I immediately realized the situation and I ordered my people not to intervene to calm the situation. I did not want any unpleasant exchange of sentences between my people and local police officers whose only fault was that they wanted to obediently follow the incorrect orders. They were not responsible for the situation in which we were. In the meantime, we realized the presence of two more police officers, this time in civilian clothes, joined by other officers from the tax police, as well as foresters from the local forest police department, all in uniforms, and eventually some senior officer. While talking to him, I asked to stop his people, and if possible, to completely remove them, as the number of officers who were escorting the Pope was enormous. Although the officer agreed with me and tried to do something, unfortunately, it was too late. The presence of so many officers in uniform attracted the attention of all other skiers who were on this slope and at the lift. Understandably, having to know that there must be some important personalities on the slopes, they began to look out for him or her and try to find out who is here in order to heave a chance to see that person and possibly meet this important person. There was no other way around, but to close access to one of the slopes and leave it only at the disposal of the Holy Father. At this point, however, the news of an unusual guest has already passed over the peaks of the Mountains of Abruzzo and went “outside”. I noticed that different journalists, TV operators and other curious people are starting to come. It was already 4.30 p.m. I agreed with Cibin, and we communicated the seriousness of the situation to the Secretary of the Pope and together we agreed that the Pope and people who were escorting him will take another slope. This way it was possible to get the religious Institute where we could stay and not to be exposed to all curious journalists and other people. (…)
Before our return to Rome, the Pope asked for me. When we met, right away he noticed that I was a little sad and depressed because of the organizational mishaps of the law enforcement departments. The Holy Father, however, as usual cheerful and pleased, thanked us for allowing him to spend a nice day in the mountains. He did not comment the entire situation and he did not say anything about my superiors.
Enrico Marinelli * “Pope and his General”
‘Rafael’ Publishing House 2007