The Vatican's Swiss Guards were swearing in 32 new recruits amid suggestions from their new commander that women might one day join their ranks.
Col. Daniel Anrig said there might be logistical problems having women join the papal security force, since the barracks are tight as it is, but said such "problems can be resolved."
Anrig's predecessors have vehemently refused to consider letting women join the corps, which for 500 years has been reserved to Swiss, Roman Catholic men of good standing.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Swiss Guards will swear in 32 new recruits. The ceremony is held each May 6 to commemorate the 147 Swiss Guards who died protecting Pope Clement VII during the 1527 Sack of Rome.