It's Official: Sydney to Host Youth Day '08

COLOGNE, Germany, AUG. 21, 2005 ( Some 2,500 young pilgrims from Australia present in Cologne had good reason to celebrate when Benedict XVI announced that the next World Youth Day will take place in Sydney.

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At the end of today’s concluding Mass of World Youth Day, the Pope proclaimed: “And now, as the living presence of the Risen Christ in our midst nourishes our faith and hope, I am pleased to announce that the next World Youth Day will take place in Sydney, Australia, in 2008.”

The group of Australian youth, led by Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, and other Australian bishops, immediately unveiled a welcome banner for 2008.

“I look forward to welcoming Pope Benedict XVI and the youth of the world for World Youth Day 2008. Everyone is welcome,” said Cardinal Pell, shortly after the statement.

“Our bid reflected the substantial preparatory work we undertook before making a decision to propose Sydney as a host city for World Youth Day,” the cardinal added. “A number of people in both the archdiocese and government have worked extremely hard on feasibility analysis and planning. “I am particularly grateful for the strong support of the federal and state governments, and the city council.”

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