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Monday, April 2, 2012


Vatican City, 2 April 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to provide information on preparations for World Youth Day (WYD) 2013, due to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 23 to 28 July 2013. The conference was presented by Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity; Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta O. Cist. of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, and Msgr. Eduardo Pinheiro da Silva, president of the Brazilian Episcopal Commission for Youth.

In his remarks Cardinal Rylko expressed the view that "WYD truly was a prophetic intuition on the part of Blessed John Paul II, and marked a revolution in the field of youth pastoral care. ... And Benedict XVI has explained how WYD opens up a new way of being Christian". Hence the great efforts the Church makes in preparing these events, he explained.

With the Rio celebration, WYD is returning to Latin America, twenty-six years after the first international WYD, held in Buenos Aires. Rio 2013 "will be part of the continental mission, which emerged from the meeting of bishops of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) at Aparecida in 2007. At the level of the universal Church, the Rio WYD will also be linked to this year's Synod of Bishops on the theme of the new evangelisation". The cardinal also noted that the WYD will be taking place during the Year of Faith. "The aim of WYD", the cardinal explained, "is to increase faith among young people and foment the mission. ... The main need of young people today is to be rooted in the faith and in the great family of the Church, in order to be able to make a greater and more effective contribution to the life of society".

In conclusion, the cardinal also mentioned this year's World Youth Day, which was celebrated throughout the world at a diocesan level yesterday under the theme "Rejoice in the Lord always". "Joy is a characteristic of WYDs", he said. "and that is no coincidence because, if on the one hand young people seek happiness, on the other the Church possesses in herself the treasure of true joy, which arises from encountering Christ the Saviour".

For his part Archbishop Tempesta recalled that information on next year's WYD is available in five languages on the website: www.rio2013.com. The WYD page on Facebook and Twitter already has 600,000 followers, and bookings for pilgrim groups will be open as of July this year.

In conclusion the archbishop of Rio noted that the Brazilian economy had improved in recent years, and social differences had diminished. "WYD will", he said, "be an opportunity to improve the Christian values of solidarity, justice, hope and courage among the new generations".

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