Swiss Guard: We are ready to defend Pope from ISIS

by Catholic News Agency  |  published on February 24, 2015

The commander of the Pontifical Swiss Guard says the group of soldiers charged with protecting the Pope is on high alert and ready to act if any threat from ISIS materializes.

“We are ready to intervene. Our job is security. and as gendarmes we are well organized. We are ready if anything happens,” said Cristoph Graf.

At age 54, Graf is married with two children. Yet he and the other members of the Swiss Guard are willing to lay down their lives to protect the Holy Father.

In an interview with the Italian daily Il Giornale, published on Feb. 18, Graf responded to threats from ISIS militants, who stated in a recent video, “We will conquer Rome.”

“We have asked the guards to be on higher alert, to watch how people are moving. We can’t do more than that,” Graf said.

He also stressed the importance of information to prevent potential attacks. He referenced the Jan. 7 massacre at the headquarters of a French newspaper that had published offensive images of the Prophet Mohammed.

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