Thursday, 2 October 2014

Gossip and the Vatican Security Corps

Pope Francis offered Mass on 28th September 2014 for the members of the Vatican Gendarmerie. Here is a link to a report on the occasion, by Kerri Lenartowick for the Catholic News Agency.

The report explains that “While the Swiss Guards are primarily dedicated to protecting the Pope, the Gendarmes are responsible for the security and public order of Vatican City.”

Pope Francis returned to a theme he has touched on a number of times in his pontificate: that of gossip. I reprint here the bulk of the article, which is fairly short.
Pope Francis said the police force must not only defend the Vatican against thieves or attacking armies.

“Napoleon is not coming anymore,” he quipped.

Instead, the “war here today is rather something else.”

“It is a war that is not waged with the weapons that we recognize: it is a war waged with the tongue,” he explained.

Pope Francis told the police force to be attentive to gossip within the Vatican walls.

“If (you hear) someone gossiping, stop him! (Say) ‘here there can be none of that: walk out of St. Anne’s Gate. Go outside and talk there! Here you cannot!’”

This spiritual war is one of light and darkness, said the Pope.

On the eve of the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, the Gendarmerie’s patron saint, Pope Francis asked for his intercession.

“We ask St. Michael to help us in this war: never speak ill of each other, never open your ears to gossip,” the Pope said.

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