The 37th International Eucharistic Congress was opened in Munich, West Germany, July 31, when the city's Archbishop Wendel celebrated mass.
The 37th International Eucharistic Congress was opened in Munich, West Germany, July 31, when the city's Archbishop Wendel celebrated mass. The same afternoon, the Papal Legate, Cardinal Testa flew in from Rome, and in the Marienplatz addressed a large crowd; he concluded with the Congress watchworth - "Pro mundi vita" - "Life for the world."
The Congress - third since the end of World War Two - has been called "the biggest and perhaps the most important meeting of Christian ever." Half a million Catholics from all over the world, including 31 cardinals, 480 bishops and 8,000 priests will attend the opening stages. Theme of the Congress is the need to close Christian ranks in the face of atheistic Communism's threat. Significantly, local Protestant churches have assisted Catholics and city authorities in providing for the great influx. Schools and parish halls have been turned into hotels, and a city of tents has been raised on the airfield to accommodate 60,000 people, with a contingent of 1,500 Spaniards sleeping in a nearby hangar.
Special regulations are in force to cope with the enormous traffic problem. Some parts of the city are entirely banned to traffic, while three helicopters, five light planes, an airship and a moored balloon will control inflowing traffic. On the final day, August 7, 5,000 extra coaches, 50,000 cars and 110 special trains will be bring in hundreds of thousands of Germans to swell the multitude already attending.