Gotthard Tunnel: Reformed Christians on hand at opening

Two Christian representatives will be on hand for the benediction at the opening of the new Gotthard Base Tunnel on June 1. A representative of the Protestant tradition will join Benedictine Abbot Martin Werlen of Einsiedeln for the interreligious event.

This is the result of intensive negotiations between the Swiss Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC), Abbot Werlen, and the president of the Swiss National Ecumenical Council (AGCK-CH).

Together with the AGCK-CH, the FSPC will decide on a Reformed minister from Canton Ticino or Central Switzerland. This will serve to underscore the ecumenical-Christian dimension of the interreligious celebration.

As FSPC Council President Gottfried Locher explained: “This type of achievement not only requires engineering prowess and hard work underground, but also faith in God. Catholics and Protestants have combined to build a structure of enormous importance here.” He added that Switzerland’s Christian churches would join together today with representatives of our country’s other religious communities to perform the religious opening ceremony, blessings, and prayers.