Women could soon join Swiss Guard

7th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

Colonel Daniel Anrig says women could be recruited to the elite force guarding the pope.

VATICAN CITY - The head of the all-male Swiss Guard who defend the pope said Wednesday that women could be recruited to the elite force.

Colonel Daniel Anrig, Swiss Guard commander, made the comment during the swearing in of the latest 32 recruits.

"That could be possible," said Anrig in a television interview when asked about women joining. "Personally, I can see them accomplishing certain tasks."

Men and women living together in the Vatican's barracks might present some problems, but every problem had a solution, he added.

Anrig's predecessor, Colonel Elmar Moeder, who he replaced in August, rejected the idea in 2004.

The Swiss Guard, a 110-soldier force, are responsible for the pope's protection, while police officers manage security inside Vatican City.

All recruits are required to be Swiss citizens, practicing Catholics, single -- except for officers -- and of good character.

The Swiss Guard was founded in 1506.

AFP / Expatica

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