Youth Day '08 Expected to Be in Sydney

COLOGNE, Germany, AUG. 19, 2005 ( Sydney seems to the likely location for the World Youth Day 2008.

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«Australians simply know how to celebrate — and they have every reason,» said Markus Fuhrmann, the official in charge of looking after Australian guests to the 20th World Youth Day in Cologne.

His remarks, published this week in a press statement by the organizers of World Youth Day in Cologne, came in response to the rumor that Sydney is in line to be the locale for the next World Youth Day.

On Tuesday, more than 1,600 Australian youths gathered at the Cologne Exhibition Center, praying and singing as recurrent images of the late Pope John Paul II appeared on video screens.

In a videotaped message after the service, Australian Prime Minister John Howard expressed his pleasure that the next World Youth Day is set to take place in Australia. The young people were overjoyed by the announcement, even though the Vatican has yet to confirm the venue.

Officially, Benedict XVI is not scheduled to announce the location of the 2008 World Youth Day until Sunday’s concluding Mass.

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