Pope Francis dismisses head of Swiss Guard

(AGI) Vatican City, Dec 3 - Pope Francis has dismissed the headof the Swiss Guard, Colonel Daniel Rudolf Anrig. Certainrumours attribute the decision to Anrig's excessive strictnessin applying military rules. Speculation in the Vatican,however, involves a more personal reason, possibly an apartmentthat Anrig restructured and allegedly expanded by using terracespace from the barracks near St. Anne's Gate. The practice ofusing terraces in the Vatican as building space was begun byCardinal Agostino Casaroli in the 1990s, when leaving hisapartment to his successor as Secretary of State, AngeloSodano. He in turn followed

(AGI) Vatican City, Dec 3 - Pope Francis has dismissed the headof the Swiss Guard, Colonel Daniel Rudolf Anrig. Certainrumours attribute the decision to Anrig's excessive strictnessin applying military rules. Speculation in the Vatican,however, involves a more personal reason, possibly an apartmentthat Anrig restructured and allegedly expanded by using terracespace from the barracks near St. Anne's Gate. The practice ofusing terraces in the Vatican as building space was begun byCardinal Agostino Casaroli in the 1990s, when leaving hisapartment to his successor as Secretary of State, AngeloSodano. He in turn followed his predecessor's example bycreating a massive living space on top of the PontificalEthiopian College. In reality, two apartments were expanded byusing the Pontifical Ethiopian College's roof: one for Sodano,and another for Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, the President of theGovernatorate, who covered the expenses. Cardinal TarcisioBertone also built on top of his apartment in Palazzo San Carloin 2013, nearly doubling its volume and creating dignifiedlodgings for the community of nuns that serve under him. Amongthe reasons for Colonel Anrig's dismissal is also the end ofthe one-year extension to his five-year mandate. Therefore, thedecision dates back to the early days of Pope Francis's papacy,as the established time limit for Anrig's mandate was leftunchanged. It is also known that in the days immediatelyfollowing his appointment, Pope Francis asked Swiss Guards onduty at his residence to at least sit down, but was told thatit was not possible. Swiss bishops made the most of their visitto the Vatican to suggest a new commander, who would take overfor Anrig once his extended mandate ends in January. Theproposed successor, Christoph Graf, currently serves as deputycommander and holds the rank of lieutenant colonel, and beganhis 27-year stay in Rome as a simple halberdier. In response toreports on the Anrig affair, published only by the non-officialOsservatore Romano and not by the Holy See's press office,spokesman Federico Lombardi merely told journalists, "I havenothing to say". (AGI) . .