World

Pope promotes Swiss Guard's No. 2 to top post, after sending earlier commander packing

  • An undated but recent photo of Lt. Col. Christoph Graf. The Vatican announced Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 that Pope Francis has promoted the No. 2 officer of the Swiss Guards to commander of the colorful, 500-year-old army, whose members take an oath to protect pontiffs. Graf, who joined the Guards in 1987, takes the place of Col. Daniel Anrig, who had been commander since 2008. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, pool)

    An undated but recent photo of Lt. Col. Christoph Graf. The Vatican announced Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 that Pope Francis has promoted the No. 2 officer of the Swiss Guards to commander of the colorful, 500-year-old army, whose members take an oath to protect pontiffs. Graf, who joined the Guards in 1987, takes the place of Col. Daniel Anrig, who had been commander since 2008. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • An undated but recent photo of Lt. Col. Christoph Graf. The Vatican announced Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 that Pope Francis has promoted the No. 2 officer of the Swiss Guards to commander of the colorful, 500-year-old army, whose members take an oath to protect pontiffs. Graf, who joined the Guards in 1987, takes the place of Col. Daniel Anrig, who had been commander since 2008. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, pool)

    An undated but recent photo of Lt. Col. Christoph Graf. The Vatican announced Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 that Pope Francis has promoted the No. 2 officer of the Swiss Guards to commander of the colorful, 500-year-old army, whose members take an oath to protect pontiffs. Graf, who joined the Guards in 1987, takes the place of Col. Daniel Anrig, who had been commander since 2008. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • An undated but recent photo of Lt. Col. Christoph Graf, fourth from left. The Vatican announced Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 that Pope Francis has promoted the No. 2 officer of the Swiss Guards to commander of the colorful, 500-year-old army, whose members take an oath to protect pontiffs. Graf, who joined the Guards in 1987, takes the place of Col. Daniel Anrig, who had been commander since 2008. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, pool)

    An undated but recent photo of Lt. Col. Christoph Graf, fourth from left. The Vatican announced Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 that Pope Francis has promoted the No. 2 officer of the Swiss Guards to commander of the colorful, 500-year-old army, whose members take an oath to protect pontiffs. Graf, who joined the Guards in 1987, takes the place of Col. Daniel Anrig, who had been commander since 2008. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, pool)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis has promoted the No. 2 officer of the Swiss Guards to commander of the colorful, 500-year-old army, whose members take an oath to protect pontiffs.

The Vatican announced on Saturday that Lt. Col. Christoph Graf will now command the guardsmen, who stand vigilant during papal ceremonies.

Graf, who joined the Guards in 1987, takes the place of Col. Daniel Anrig, who had been commander since 2008.

Francis didn't say why he asked Anrig to step down, and Anrig said in a recent interview he didn't ask why he was sent packing. There were reports that Anrig's style, described as severe, didn't synch with Francis' informality.

Anrig noted the Guards' security responsibilities expanded with Francis' decision to live in a Vatican hotel instead of in the Apostolic Palace.