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Bishops back Sydney bid for World Youth Day 2007

Australia's Catholic bishops have thrown their support behind a bid for Sydney to host as many as 150,000 young people for World Youth Day, 2007.

Traditionally attended by the Pope, the World Youth Day pilgrimage has become one of the biggest international events on the Church's calendar, making a lasting impact on the lives of many young people.

The support of the bishops will help to ensure that as many young people as possible from across Australia make the pilgrimage to Sydney to join with their counterparts from around the world.

Cardinal George Pell, as Archbishop of Sydney, will now oversee the preparation of a bid. The final decision will be made by the Pontifical Council for Laity in Rome.

The bishops concluded their twice-yearly plenary meeting in Sydney on Friday. During the week, they considered reports from the bishops' committees charged with carrying out various aspects of the Church's mission in Australia.

They launched a reflection paper on the human person which aims to offer a positive statement of the Catholic understanding of the human person that underpins Catholic ethical teachings. It bears the title Being Human.

Prepared by Fr Gerald Gleeson of the Catholic Institute of Sydney, the paper aims to answer the fundamental question of what it is to be human.

"Competing answers are at work in debates about human cloning, reproductive technologies, care of the environment, marriage and human sexuality, the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, mandatory sentencing policies and approaches to the funding of education and health care," the paper, says.

"We have tried to show that Catholic teachings are in accord with fundamental convictions about who and what we are as human beings, and about where we are going, that are worthy of thoughtful inquiry and intelligent examination."

The bishops were also addressed during their meeting by English priest, Fr Bruce Harbert, Executive Director of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL).

Fr Harbert outlined some of the work being done by English-speaking nations on the translations of the English used in the Mass in order to ensure their accuracy and beauty. As the work continues, Australia's bishops will have input on any changes to be made.

The bishops expressed support and gratitude for the work being done in the Port Pirie Diocese by priests and members of the Church community to care for the people being held in the Baxter Immigration Detention Centre.

They will conclude their week of meetings by concelebrating a special Mass tomorrow to mark the opening of the new Cathedral at Parramatta, following the fire which destroyed the old Cathedral in 1996.

[Pictured: Nuncio Archbishop Canalini and Conference President Archbishop Carroll at last week's Plenary Meeting]

Bishops support bid for World Youth Day in Sydney (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 28/11/03)

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
Nuncio's message to focus on essentials of the faith (CathNews 27/11/03)
Australian Bishops meeting in Sydney (CathNews 24/11/03)
World Youth Day (Australian site)
World Youth Day Cologne 2005
Catholic Institute of Sydney: Fr Gerald Gleeson

31 Dec 2003