Vatican City, Sep 16, 2021 / 05:00 am
As the Pontifical Swiss Guard continues with plans to overhaul its Vatican barracks, there have been reports that the new design could accommodate women guards, prompting questions about whether the 515-year-old army could be poised to make a significant change to its admission requirements.
“First of all, let me say that the reactions of the Swiss press to my statements have been excessive,” Jean-Pierre Roth, president of the charitable foundation funding the Swiss Guard’s new building, told CNA via email.
Roth told the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger earlier this week that “from the beginning, it was important to us that the new building provide space for women.”
The roughly $60 million building project includes plans to expand the living quarters for guardsmen, some of whom currently sleep in shared rooms or in housing outside the Vatican. The new barracks will allow each guard to have a private room with a private bathroom.