Melbourne hope for WYD papal visit

Hopes Benedict XVI will visit Melbourne have been given a boost by confirmation from the Vatican of an Australian visit for the World Youth Day.

The Herald Sun reports that Victorian Premier Steve Bracks has written to the Vatican appealing for a papal visit to Melbourne. He suggested the Pope celebrate mass at the MCG.

Melbourne Vicar-General Monsignor Les Tomlinson yesterday said Victoria's 1.3 million Catholics would enthusiastically embrace a papal visit. The only such visit in Melbourne's history was by John Paul II in 1986.

A nationwide conference of bishops next month will discuss if they will approach Rome to extend Benedict XVI's itinerary beyond Sydney.

"There needs to be an orderly approach rather than each bishop (issuing individual invitations)," Monsignor Tomlinson said. But he warned local Catholics not to get their hopes up too high.

Benedict XVI promised the youths at St Peter's Square on Sunday for the handover of the World Youth Day (WYD) Cross and Icon he would be in Australia for the event in 2008.

Pope signs for Sydney - maybe Melbourne (Herald-Sun 11/4/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
World Youth Day 2008

Pope vows to follow WYD cross to Sydney (CathNews 10/4/06)
Sydney eye on Sunday's WYD Cross handover (CathNews 7/4/06)
WYD delegates ready to depart for Rome (CathNews 6/4/06)
NSW Premier to attend WYD handover in Rome (CathNews 3/4/06)
NSW Premier's invite to Rome for WYD event (CathNews 20/3/06)
Bishop outlines World Youth Day progress (CathNews 13/3/06)
Winning design for World Youth Day (CathNews 24/2/06)
Pope tells theologian he's coming to Australia (CathNews 22/12/05)

Pope says Christ's poverty offers cure for world ravaged by greed (Catholic News Service 10/4/06)
The cross, a sign of reconciliation and love (Vatican Information Service 9/4/06 - temporary url)
Angelus: Hand over of the World Youth Day cross (Vatican Information Service 9/4/06 - temporary url)
Univ students, meeting Christ will make you apostles (Vatican Information Service 10/4/06 - temporary url)
More than 10,000 youth mark WYD in Saigon, refuting consumerism, atheism (AsiaNews.it 10/4/06)
Sydney 'better off than most' to host WYD 08 (Catholic Weekly 10/4/06)
WYD Cross handed over to Australian organizers (Catholic World News 10/4/06)
Pope plans to attend Australian WYD celebration in 2008 (Catholic World News 10/4/06)
$40m pledged for Catholic youth festival (The Australian 10/4/06)
Gerard Henderson: Time for non-believers to hear the word (Sydney Morning Herald 11/4/06)
Pope confirms Australia visit (The Age 11/4/06)
The Cross Is the Secret of Love, Says Pope (Zenit 9/4/06)
World Youth Day '08 Logo Unveiled (Zenit 9/4/06)
Pope to Youth: Make God Present in Society (Zenit 9/4/06)
Pope Benedict XVI: On the World Youth Day Cross (Zenit 9/4/06)

11 Apr 2006