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Thursday, March 22, 2012


Vatican City, 22 March 2012 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for the Laity is promoting a meeting of youth pastoral care workers to reflect on World Youth Days (WYD) and prepare for next year's WYD in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The meeting, due to be held in Rocca di Papa near Rome from 29 March to 1 April, will bring together delegates from ninety-eight countries, as well as the organising committees of WYD Madrid 2011 and WYD Rio 2013.

A communique released this morning by the Pontifical Council for the Laity explains that this will be "an important moment of reflection for the pastoral care workers" who number "more than 300, representing 45 communities, associations and Catholic youth movements".

Work will begin on 29 March with a welcome address from Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. The rest of the day will be dedicated to a study of organisational and pastoral aspects of WYD Madrid 2011, and the fruits it has yielded throughout the world. Participants will include Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, and Yago de la Cierva and Fr. Gregorio Rolgan, respectively executive director and secretary general of WYD Madrid 2011.

On Friday 30 March attention will turn to Rio de Janeiro. The challenges and expectations of next year's WYD will be presented by Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta O. Cist. of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro; Msgr. Eduardo Pinheiro da Silva, president of the Brazilian Episcopal Commission for Youth; Fr. Carlos Savio, head of the youth office of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, and the WYD Rio 2013 organising committee.

Saturday 31 March will be dedicated to reflection on the "formation of young people; a mission priority for the Church", with contributions from Bishop Josef Clemens, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and Fr. Fabio Attard, counsellor general of the Salesians for youth pastoral care. On Palm Sunday 1 April, which also marks twenty-seventh diocesan World Youth Day, the delegates will participate in Mass presided by Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square.


Vatican City, 22 March 2012 (VIS) - Tomorrow, Friday 23 March, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, will travel to Nigeria where he is due to visit a number of dioceses and to close a seminar of inter-religious dialogue with followers of Traditional African Religions, according to a communique released today.


Vatican City, 22 March 2012 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Culture is organising a meeting of ambassadors to the Holy See from Africa. The event, due to be held in Rome on 26 March, aims to promote cooperation between the council and countries that are geographically distant from the Vatican. This is the second initiative of its kind, a similar meeting was held last year with ambassadors to the Holy See from Asia.

The programme of the event is divided into several parts and will be held at more than one venue. The first part of the day will be devoted to a detailed presentation of the Pontifical Council for Culture by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi and Bishop Barthelemy Adoukonou, respectively president and secretary of that dicastery. The ambassadors will also have a chance to intervene and make proposals for collaboration. The session will be moderated by Fr. Theodore Mascarenhas S.F.X., head of the department for cultures in Africa.

Participants will then move on to the Temple of Hadrian where they will be welcomed by Giancarlo Cremonesi, president of Rome's Chamber of Commerce who will describe the activities of the organisation he heads. There will also be a detailed cultural introduction to the historical and present day aspects of the temple. The day will end with a visit to Rome's "Parco della Musica" Auditorium.

According to an English-language note released today, "the Pontifical Council for Culture has been receiving very active collaboration from different embassies. The event intends to strengthen further the ties between the embassies and the dicastery and to evolve new ways for cultural cooperation. Twenty-three Embassies have confirmed their participation".

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