A German town cancelled Christian celebrations because armed guards and trucks to block streets were needed to protect the participants.
Corpus Christi celebrations were cancelled in the German town of Bergkamen due to high security requirements, local newspaper WA reports.
While in other Catholic communities in the region Corpus Christi processions moved through the towns, the streets of Bergkamen were empty.
The town’s parish of St. Elisabeth had to cancel the procession on Corpus Christi on short notice because it needed to arrange extra security measures in a too short amount of time.
The city only heard two weeks ago the requirement to set up additional barriers with two guarded checkpoints and roadblocks with trucks.
“We could not implement that in such a short time,” Pastor Thorsten Neudenberger, said on Thursday. “Soon there will be a conversation with the district administrator to find a solution for next year,” he added.
According to Neudenberger, there were problems in other municipalities because of the security requirements. In Schwerte, for example, the processional path was postponed.
In Cologne, undersized Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki celebrated an open-air mass at Roncalliplatz with hundreds of people. Then the procession – accompanied by flag delegations of numerous clubs – led through the city centre.
On Corpus Christi, Christians remember the Last Supper, where Jesus traditionally handed bread and wine to his disciples as his body and blood. In the processions, the host is carried through the streets as the bread of life.
According to the archdiocese of Cologne, Corpus Christi is celebrated since the 13th century on the second Thursday after Pentecost.