martes, 9 de mayo de 2017

New Swiss Guards swear to defend the Pope with their lives | MercatorNet | May 9, 2017 |

New Swiss Guards swear to defend the Pope with their lives

| MercatorNet | May 9, 2017 |

New Swiss Guards swear to defend the Pope with their lives

After 500 years Swiss Catholic families still provide bodyguards for the Holy Father.
Carolyn Moynihan | May 9 2017 | comment 

If you have ever tried, innocently, to go somewhere you shouldn’t at the Vatican you are likely to be turned back by a poker-faced Swiss guard. The army he belongs to is both the smallest in the world and the oldest still serving -- it has protected the Pope for over 500 years and added colourful ceremonial to events at the headquarters of the worldwide Catholic Church.
A few days ago the Swiss Guard held its annual swearing-in ceremony (full works here) in a courtyard at the Vatican. This happens on May 6, the anniversary of the Stand of the Swiss Guards which took place during the sacking of Rome in 1527, when the Pope's Swiss guards held off troops loyal to the Habsburgs long enough for Pope Clement to escape. Many, if not all of them (147), died to save Clement.
Another group of Swiss Guards were slaughtered defending Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI during the French Revolution. Of the nine hundred Swiss Guards defending the Palace of the Tuileries on 10 August 1792, about six hundred were killed during the fighting or massacred after surrender. Foreign military service was outlawed by the revised Swiss Constitution of 1874, with the only exception being the Pontifical Swiss Guard.
The new recruits – 40 of them this year -- take the oath in their own language: French, German, Italian and ...Romansch, a Romance language spoken predominantly in the south-eastern Swiss canton of Grisons. They swear to defend the Pope with their own lives, unlikely as that necessity is today. They mostly monitor the rooms in which the Pope lives and works, and accompany him on trips abroad --- though not in their distinctive uniform, presumably.
Swiss are not normally thought of as a war-like people, but every man does military service, and has a gun at home. The spectacular uniform of the Swiss Guard (blue and yellow for Pope Julius II who founded them, red for the Medici family of Pope Clement) and armour must appeal to many boys, but to enter this army you must, in addition to having a Swiss passport, be a practising Catholic.
Candidates must also be of good reputation, unmarried and between 18 and 30 years of age. And, evidently, male. (No stories from the Vatican yet about “trans men” trying to get one of those stylish outfits, but watch this space…) Being a Swiss Guard is clearly a special sort of vocation.
Pope Francis told his new guards:
"Today you are not called to this heroic surrender of physical life, but to another sacrifice no less difficult: to serve the power of faith. Faith is a valid barrier to resisting the forces and powers of this earth, and above all to the 'prince of this world', who is the 'father of lies.'"
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May 9, 2017

Pope Francis visited Egypt last week, partly to encourage Christians throughout the Middle East who are struggling to stay alive, let alone prosper. In 1910 Christians were about 14 percent of the population in the Middle East; today the proportion is about 4 percent. Some people ask whether the ancient churches in the lands which formed the cradle of Christianity will vanish.
But who are the Christians there? There is a bewildering variety of traditions in both the Catholic and the Orthodox camps, as well as churches who separated from Rome long before Constantinople went its own way. In this issue, Martino Diez presents a comprehensive look at the incredible richness of Christianity in the Middle East.

Michael Cook 



Christians in the Middle East: a guide

By Martino Diez
It is not easy to navigate among the ancient Christian communities in the Middle East

Read the full article
New Swiss Guards swear to defend the Pope with their lives

By Carolyn Moynihan
After 500 years Swiss Catholic families still provide bodyguards for the Holy Father.

Read the full article
Is Trump’s executive order “religious nothingness”?

By Sheila Liaugminas
The President is disappointing supporters by his lack of clarity in relieving the burden of the HHS mandate

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British consulates host same-sex weddings in Australia that are invalid there

By Colin Hart
They are interfering in the democratic process.

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Exposing the dark side of egg donation

By Philippa Taylor
Does the health and well being of women count for nothing? Where are the feminists standing up for them? Where are the regulators?

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10 demographic trends shaping our lives

By Shannon Roberts
Has your world changed?

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From wannabe to president

By Paul Smith
How Emmanuel Macron beat Marine Le Pen to win the French election.

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Genuine fake news is not all that dangerous

By Michael Cook
A recent survey shows that 'fake news' does not seem to sway public opinion.

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The difference between strict and harsh parenting

By Luma Simms
The antidote to harsh parenting is not permissiveness but love.

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