Spain has eye on 2011 World Youth Day
The Archbishop of Madrid has said that the Spanish capital is hoping to be selected as host of World Youth Day 2011.
Zenit reports that Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela announced the proposal last week in the Almudena Cathedral.
Last month, he personally communicated his proposal to Bishop José Ángel Sáiz Meneses of Terrassa, who oversees the Spanish episcopate's office of youth ministry.
On Monday, Bishop Sáiz Meneses told the press: "It looks like an excellent idea to me, and from now we will prepare for it with all of our efforts."
Pope John Paul II visited Madrid in May 2003, an event that attracted hundreds of thousands of young people. It was confirmed this week that Pope Benedict XVI will visit Spain next July in order to attend the World Meeting of Families.
Meanwhile the Catholic Weekly reports this week that the Pontifical Council for the Laity has confirmed dates and a theme for World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney.
World Youth Day will be held in Sydney from July 15-20 to coincide with both the Australian midyear school holidays and the Northern Hemisphere's summer holiday time.
The theme will be derived from the Acts of the Apostles: "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses." (Acts 1:8)
A local organising committee is being established which will include several government ministers and other key stakeholders as well as the Bishop of Parramatta, Bishop Kevin Manning, and auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, Bishop Christopher Prowse.
An auxiliary Bishop of Sydney, Bishop Anthony Fisher, is the co-ordinator and Danny Casey will be seconded from his role as business manager of the archdiocese to be the chief operating officer.
In a briefing update to Catholic agencies, Mr Casey said the World Youth Day week is only part of a 20-year pastoral strategy; beginning with young people's spiritual preparation and ending with post-World Youth Day programs involving young pilgrims in the life of their parishes and the wider Church.
"While a focus on (the WYD week) is clearly very important, the event must be seen in its proper long term context," he said.
"The maximum impact on our young people will come from a strong focus on preparatory programs and a commitment to ongoing formation in the years following the World Youth Day.
Madrid Aims for World Youth Day 2011 (Zenit 13/12/05)
Papal visit to Spain in 2006 confirmed (Catholic News Agency 15/12/05)
Vatican confirms dates and theme for World Youth Day (Catholic Weekly 18/12/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Pontifical Council for the Laity
World Youth Day 2008
WYD push to bring back Sydney 2000 Olympic volunteers (CathNews 1/9/05)
Senior cardinal's high hopes for WYD (CathNews 31/8/05)
Pope says WYD showed renewed hope for Europe (CathNews 25/8/05)
Students back Pell against "whingers" (CathNews 24/8/05)
Organisers ponder logistics of Sydney WYD (CathNews 23/8/05)
It's official - WYD 2008 winner is Sydney! (CathNews 22/8/05)
PM's message advances WYD Australia rumours (CathNews 18/8/05)
Sydney WYD champagne corks await word from Pope (CathNews 2/8/05)
Vatican journo claims 2008 WYD 'winner is Sydney' (CathNews 1/8/05)
Pell leads bid for Sydney World Youth Day (CathNews 5/7/05)
Pell lobbies for World Youth Day Sydney 2008 (CathNews 30/3/04)
Bishops discuss plans for World Youth Day (Catholic Weekly 11/12/05)
An Organizer Reflects on World Youth Days (Zenit 7/12/05)
16 Dec 2005