Pope Benedict XVI posted a message on Xt3.com/Christ in the Third Millennium, the
Catholic social networking site started during World
Youth Day 2008: "Dear Friends, fifty days ago we
were together for the celebration of Mass. Today I greet you on the
birthday of Mary, Mother of the Church. Empowered by the Spirit, and
courageous like Mary, your pilgrimage of faith fills the Church with life!
Soon I am to visit France. I ask you all to join me in praying for the
young people of France. May we all be rejuvenated in hope!"
Pope Benedict XVI sent a thank you
letter to Governor-General Michael Jeffery for World
Youth Day 2008:
I hasten to express to you once more
my deep gratitude for the affectionate reception which I received from
you and all your fellow citizens.
I was honoured by the official
welcoming ceremony at Government House and most appreciative of the
personal welcome which you extended to me at your residence, Admiralty
Please also accept my heartfelt thanks
for the many courtesies afforded me throughout my visit.
I am grateful to the various civil and
military authorities of Australia as well as the residents and business
people of Sydney whose spirit of collaboration helped to ensure the warm
welcome of the pilgrims and the smooth progress of my visit.
May the Lord bless all of you
abundantly for your kindness and hospitality.
Prince Guillaume, Prince Sebastien, and
Princess Alexandra of Luxemburg attended World
Youth Day in Sydney, Australia, incognito.
Pope Benedict XVI said during his
vacation in the Alps, he reflected on World Youth
Day in Sydney, Australia:
In the great metropolis of the young Australian
nation, those young people were a sign of authentic joy, sometimes
noisy, but always peaceful and positive.
Despite their large number, they did
not cause disorder or any damage. To have fun, they did not need to
engage in raucous or violent acts nor rely on alcohol and drugs.
How can one not contrast them to their
peers who, searching for false escapism, consume degrading experiences
that sometimes result in tragedy.
In his Sunday, July 27, general audience
from his summer home in Castel Gandolfo in Albano, Italy, Pope Benedict
XVI remarked of World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, Australia, as "An
extraordinary experience...the multicoloured mosaic created by the boys
and girls from every part of the earth all reunited by one faith in Jesus
Christ. I still have in my eyes and in my heart this extraordinary
experience in which I was able to meet the youthful face of the
World Youth Day 2008 videos
Pope Benedict XVI at World Youth Day
2008 in Sydney, Australia, voiced concern about the environment;
"Perhaps, reluctantly, we come to acknowledge that there are also
scars which mark the surface of our earth: Erosion, deforestation, the
squandering of the world's mineral and ocean resources, in order to fuel
an insatiable consumption." Under Pope Benedict XVI, the
Vatican has become carbon neutral. Pope Benedict XVI restored 37
acres of Hungarian forest at the Vatican - destroyed during the Middle
Ages - which gives off enough oxygen to compensate for the carbon dioxide
the Vatican puts into the air.
Pope Benedict XVI and his secretary,
Monsignor Georg Gainswein, say the rosary at the Study Centre in
Kenthurst, Australia, on July 14, 2008
Pope Benedict XVI, an animal lover, petted a koala bear
and scratched behind its ears. The pope also saw a wallaby, a baby
crocodile and a spiky echidna, all animals native to Australia brought to
the pope from the Taronga Zoo.
Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Sydney a few days early to
rest before the start of World Youth Day 2008:
First of all, I want to express my appreciation to
all those who have offered so much of their time, their resources, and
their prayers in support of this celebration. The Australian Government
and the Provincial Government of New South Wales, the organizers of all
the events, and members of the business community who have provided
sponsorship – all of you have willingly supported this event, and on
behalf of the young people taking part in the World Youth Day, I thank
you most sincerely. Many of the young people have made great sacrifices
in order to undertake the journey to Australia, and I pray that they
will be rewarded abundantly. The parishes, schools and host families
have been most generous in welcoming these young visitors, and they too
deserve our thanks and our appreciation.
Catholic Iraqis have been denied visas to attend World Youth Day 2008 in Australia.
Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako responds:
Your Excellency, what is the mood of the
Iraqi young people who have been denied visas to participate in WYD?
It's natural to feel disappointed, but suffering
always brings a sign of hope: On the occasion of World Youth Day, we
have organised a gathering that will be attended by more than 5,000
young people from the northern dioceses of the country, including
Kirkuk, Amadiyah, Erbil. This is an historic event because it highlights
the desire of the young people to testify to their faith in spite of the
difficulties and sufferings that they face; the Christian community is
alive, and the witness offered by the young people is the result of a
Indulgences for World Youth Day 2008
The Plenary Indulgence is
granted to the faithful who will devotedly participate at some sacred
function or pious exercise taking place during the 23rd World Youth Day including its solemn conclusion
so that having received the Sacrament of Reconciliation and being truly
repentant, they receive Holy Communion and devoutly pray according to the
intentions of His Holiness.
The Partial Indulgence is granted to the
faithful wherever they are during the above-mentioned meeting if, at least
with a contrite spirit, they will raise their prayer to God the Holy
Spirit so that young people are drawn to charity and given the strength to
proclaim the Gospel with their life.
