Terror threat changes WYD plans for Sydney pilgrims

Following recent terror attacks in Turkey, Cardinal George Pell has decided to follow Australian Government travel advice and re-route the Sydney Archdiocesan World Youth Day pilgrimage that was to traverse the Pathways of St Paul through Turkey.

Alluding to the attacks in a letter to the young people due to depart next Thursday, Cardinal Pell said that safety advice from the Australian Government suggested that the Archdiocese should "reconsider the appropriateness of our pilgrimage proceeding through Turkey".

"The safety of our pilgrims, especially the school students who will be travelling on pilgrimage with the Archdiocese, must be paramount in any decision to alter the itinerary," he said.

The Australian Government advice stresses that there is a "high threat from terrorism in Turkey", and urges travellers to defer non-essential travel to certain areas.

The statement from Cardinal Pell's office said that new travel plans are currently being worked out, and pilgrims will be advised of the new route as soon as its known.

Meanwhile The Australian reports today that one of the legacies of outgoing Premier of NSW Bob Carr could be the 11th World Youth Day in 2008.

The paper's Strewth column says Mr Carr helped to "seal what's said to be a done deal for Sydney" when he sent a letter to Rome this month with Cardinal George Pell and NSW Tourism Minister Sandra Nori urging the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Laity to award Sydney the event.

Carr, who announced his retirement yesterday, pledged the "highest levels of co-operation" and state-of-the-art security, protocol, medical and transport services, saying he would, if necessary, propose new laws to ensure the smooth running of the church's largest international festival.

The paper said the outgoing Premier believes it will be "the best thing to hit Sydney since the 2000 Olympics".

"It will draw 80,000 pilgrims and feature the first visit by Pope Benedict XVI, who, in addition to holding an open-air mass for 250,000 people, would have to make a fuss of Mary MacKillop. Stay tuned. Sydney's rivals are South Africa and Brazil, and the winner will be announced on World Youth Day next month."

Terror attacks in Turkey leads to change of plans for WYD pilgrims (Archdiocese of Sydney 27/7/05)
Outgoing Premier's pious plea (The Australian 28/7/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
smarttraveller.gov.au | Travel Advice: Turkey
World Youth Day - Australia
World Youth Day - International

Pope says terror attacks 'offend God and humanity' (CathNews 26/7/05)
Pope horrified by terror attack in Turkey (CathNews 19/7/05)

WYD preparations enter home stretch (CathNews 20/7/05)
World Youth Day cross begins final push for Cologne (CathNews 7/7/05)
Pell leads bid for Sydney World Youth Day (CathNews 5/7/05)
Pope's trip to World Youth Day officially announced (CathNews 22/6/05)
Cardinal urges pope to keep World Youth Day commitment (CathNews 3/3/05)
German organizers further plans for World Youth Day (CathNews 7/1/05)

WYD Carries 100 Million-Euro Price Tag (Zenit 25/7/05)
"White Rose" Martyrs to Be Highlighted at WYD (Zenit 25/7/05)
Pope: Youths of Cologne, fermentation for Europe's roots and world peace (AsiaNews.it 24/7/05)
The Pope wants to meet Jews and Muslims in Cologne (AsiaNews.it 24/7/05)
Youths of Cologne, fermentation for Europe's roots and world peace (AsiaNews.it 24/7/05)
Pre-Vatican II Latin Mass to be celebrated during World Youth Day (Catholic News Service 22/7/05)
Colourdome: the contribution of the Youth for Unity (Focolare 2/7/05)
Large archdiocesan attendance expected at World Youth Day (The Tidings 22/7/05)
Pius V's Latin Mass Scheduled at Youth Day (Zenit 21/7/05)

28 Jul 2005