third Secret of Fatima–he’s supposed to get assassinated, which sparks a war between the RCs and Muslims.

    • Saint John Paul II was and who took out the would-be assassin?

      A nun.

      Hire the Sisters of the Shaolin order for this gig.

      • ntt1

        lots of aging catholic school kids have a healthy respect for “penguins” and the dreaded ruler . not much of a projection to have them as a deadly force protecting the pope.

        • I would give anything for those nuns to make a comeback.

          Start with the teachers. Use the ruler on them.

  • Alain

    Well this is the same pope who recently declared that poverty causes jihad/terrorism and has nothing to do with Islam.

  • minuteman

    The Vatican will live (or die) to regret this decision.

  • TotallyPeeved

    Looking forward to seeing the pope’s head on his torso.

  • ontario john

    I’m sure his new muslim friends will provide a suitable body guard. The Catholic Church is fast becoming the united church of the Catholic faith.

    • Justin

      Watch as they bless “gay mariage” and multiple “genders”
      in the next few years. It is a house of cards and has NO spine to stand on!

  • vera

    ….. have pussy guards Popey… Your loss and sloppiness.

  • MannieP

    Stolen from another blog:

    German newspapers state that the now former commander of the Swiss Guard, apart from his allegedly “Teutonic” strictness and being “too military” had a distinct taste for luxury and the finer things in life, living in a 380 square metre apartment (fout bathrooms and eight rooms) which he had built in the Vatican after taking over as commander in 2008.

    The troops under his command were allegedly not allowed to even have a drink of water while on duty, let alone rest.

    To the guards, he came across as arrogant, pretentious and sanctimonious. In essence, he seems to have been an extremely bad leader.

    I like the turn of phrase that the Pope “bought” the exhausted guardsman a cappuccino. Not “had one brought up” or anything…

    • Frau Katze

      Maybe the guy really is a jerk. It’s hard to tell…depends what news report you read.

  • simus1

    Once the popehead was sure the planted spycam had never worked and had not ever recorded his usual prayers to allah and mo, it was good bye Danny boy.

  • The Pope eventually will sell the Vatican State to Erdogan.

    • Justin

      We need a “gay” Pope!

      • Would this be the same Pope Francis who called gay unions the devil’s work?

    • I don’t think so.

  • I hope His Holiness knows krav maga because sacking your body guards is just not a wise move.

  • AlanUK

    Am I the only one who, ever-so-briefly, interpreted the title/heading as meaning the Pope had removed the head of the Guard leader from his body?
    Could it be that the Pope has seen too much of strict Islam?