The German bishops´ conference made the announcement today, seven months before the Toronto World Youth Day. The event in Canada is scheduled for July 18-28.
The bishops explain that John Paul II decided to postpone the following World Youth Day for a year, to encourage maximum participation. The 2005 date also avoids competition with the Olympic Games, which will take place in Athens in 2004.
Preparations for the Cologne event will start this autumn. The local organization of the event is the responsibility of the Youth Commission of the bishops´ conference and the Archdiocese of Cologne. It will include the cooperation of neighboring dioceses.