Religion: Labor Trouble

The Vatican's 450-year-old corps of Swiss Guards carry medieval halberds and wear red-yellow-and-blue uniforms designed by Michelangelo. But they suffer from the cost of living just as much as floorwalkers or bus drivers. Last week, in an open letter sent to Rome newspapers, guardsmen asked the Holy See for a pay raise.

Oldtimers in the ceremonial guard (currently six officers, 113 men) were in open resentment of the fact that the rival Papal Gendarmes get higher wages. Sixteen new recruits (who must be Roman Catholic Swiss, 19 to 25 when they enter the corps, may not marry until they leave it or...

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