Cardinal meets Acting Australian High Commissoner ahead of World Youth Day
posted on 19 June 2008
As the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI’s first visit to Australia draws ever closer, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor met with the Acting Australian High Commissioner, Frances Adamson, at Archbishop’s House, Westminster on 18 June.
World Youth Day – the largest youth event in the world – begins in 26 days. Pope Benedict XVI will land on Australian soil on Sunday 13 July and will be officially welcomed by hundreds of thousands of World Youth Day pilgrims on Thursday 17 July at East Darling Harbourpier where he will arrive on the ‘Sydney 2000’ ship.
“It’s the Pope’s first visit to Australia,” said the Cardinal. “His visit will be a blessing to the country in a very significant way.”
“Australia has a great appeal - so many young people from England and Wales go to Australia to work there for a while. It is important that young people from England and Wales should support World Youth Day particularly when it is an English speaking country… We have over 2000 going from this country.”
“Each morning for three days, I meet a large group of about 1000, perhaps more young people from all over the world. I have to give catechesis sessions. I will be talking with them for 20 to 30 minutes and exchanging with them. To meet the young people not just from our own country, but especially from other countries – that will be for me the best part of the trip”.
“Sydney is ready and very much looking forward to the arrival of the pilgrims,” said the Acting Australian High Commissioner, Ms Frances Adamson. “From whatever country they come they will find a very warm welcome in Australia…All of them I’m sure will feel at home in Australia.”
“Sydney as for the Olympics and as for World Youth Day always rises to big occasions. There is a sense of anticipation as the final preparations are made and as the big day draws closer”.
Not only is World Youth Day the largest youth event in the world, it will also be the largest event that Australia has ever hosted. WYD will draw the largest number of international visitors to Australia for a single event and is expected to create the biggest gathering of people in the country’s history. In size and scale, WYD is a major international youth event that, on major celebration days, far exceeds an Olympic Games or Rugby World Cup for the host city. Over 2,000 young pilgrims are flying to Australia from the UK, together with 20 bishops and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor.
The four key World Youth Day 2008 dates are:
Thursday 17 July: Pope Benedict XVI’s arrival into Sydney Harbour
Friday 18 July: Stations of the Cross
Saturday 19 July: Evening vigil at Randwick Racecourse with Pope Benedict XVI
The pilgrims will camp out under the stars
Sunday 20 July: The final Mass with Pope Benedict XVI and the announcement of the next city to host World Youth Day