Swiss Guards, the colorfully dressed corps that protects the Pope, are now required to be vaccinated against Covid-19, reports Le Matin Dimanche. Three of them resigned because they did not want to comply.
A Swiss Guard spokesman confirmed this information to the newspaper and said that the departures were “voluntary”. He told the paper that three other unvaccinated recruits have now decided to get the jabs and been temporarily suspended until they are fully vaccinated.
This Covid requirement is stricter than for other religious and lay employees of the Vatican, the paper writes, but they are unlikely to be in such close contact with the Pope. Protecting the health of Pope Francis, who is 84 and likes to mingle with the faithful, has become a “headache” during the pandemic, it says, adding that he has breathing problems and finds wearing a mask difficult.
In autumn 2020, eleven Swiss Guards tested positive and were put into isolation.
Nearly all the 135 Swiss Guards are single men who live in a barracks just inside the Vatican gates. The commanders and married members live in separate apartments. All members are Swiss and Catholic.