Francis sacks 'authoritarian' Swiss Guard commander

Swearing in of the Swiss Guard on May 6

Pope Francis is removing the commander of the Swiss Guards, with the Pontiff reportedly unhappy at the officer's strict authoritarian style, reports the BBC.

The news that Colonel Daniel Anrig would not be continuing as commander was published in the Vatican's daily newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano. He will leave the Vatican after Christmas at the end of an eight-year stint, and be replaced by his deputy.

Since his election, Pope Francis has made efforts to reform the Church and make it more open. The notice in the L'Osservatore Romano said: "The Holy Father has ordered that Colonel Daniel Rudolf Anrig end his term on 31 January, at the conclusion of the extension of his mandate."

Col Anrig's approach has riled colleagues, with one Swiss Guard telling Italian media "this is the end of a dictatorship," on news of his departure. No official reason has been given for the dismissal by the Vatican.

The 110-strong Swiss Guard is responsible for the personal security of the Pope. The corps has served the papacy for five centuries, first coming to Rome to protect Pope Julius II in 1506.

FULL STORY Pope Francis dismisses 'authoritarian' Swiss Guard commander (BBC)

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