Polish army to police WYD finale

The Polish army will help provide security during World Youth Day, a spokesman has said.

The July 31 meeting on the last day of the Pope’s visit to Krakow for the Catholic festival will take place in meadows near the city that could be difficult to protect and difficult to evacuate in an emergency, as well as lacking medical facilities.

However, Lt Col. Marek Pietrzak of the Army’s General Command has said four temporary bridges were being built to ease movement in and out of the 240-hectare site, where up to 2.5 million people are expected to gather.

The army also intends to provide tents for some participants, along with a field hospital and medical care, supported by CASA planes, two helicopters with medical equipment and ambulances, while engaging in overhead surveillance and checks on the ground for dangerous objects. 


Patriarch warns against arming Christian militias

Arming self-styled Christian militias in the Middle East “is a bad idea”, the head of Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic Church has said.

Questioning the wisdom of a US proposal to allow for the financing and distribution of weapons to so-called ‘Christian militias’, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako said “there are no ‘Christian militias’, but only politicised groups and simple people who are in desperate need of a salary”, adding, “the remaining Christians in Iraq are only the poor and those belonging to the middle class, and among them, there are 100,000 displaced people”.

Describing the chaotic situation in Syria and Iraq as “a total mess”, the patriarch said “if the US really want to defeat Daesh [ISIS], they have to support the regular armies that are part of the central government and the autonomous Kurdistan government”.