This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Swiss Guard told to soften up

As deacons in the Lancaster diocese know only too well, protecting the pope too enthusiastically can get you into hot water. This attitude has now reached Rome, where Colonel Daniel Anrig of the Swiss Guard has been dismissed for being too strict.

Swiss guards

"Tell Francis that we're big softies really."

In the past the Swiss Guard was expected to behave like any other group of soldiers. "How many divisions has the Pope?" asked Stalin, and under Pope Francis the Catholic Church has more divisions than ever before. But from now on, if any crazed atheist breaks into the Vatican and tries to arrest the Pope (or, for that matter, if someone tries to steal some of its treasures), they are to be welcomed in and offered a cup of tea; under no circumstances should they be opposed by force.


A crazed atheist may look something like this.

The traditional weapon of the Swiss Guard - the Swiss Guard Army Knife - is being redesigned. No longer will there be attachments for disembowelling Tony Flannery, for pulling out the toenails of Hans Küng, or for tickling Tina Beattie. Instead, there is an iPod loaded with Argentinian dance music (for use in Masses), a miniature thurible, a candle, and of course the usual attachment for removing stones from horses' hooves. However, in the words of Flanders and Swann:

He seldom, if ever meets a horse
(It is this that makes him sad):
When he does then it hasn't a stone in its hoof,
But he would if he did and it had!
Said one disgruntled Swiss guard yesterday, "I joined the papal army in order to kill Muslims and Protestants, but my halberd has never seen any serious action. They don't like it up 'em, you know..."

Pope and Grand Mufti

If he doesn't stop reading out bits of Austen Ivereigh's book, I'll hit him.

So no longer will the Swiss Guard be allowed to sing "Onward, Christian soldiers" or to take potshots at passing heretics. From now on, there will be a new Swiss Role, and the soldiers will only engage in peaceful pursuits such as dressmaking, washing up, and, of course cooking (mostly pasta).

Swiss Guard cookbook

The Swiss Guard cookbook (this is real).

As Orson Welles put it: "In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."


  1. They should all be sent up to the North Pole, to help Saint Santa's married priest(ess) LGBT elves spread the Good Christian News of plastic Daleks for all gay-friendly children regardless of their personal multicultural "faith" journeys except if they are homophobic cis ones ...

  2. Ah! Such a brave man to destroy the remnant of tradition in the neo-church. What truly remarkable courage to follow the liberal modernist mainstream current and be like almost everybody else in his antipathy for the pre-conciliar church. Such heroism and daring!

  3. Well the best we can say is that Francis didn't hide his pectoral cross on this occasion as he does with Talmudic buddies - or did he just forget?

  4. The brother of Orson, Tunbridge has just moved to the UK.