December 26, 2012. (Romereports.com)
Each May of every year the new members of the Swiss Guard
swear to loyally protect the Pope. These are the men that are tasked with the security of Benedict XVI at the Vatican. CORONEL DANIEL ANRIG
“We, as free men, provide volunteer service to the Holy Church.”
FR. ALAIN DE RAEMY
Chaplain, Pontifical Swiss Guard
“The Lord asks each one of you if you swear to serve faithfully, loyally and honorably the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI.”
The new guards salute the flag with a curious gesture; they raise three fingers to symbolize the Trinity.
Benedict XVI traveled to the Italian region of Tuscany to visit Arezzo. Despite the wind and rain, thousands of people from across the country joined him. The Pope asked them to remain faithful to their Christian tradition.
“Be ferment in society, be present as Christians, be active and coherent. With its centuries-old history, the City of Arezzo summarizes significant expressions of culture and values.”
A book's publication deepened the Vatileaks scandal, highlighting the massive leak of papal documents. They did not contain controversial content, but rather confidential reports that questioned the trust behind the Pope's entourage.
Several days later, the investigation started bearing results and the Pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested. The trial against the butler started at the end of September. Benedict XVI was unable to hide his suffering by what was going on.
“Events in recent days regarding the Curia and my collaborators have brought sadness to my heart,” though, he continued, “the firm conviction that despite human weakness, despite the difficulties and trials, the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit.”
The Pope welcomed the president of Bulgaria during a general audience, who's highlight was a one-of-a-kind gift. During Holy Week, many were surprised to see a large, chocolate Easter Egg. This time around, the gift was a jewelry piece measuring more than 6 feet tall.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano gave Benedict a concert as a gift to celebrate the seventh year of his pontificate. For the first time, Director Riccardo Muti conducted an orchestra before the Pope.