Benedict XVI will get a special look at Rio de Janeiro’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue when he flies by it in a helicopter, though plans for a possible landing near the statue are still not certain.
This was one of the announcements from Rio’s Archbishop Orani João Tempesta, in Rome with a commission from the World Youth Day organizing committee for meetings with various Vatican officials.
It is estimated that some two million young people will attend this July’s WYD in Brazil, which will include a Via Crucis on the beaches of Copacabana.
The local organizing commission will be in Rome through Jan. 25 and take part in meetings that will evaluate pastoral endeavors and concretize shaping plans. In addition to Church leaders, the commission includes representatives from Brazil’s federal government and state and local officials.
In statements published on the Brazilian bishops’ Web site, the commission’s executive secretary, Monsignor Joel Portella, points out that the meetings have several objectives: “One of them is the closeness between the local organization and the various organizations of the Holy See, specifically those in charge of the Pope’s international trips.”
“We are going to have meetings with the Pontifical Council for the Laity, as is usually the case, and with the sectors connected with the liturgy and all the events related to the Pope or in which he will take part,” said Monsignor Portella.
The groups will also consider communication and security, with the Rio commission drawing from the experience in papal trips offered by Vatican officials.
“The most immediate challenge is to present everything in writing and very specifically,” said another commission official, Father Antonio Augusto. “It’s not only the visit of a Head of State but of the Holy Father, our common Father, whom we want to welcome with much affection, also taking into consideration the diplomatic and bureaucratic realities.”