Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/19/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

'The first priority of the papacy is not security. The first priority of the papacy is his ministry'

In the few short days since he has been elected as the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has expressed an openness and accessibility to the general public that has Vatican security concerned. After his first address from St. Peter's Square this past weekend, many were amazed - and highly concerned with the pope's straightforward demeanor.

The pontiff darted over barricades and even went out the gate that opens onto a public street. Security officers accompanying him openly expressed their concern over the pope's seeming disregard for safety.

The pontiff darted over barricades and even went out the gate that opens onto a public street. Security officers accompanying him openly expressed their concern over the pope's seeming disregard for safety.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

3/19/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Pope Francuis, security, public, well-trained, security concerns

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "There he was, standing right in front of me reaching out his hand and smiling," Daily Telegraph reporter John Bingham said. "It was incredibly different from any pope that I've ever seen at work before."

The pontiff also darted over barricades and even went out the gate that opens onto a public street. Security officers accompanying him openly expressed their concern over the pope's seeming disregard for safety.

"They really looked like they didn't quite know what to make of the situation," Bingham added. "I think we saw the car moved five times, just as they desperately tried to work out what he was thinking, what he was going to do."

Andreas Widmer, who protected Pope John Paul II as a member of the Swiss Guard in the 1980s, says that this is to be expected. Widmer says that a pope has to balance security considerations against his mission of engaging the public and speaking to Catholic audiences around the world.

"The first priority of the papacy is not security. The first priority of the papacy is his ministry," he said. "Having the pope go in St. Peter's Square and things like that - that's never going to change. That's part and parcel of what he does."

Widmer says that the pope's guards appeared to be well-trained. "They know exactly what they are doing," Widmer said. "It's just like a football team: you know what the moves are, where to go, and what to do."

Widmer sized up the pope's appearance this past Sunday and said "I think you saw a few times in the video yesterday: as things get crazier, they actually get closer to the pope."

A former White House security official says that this bring challenges when insuring his safety.

"It has to be a nightmare for the security people," Joe Hagin, who is now with Command Consulting, says. "Everyone has a different style, and it's security's job to adapt to that style. But I did feel sorry for them."

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Thomas Rosica on Monday expressed confidence in the pope's security team.

"This is something brand new, and they will adapt to that, because they are extremely competent and well-prepared," he said.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Living Faith

Pope Francis: Jesus is weeping over a WORLD AT WAR

Image of Pope Francis mourns a world at war.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has made it clear, Jesus is weeping over a world at war. It has become obvious that this is a time of extreme danger for all people around the globe. No population is safe from terror. The threats aren't just from terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al ... continue reading

Oxford to begin study of Catholic relics. Here are 5 macabre relics people venerate from around the world Watch

Image of The skull of St. Thomas Aquinas.


The veneration of relics in the Catholic Church has been one of the most debated practices in the faith. While such veneration is actually common in the human experience -even Communists did it with the body of Lenin, the veneration of relics in the Church is the ... continue reading

Nine bishops, one abbot, dine and dialogue with peace activists Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops' fall assembly in Baltimore, several bishops and one abbot, decided to skip dinner at the downtown Marriott Waterfront hotel, and walked several blocks to an inner city parish to share a simple meal with about 30 peace ... continue reading

Woman turns her cancer over to Jesus Christ - survives, thrives Watch

Image of Heather King shares her struggles in her new memoir,

By Mary Rezac, CNA/EWTN News

Heather King never cared much for doctors. Los Angeles, CA (CNA) - It's an attitude she partly inherited from her mother, "who classified ginger ale as a medicine, considered Novocain a snobbish extravagance" and somehow managed to avoid a visit to the doctor's office ... continue reading

Top 5 ways to find joy Watch

Image of Find happiness in spite of the darkness.


It is easy to fall prey to depression and sadness with everything that has been going on in the world these days. The trick to maintaining a positive attitude and living in the joy God has for us is as easy as following five simple steps. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Want to lose the War on Christmas? Surrender Advent Watch

Image of What millions of Christians do a day after expressing thanks for what they already have.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Want to lose the War on Christmas? Surrender Advent. We Christians have gone out of our minds, arguing about Starbucks cups and greeters who (correctly) say "Happy Holidays" in place of "Merry Christmas." In all the bustle of the season, we have forgotten that Advent ... continue reading

Cardinal Sarah releases new book, 'God or Nothing,' on civilization's fall from grace Watch

Image of Without God, the cardinal said,

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

At the presentation of his new book, Cardinal Robert Sarah said that Western society is rapidly forgetting God, and expressed his desire to help people rediscover him through both prayer and witness. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - "I would like to help people ... continue reading

Holy Door in St. Peter's basilica to open for first time in 15 years for Holy Year of Mercy Watch

Image of The rite of the opening of the Holy Door is intended to symbolically illustrate the idea that the Church's faithful are offered an

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Hidden since the Jubilee of 2000, the Holy Door in St. Peter's Basilica was revealed Tuesday as the brick wall covering it was removed in anticipation of the Holy Year of Mercy launching next month. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the ... continue reading

5 powerful Bible verses you need when fear and terror strike Watch

Image of


Fear is a powerful thing. Fear can completely cripple the body and soul. Since the terrifying Paris terrorist attacks last week the news has been full of death, terrorists, murder and fear. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Those not in power are left wondering ... continue reading

Pope Francis: World War III has begun - Third Secret of Fatima gives warning Watch

Image of Is the Church preparing us for the end? Our Lady calls us to penance.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis has invoked World War III, saying that it has begun in a piecemeal fashion. The Third Secret of Fatima could provide Christians a framework for considering this terrifying new development. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - In condemning the Nov. 13, ... continue reading

All Living Faith News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Prayer For Courage HD
  • 'Domestic terrorism': 5 People shot during Black Lives Matter protest ...
  • Couple heartbroken after doctor performs abortion without mother's ...
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, November 25, 2015
  • St. Catherine of Alexandria: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, November ...
  • Advent Wreath Prayer HD
  • 5 unbelievable times children taught us to be better human beings

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28
1 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for his noblemen, a thousand of ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67
62 Bless the Lord, sun and moon, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:12-19
12 'But before all this happens, you will be seized and persecuted; you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 25th, 2015 Image

St. Catherine of Alexandria
November 25: St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr ... Read More