XVIpc Papal McNuggets & a Small Riot Coke

At McDonald's Near Cathedral, Tables Offer Good Views of Pope

from Catholic News

COLOGNE, Germany - McDonald's is a most unlikely place of pilgrimage, yet that is where, opposite the Cologne cathedral, hundreds of young people crowded to see Pope Benedict XVI.

The McDonald's restaurant on Marzellan Street was ideally positioned to offer reasonably clear views over the heads of the other pilgrims who were lining and clogging the streets.

At about 5:30 p.m. Aug. 18, the youths began storming the McDonald's, climbing on benches and tables and excitedly knocking at the glass windows whenever they thought there was a sign of the pope's arrival.

"I don't mind, it's a special situation that requires me to be exceptionally tolerant," said the restaurant's duty manager, Muhammet Oezbek. "I am a Muslim myself, but I have a lot of respect for these pilgrims and their faith. Besides, I couldn't do anything about it anyway."

A McDonald's promotional camera team was on site, filming the unlikely event. The team caught the scene of one pilgrim handing McDonald's drinks to two Italian pilgrims who had climbed a traffic light pole outside the restaurant.

Pope Benedict finally arrived at 6:40 p.m., among excited shouts of "aqui, aqui" ("here, here") and "I see him, he is coming."

Because of their elevated position on the restaurant tables, most of the pilgrims got a good look at him.

Then it was back to waiting for the pope to be driven past the restaurant again.

At 7:40 p.m., the Filipinos in the front row grew excited and announced the pope was coming. Within minutes, he was gone again.

"We hope that in driving by here he blessed all of us sitting in this McDonald's," said Spanish pilgrim Juan Novoa, wearing a big smile.


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