18 February 2015

Swiss Guard heightening security amid concerns of possible IS attack

In the wake of increasing concerns among members of the Italian government about the possibility of a terrorist attack by the Islamic State in the city of Rome, The Local Italy reports today that security within the Vatican City State is being increased, quoting the Commandant of the Pontifical Swiss Guard:
"What happened in Paris with the Charlie Hebdo attacks could also happen at the Vatican. We are ready to intervene to ensure Francis is protected," Christoph Graf told Italian daily Il Giornale.
"We have asked all the Swiss guards to be more attentive and to carefully monitor the movement of people," he added, stressing that it was up to the intelligence services to provide detailed information on any potential threat.
Graf acknowledged that Francis's people-friendly style did not make his job easy.
"He does not like having security too close to him. We have to respect that and keep our distance," he said.
Earlier today the Interior Minister of Italy, Angelino Alfano, said security "was already very high indeed, and it remains so," even before the Islamic State threatened to attack Rome this past weekend. Security is high despite though, as Alfano told Pietro Cardinal Parolin, Secretary of State of the Vatican City State, there are currently no specific threats against the Vatican.

Even so, let us pray with greater intensity for a swift resolution to the present crises confronting so many of our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.

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