In fact, in light of recent attacks, the Guards – charged with watching over the personal safety of the Pope – have increased their initial training from two months to four months.
In collaboration with the police of Ticino, an Italian-speaking region in southern Switzerland, they are focusing specifically on marksmanship, fire protection, first aid and maintaining tight security.
Likewise, the Aug. 17 attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils prompted police in Germany to take new security measures, especially in areas that see heavy tourism.
Cologne has taken especially unique measures to protect its historic Domplatte cathedral against possible terrorist threats.
Rather than putting up typical metal barricades in front of the cathedral, a key tourist stop in the city, security has placed barricades made up of large stones weighing several hundred pounds around the perimeter of the church.
In order for emergency vehicles and vans to get through, a “mobile barrier” in the form of a police vehicle has also been placed in the area.
In comments to RP Online, Cologne police chief said “The (Domplatte) certainly protects its visitors.”
Barcelona’s Basilica of the Sagrada Familia is also holding discussions to see what more can be done to protect the structure, its visitors and those carrying out the construction of the church.
Designed by famed Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, whose cause for beatification is currently open, the basilica has been under construction for more than 100 years and is still unfinished, yet it is one of Barcelona’s most famous and well-loved buildings, each year drawing thousands of visitors from all over the world.
One of the suspects arrested following the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils last week said that the ultimate plan had originally involved a much larger attack, which included bombing the Sagrada Familia.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
CNA spoke with a representative of the basilica, who said that the Sagrada Familia “has a system of security, of prevention, which has been adapted to the characteristics of the church, which has always worked well” for both visitors and employees.
“Every day we work with all security forces, not only because of what happened with the attack, but it has always been that way,” she said.
Following the recent attacks, however, extreme caution is being taken, and meetings are being planned with the police to examine “how improvements can be made and what new (security) methods can be implemented.”
No details of that plan are being publicly released at this time, but after last week's attack, extra policemen have been deployed to the site, both internal and external surveillance have been increased, and several police personnel are serving “incognito” around the basilica.
“Security measures are extreme,” the basilica representative acknowledged, but “we're going to see what further measures can be taken in order to control anything (that happens)...we'll see what we can do.”