Bishop outlines World Youth Day progress

Sydney auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher, dubbed the 'CEO' of World Youth Day 2008, has told the National Catholic Reporter's John Allen that the event 'transcends its genre', and will have vast commercial, cultural and political significance like the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

Fisher, in Rome for meetings with the Pontifical Council for the Laity, told Allen that his own involvement in teaching and bioethics will need to be put aside while he "wrestles with details such as how to fly the pope from Rome to Sydney without stopping for refueling, and how to sell the world that Sydney's winter weather is really no more daunting than most summer days in London".

Fisher expressed confidence that Pope Benedict XVI will be there.

"I spoke to the pope last week, during an audience for members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, and he said he is looking forward to coming to Australia," he said.

He then told Allen that he expects that World Youth Day may be a "jolt to the secular character of Australian society".

"I would say that Australian secularism is often premised on an underlying Christian heritage of which people are not conscious," he said. "There's also a secularism which is more dogmatic and intolerant, that puts up with religion as long as it stays at home, like a pussycat that sits in one's lap and doesn't cause any trouble. The young people who will be at World Youth Day will confront secularism, not with the aggression of the rioting we've seen against the Danish cartoons, but in a way that will convert hearts and get people to be more open to new possibilities. They'll see young people happy, not heading to the pubs and getting into brawls after football, but helping each other and loving God. "

John L. Allen: World Youth Day preview (National Catholic Reporter 19/3/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Interview with Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia (National Catholic Reporter 6/3/06)
World Youth Day 2008

Winning design for World Youth Day (CathNews 24/2/06)
Pope tells theologian he's coming to Australia (CathNews 22/12/05)
Premier Bracks invites Pope to Melbourne (CathNews 10/10/05)
WYD push to bring back Sydney 2000 Olympic volunteers (CathNews 1/9/06)
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)
Vatican rebuff for Sydney's "premature" 2007 World Youth Day bid (CathNews 23/2/04)
Bishops back Sydney bid for World Youth Day 2007 (CathNews 1/12/03)
Sydney's bid to host WYD 2007 gets boost (CathNews 8/1/04)

Join up, repent, get a free showbag (Sydney Morning Herald 13/3/06)
Catholic youth ministers in Sydney in July (Fides 1/3/06)
Papal Message for Youth Day 2006 (Zenit 27/2/06)

13 Mar 2006