The government has set up an operative board to manage the International Eucharistic Congress (NEK) scheduled to be held in Budapest from Sept. 5 to 12.
Zoltán Kovács, State Secretary for International Communications and Relations, said it was important that the congress is organized under the safest possible circumstances, emphasizing the importance of the safety of those visiting the country for the event. Kovács said that though the state has no responsibilities regarding the programs organized by the church, ensuring the safety of the roughly 100,000 people who will be in Budapest for the congress and organizing the various cultural programs are priorities.
János Kuczik, commander of the operational police force, said the force had spent four years preparing for the event. Pope Francis, who will deliver the closing mass of the congress, will be protected by counter terrorism force TEK, he said. The police force is in daily contact with the NEK secretariat, making it easier to take the nature of the church programs into consideration when planning the security of the event. Kuczik said the operational police force’s preparations for the event have involved collaboration with other law enforcement groups, the National Ambulance Service and the National Public Health Centre, adding that members of the Vatican gendarmerie corps and the Swiss Guard had also visited Hungary multiple times in the recent period.