Fri 31st Oct 2014 | Last updated: Fri 31st Oct 2014 at 16:19pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo

Comment & Blogs

Should we be worried about Pope Francis’s security?

The Pope’s personal safety is dominating discussion among Catholics

By on Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Baby Swiss Guard by Catholic Memes

Baby Swiss Guard by Catholic Memes

I feel like a protective mother watching a playground whenever I see Pope Francis making a public appearance. I often wince as he glides around with child-like trust and curiosity, greeting the crowds in St Peter’s Square, hopping in and out of his Popemobile to bless a sick or disabled person.

I’m not the only one. Fears about Pope Francis’s safety are an increasingly dominant topic of conversation among the faithful. Only yesterday a friend of a friend said how much he had enjoyed his visit to Rome. But he added that he felt sorry for the Pope’s security officials as they anxiously tried to keep up with their gregarious charge.

Yet, though these concerns are understandable, Pope Francis is no child. He, more than any of us, has considered the risks attached to his approach and is reconciled to them. Like so many holy men and women, he has a rare prudence and serenity. Only today he hinted at why he has settled on this relaxed approach. “Life is not given to us so that we can keep it jealously for ourselves, but is given to us so that we may donate it,” he said at his general audience in St Peter’s Square.

We can only surmise, then, that Pope Francis has placed his life firmly in God’s hands. Concerned Catholics have no choice but to do the same.

  • Annie Garretson Milliron

    My husband and I chatted about this very topic a few days ago. We pretty much came to the same conclusion and realize that Pope Francis is doing God’s work, he’s ministering to his flock, and we pray for him all time time. May God bless him and keep him safe.

  • Sara_TMS_again

    Indeed. He knows exactly what he’s doing and what the risks are.

    Mind you, if you think the dangers in Rome are a worry, they don’t begin to compare with the security dangers coming up at World Youth Day in Rio, for everyone concerned.

    Good to see ‘Pope Francis’ has finally made it onto hot topics (knocking off ‘Personal Ordinariate’)- how long will it take him now to overtake ‘Archbishop Vincent Nichols’?

  • ZuZuLamarr

    I can bet a bag of jelly babies to a packet of sherbet lemons that Pope Francis would LOVE to sneak out and get on the tram or the bus to whizz off to meet his flock!
    But I can also bet the same that his security detail have kittens each time, are suffering stress and need to grow eyes at the back of their head to make sure some loony toons doesn’t take a pop at him.

  • James M

    “Should we be worried about Pope Francis’s security?”

    ## Did St. Peter have security ? No bishop needs security, regardless of what may happen. If the Pope is killed or – as has happened to other bishops – kidnapped, there are dozens of cardinals, thousands of bishops, and hundreds of thousands of priests to choose a replacement from. One of them must be eligible. Besides, the day will come when the Pope does die – how can it matter whether old age or an assassin or some other cause is responsible ? The lives of all Christians, & of all men, are always in God’s hands, every instant, in all circumstances – why should bishops, & especially Popes, alone of all Christians, give the impression that they have so little faith in God that they must [try to] make up for God’s lack of power or strength to protect them by relying on something as feeble & unreliable as human strength ? Theologically, what could be more ridiculous ? The contrast with St.Paul’s trust in God is not attractive. So if the Pope dispenses with a body-guard, so much the better.

    If any of the bishops must have bodyguards, why the inconsistency in not having them during the Liturgy ? Yet they do not have them then, despite the danger – so why should a Pope have them on other public occasions ?

  • Apostolic

    This is all very well, but we don’t – unlike some religions – pass poisonous snakes around to test divine protection or providence. The Pope does have protection at other occasions, including Mass, where there are plain clothes and uniformed Swiss Guards on duty, and rightly so. The Catholic Church is not a pacifist organisation when it comes to self defence and security.

  • Frankie

    Was in Rome in January, visited the Basilica and can confirm that there is tight security, including X-ray search, if you want to enter St Peter’s square.

  • Frankie

    Pope Francis himself said in one of his early homilies : “Get out there!…OK you may have an accident, but I prefer a Church injured in an accident to a sick Church”

  • Erin Pascal

    Beautiful post! We used to talk about this with my husband and we concluded that that’s how powerful Pope Francis’ faith is. He is placing his life firmly in God’s hands as what you’ve said. For me, there’s no better security or protection than that! May God bless you!

  • Paul Brouder

    Pope Francis is a shining example, picked by the cardinals. He is a worker like St. Joseph. Security to discourage the obvious is needed, but he has it. His role is to evangelize. Death is nothing. Oscar Romero and many others walked that path. We are in the age of the saints.