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Pope's visit sparks security lockdown

The Local · 16 Sep 2011, 10:58

Published: 16 Sep 2011 10:58 GMT+02:00

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Officials didn’t say how big the security force protecting the pope would be or elaborate on the exact reasons for the extreme precautions.

The window restrictions will only apply to the pope’s trip through Berlin to the city’s Olympic Stadium on September 22, police said. Residents are being told that while they can observe the 84-year-old passing by, they shouldn’t open their windows to wave.

The Muslim extremist is a 26-year-old living in Freiburg who was previously convicted of assisting prospective terrorists. Under a court order, he will be forced to temporarily move when the pope visits the southwestern German city.

Police have told residents of Freiburg, Berlin and Erfurt, where the Pope will spend his time from September 22 to 25, to prepare for additional road closures and restrictions on movement.

University of Münster sociologist Detlef Pollack said he didn’t expect major protests because “the group of people against the pope in Germany is small and heterogeneous.”

But the Lesbian and Gay Association of Berlin-Brandenburg said it expected up to 10,000 at a demonstration on the day the Benedict XVI arrives in the country. The group is hoping to highlight what it says is the Pope’s anti-homosexual stance.

Another protest of sorts is being planned in the Bundestag, where 100 leftist opposition members have said they will boycott the pope’s address to parliament on September 22. This has sparked outrage from Catholic leaders in Germany.

"They'll reinforce the image of the 'ugly Germans,' which sadly still exists," German Cardinal Walter Brandmüller told the daily Bild.

The Catholic Church said the Pope will speak about the church's future while emphasizing the "fundamentals" of faith during his visit. But he won't touch on controversial issues such as celibacy. He'll deliver 18 sermons and speeches during his trip.

Story continues below…

"Benedict XVI wants to return to the basics, rather than limit himself to

particular points," said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombard, who added that the pontiff may meet with victims of sexual abuse in Germany.

The Local/DPA/AFP/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:19 September 16, 2011 by storymann
Who Pays for all this extra security?
11:26 September 16, 2011 by freechoice
what are people really fighting against or fighting for?
13:23 September 16, 2011 by Bigfoot76
Similar to professional basketball players or professional wrestlers, can you be a professional protestor?
13:56 September 16, 2011 by XFYRCHIEF
Have to love this! He`preaches that death is not the end, that it is only the beginning, but fears death so much millions are spent to protect him.

How many starving children could have been fed for the money spent on security? If the Vatican wants security, let them pay for it. And didn't he just get a new "Popemobile" with extra armor?
14:27 September 16, 2011 by jbaker
Those who control through Fear also are Fearful and live in Fear.

Do you notice he has the same look around his eyes as a lot of Politicians and Heads of State(Ruling Families included) around the world?
15:36 September 16, 2011 by Slimtots
He's over 80 years old. Did he tell you he is afraid of death?? In my opinion it's just the usual measure taken to protect people holding important official positions such as he has. It happens, not a big deal.
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