"How could they do it?" asked Queen Elizabeth
of Great Britain when advised that Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass
during World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney
at the Randwick Racecourse. The horse-racing community is concerned
about the track's readiness for the Spring Racing Carnival in September.
Pope Benedict XVI will confirm 14 Australians during World Youth Day 2008.
Pope Benedict XVI will leave Rome on July 12, arriving
in Sydney on July 13 for World Youth Day 2008.
The pope will take three days as private time to adjust to the time
difference and to see the flora and fauna of Australia. While in
Australia for World Youth Day, Pope Benedict XVI will visit the Shrine of
Blessed Mary MacKillop. The pontiff is scheduled to depart Sydney on
Monday, July 21.
Fiona Basile/Diocese of Melbourne
Surfers on Bells Beach in Melbourne, Australia, take a
moment to pray before the World Youth Day cross on May 8, 2008
Organizers of World Youth Day
2008 in Sydney, Australia, have established a fund for
100 Chaldean Iraqis to attend including bishops, priests, seminarians and
Reuters, May 7, 2008: "The Pope will text
daily messages of inspiration and hope during the six-day Sydney event
while digital prayer walls will be erected at event sites and the church
will set up a Catholic social networking Web site akin to a Catholic
More than 1,000 Filipino youths, joined by 20 youths
from Hong Kong, will travel to Sydney for World
World Youth Day 2008
coordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher has a plan to ensure sunny weather
for the day Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass. "I have nuns all
around this country praying for good weather for that day."
Mercedes-Benz will provide two M-Class-based
popemobiles during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Sydney, Australia, during
World Youth Day 2008 in July. Mercedes-Benz will also provide cars,
busses, and vans for World Youth Day 2008.
New South Wales in Australia has passed temporary laws
allowing police special search and seizure powers during Pope Benedict
XVI's visit for World Youth Day in
July of 2008.
Over 5,000 performers, artists, and community leaders
have applied to World Youth Day 2008
in Sydney, Australia.
17 ships will meet Australia's largest cruiser bringing
Pope Benedict XVI to Australia's shores in July for World Youth Day 2008.
World Youth Day 2008 pilgrims will receive a free,
three-month visa to Australia.
World Youth Day 2008
organizers have issued a call for 2,000 young volunteer catechesis
leaders. World Youth Day Evangelisation Director Steve Lawrence
said, "The ultimate goal of Catechesis is to guide, with the help of
the Holy Spirit, the minds and hearts of the pilgrims." 300
bishops worldwide will hold catechesis sessions.
As of August, 2007, 184,800 pilgrims have rregistered
for World Youth Day 2008. There
have been 50,710 Australian registrations and 36,171, American
registrations, numbers 1 and 2. The Australian government has
allocated AUD $35MM for the event.
Archdiocese of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, on World
Youth Day: "The Prime Minister has been a very strong supporter of World Youth Day 2008, and we remain grateful
for his personal commitment to the event and for the support of the
government at all levels."
WYD08 Coordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher OP has invited
all religions to participate in World Youth Day.
“Although a Catholic initiative, World Youth Days have historically had
a positive impact on all faiths in the countries where they have been
held. This was one of the key messages we wanted to convey. I also
asked them to consider taking part in interfaith forums and volunteering
facilities such as large halls. Above all, we sought to assure them that
World Youth Day is an opportunity for interfaith cooperation and renewal
for all people of goodwill."
Responding to Bishop Fisher, the Australian Muslim
community is offering its mosques and schools to World
Youth Day 2008 pilgrims with a promise from Bishop Fisher that
there would be no attempt to convert Muslims. President Ikebal Patel
of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils said, "I think as
Muslims in Australia we want to demonstrate very positively we are part of
the community. There is not inherently that much difference between Islam
and Christianity, and this is an opportunity to educate the general
community and Christian faith."
Pope Benedict XVI on World Youth Day
in Sydney, Australia in July, 2008: "Australia and its people
evoke images of a warm welcome and wondrous beauty, of an ancient
aboriginal history and a multitude of vibrant cities and
communities. I know that already the ecclesial and government
authorities, together with numerous young Australians, are working very
hard to ensure an exceptional experience for us all. I offer them my
Registration fees for World
Youth Day 2008 will be
based on the wealth of the pilgrim's country. "The pricing
structure insures that pilgrims from more affluent nations, including
Australian pilgrims, share in a reasonable part of the costs of WYD08 and
support pilgrims from less-affluent nations," said 2008 World Youth
Australian Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile announced
all participants in World Youth Day 2008 will receive three-month visas: "A
three-month visa will allow those visitors to explore more of Australia
while they're here, and allows other parts of the country to share in the
hosting of World Youth Day."
Guy Sebastian, winner of the first Australian Idol, wrote
the song, Receive the Power which was chosen as the theme for World Youth Day 2008 to be held in
Sydney. Mr. Sebastian will perform the song for World Youth Day