A former commandant of the Swiss Guard has claimed that a "secret society" of homosexuals in the Holy See threatens the security and safety of Pope Francis.
Speaking to the Swiss weekly Schweiz Am Sonntag, Elmar Maeder, who was commandant of the Swiss Guards from 2002 to 2008, said:
“Gays tend to show one another a lot of solidarity and this leads them to be more loyal to one another rather than to an institution. In the end, they become a sort of secret society, secret enough to put the Pope’s safety at risk.”
Ex-commandant Maeder, who gave no example of an occasion when the Pope’s safety had been risked, also said that if he had discovered that one of his guards was gay, he would blocked his career.
“I have no problem with homosexuality but the risk of disloyalty to the (Swiss Guard) corps would have been too high,” he said.
Mr. Maeder said the all-male environment of the Roman Curia acted "like a magnet" for gay men, just as schools and sports clubs and other places where children gather attracted 'would-be paedophiles.'
He furthermore claimed that when he left the service of the Holy See, he had informed his superiors of his concerns.
Mr. Maeder’s comments come two weeks after two unnamed former Swiss Guards had told the same newspaper that they had been sexually harassed by members of the Roman Curia, including on at least one occasion by a Cardinal.
The Swiss Guards, who have served as bodyguards and ceremonial guards to the Pope since the late 15th century, are easily distinguishable around the Vatican by their distinct multi-coloured Renaissance-style uniforms.