PM's message advances WYD Australia rumours

Click HereFollowing a service at the Cologne Exhibition Centre attended by 1600 young Australians, organisers screened a videotaped message from Prime Minister John Howard, expressing his pleasure that the next World Youth Day "will be in Australia".

Catholic News Agency reports that the young Australians burst out into cheers and, after the prayer service, carried their celebration into the streets of Cologne.

Pope Benedict XVI is yet to confirm the news. He is expected to announce the location of the next WYD at the final mass on Sunday.

Speaking with Catholic News Agency, Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher said, "The hope for all Australia is that the Holy Father will announce Sydney as the next host for World Youth day, but we still do not know; we must wait until Sunday."

Bishop Fisher said the Australian delegation in Cologne this year represents the largest ever from that country to attend a World Youth Day.

"The young people are very enthusiastic and are having a wonderful time. The German families have given them a tremendous welcome and they are thrilled. The reception we have received from German families has been quite edifying," he added, noting the example of one family that opened its home to him. "After being with them for only three days, they wept with emotion as I left to come to Cologne," he said.

Regarding to possibility that Mel Gibson might direct "The Passion of the Christ" in the streets of Sydney, Bishop Fisher said the actor had been contacted but that it was "too early to confirm anything" and that the necessary discussions would take place if and when the host city for WYD 2008 is confirmed.

Next WYD will be in Australia, Australian president tells youth (Catholic News Agency 17/8/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
World Youth Day - Australia
World Youth Day - International
World Youth Day - Vatican

Cardinal hails WYD opening (CathNews 17/8/05)
WYD pilgrims arriving in Cologne (CathNews 16/8/05)
Pope seeking 'new wave of faith' (CathNews 15/8/05)
Benedict set to embark on first international mission (CathNews 12/8/05)
German youths upset after Filipinos denied visas for WYD (CathNews 11/8/05)Outspoken rock band scratched from WYD (CathNews 10/8/05)
Visa denials disappoint WYD would-be pilgrims (CathNews 9/8/05)
Pope says worship is ultimate in human fulfillment (CathNews 8/8/05)
No-fly zone to aid WYD papal mass security (CathNews 5/8/05)
Youth make biggest ever pilgrimage to leave Australia (CathNews 4/8/05)
400 Melbourne youth head to Cologne to meet new Pope (CathNews 3/8/05)
Sydney WYD champagne corks await word from Pope (CathNews 2/8/05)
Vatican journo claims 2008 WYD 'winner is Sydney' (CathNews 1/8/05)
Terror threat changes WYD plans for Sydney pilgrims (CathNews 28/7/05)
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)

Latest News From WYD (Vatican Radio English Features 17/8/05, audio - requires Real Player)
Shy Pope Faces Test With Young People (Associated Press/ABC America 16/8/05)
Irish Order of Malta volunteers at WYD (catholicireland.net 17/8/05)
ACN presents the musical Pelican to the World Youth Day (Aid to the Church in Need 17/8/05)
Join all the fun, faith and excitement of World Youth Day events in Cologne via live streaming (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 17/8/05)
Young Indians in Cologne: "We are here to show the vibrancy of our faith" (AsiaNews.it 17/8/05)
Young Thais in Cologne to bear witness to the faith of South-East Asia (AsiaNews.it 17/8/05)
Pope's high hopes in Cologne (Catholic Leader 18/8/05)
Queensland pilgrims in the footsteps of St Paul (Catholic Leader 18/8/05)
Editorial: Why do people stop attending church? (Catholic Leader 18/8/05)
On train to Cologne, pilgrims discuss visit to Bavaria (Catholic News Service 16/8/05)
In Germany, World Youth Day opens with packed Masses in three cities (Catholic News Service 16/8/05)
Emotional, prayerful official opening for WYD (Catholic News Agency 17/8/05)
Help line offers distressed WYD pilgrims relief (Catholic News Agency 17/8/05)
Cardinal George Pell: A faith boost (Catholic Weekly 21/8/05)
European Christians Accused of being Caught in State of Self-Pity (Christian Today 17/8/05)
Background: WYD, Cologne, and the tradition of the Magi (Catholic World News 17/8/05)
Mobile confessional serves WYD youth (Catholic World News 17/8/05)
World Youth Day opens amid enthusiasm (Catholic World News 17/8/05)
Lutherans Reject Catholic Practice of Indulgence (idea 15/8/05)
Finally, the little War on an Issue, it's the Condom! (World Youth Day Independent News/stern1.de 17/8/05)
„We suffer." Christians from Israel (World Youth Day Independent News/stern1.de 17/8/05)
Catholic youths flock to centuries-old Latin Mass (Reuters/SignOnSanDiego 17/8/05)
World Youth Day Opens in Cologne (Signis 17/8/05)
World Youth Day Opens in Cologne (Zenit 16/8/05)
Cardinal Meisner's Homily at Opening Mass (Zenit 16/8/05)
Center Dedicated for Confessions (Zenit 16/8/05)
405,000 Registered So Far (Zenit 16/8/05)
World Youth Day Has To Be Measured At Its Openness To Dialogue (We Are Church 27/7/05)

18 Aug 2005