After several days of rain in Brazil, World Youth Day organizers have decided to change the location of the Vigil and Closing Mass to Copacabana Beach. The announcement was confirmed by Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, during a media briefing in Rio de Janeiro.
The Vigil and Closing Mass were originally going to be held at the Campus Fidei in Guaratiba. Consistent rainfall in the past three days have turned the once grass-covered field into a virtual swamp. Workers in some areas of the field were covered knee deep in mud.
“The organizers met with the authorities and they saw that it wasn’t prudent for the youth to spend the night there,” Fr. Lombardi said. “They then called the Pope to ask his opinion and he in turn said that if the people who organized the event said that it wasn’t prudent, then he was perfectly in agreement.”
Given that Copacabana Beach, which was the site of the Opening Mass and Welcoming Ceremony, is already set up with a stage, lighting and facilities, organizers stated that the final celebrations will take place there.
However, following consultations with the authorities, the youth will not be staying overnight there as in past WYD events.