Jul 20, 2008 - 11:53 pm .- Pope Benedict departed Australia for Rome today after a busy eight-day stay. The Holy Father bid adieu by blessing Australia and holding a farewell ceremony with the Prime Minister (PM) Kevin Rudd, who announced that Australia will begin diplomatic relations with the Holy See for the first time.
Jul 20, 2008 - 11:06 pm .- The Pope personally thanked volunteers of World Youth Day this morningon the lawn of Sydney famous park, The Domain, where hundreds ofvolunteers gathered to farewell the Pope hours before he was scheduledto leave for Rome.
Jul 20, 2008 - 10:48 pm .- Pope Benedict XVI met four victims of child sex abuse this morning at a private Mass held at St. Mary’s Cathedral House. Two women and two men, who wished to remain anonymous, celebrated Mass with the Pope, who then listened to their stories and offered consolation.
Jul 20, 2008 - 08:18 am .- Expressing his thanks for his city being chosen as site for the 2011 World Youth Day, Juan Antonio Martinez, Auxiliary Bishop of Madrid spoke at a press conference today at the Radisson Plaza Hotel after the announcement was made.
Jul 20, 2008 - 07:41 am .- The largest ever gathering of U.S. pilgrims at a WYD festival was held yesterday morning at The Domain, one of Sydney’s landmark parks for WYD08. In his homily, Cardinal Francis George spoke of the freedom in surrendering to Christ.
Jul 20, 2008 - 02:36 am .- At the Final Mass for World Youth Day in Sydney, Pope Benedict announced that the next World Youth Day would be held in Madrid, Spain in 2011.
Jul 20, 2008 - 02:14 am .- The Final Mass concluding World Youth Day celebrations contained a number of distinctive features. First and foremost among the highlights is that it was the largest gathering of people in the history of Australia.
Jul 20, 2008 - 02:04 am .- Over 235,000 young pilgrims camped at Randwick Racecourse last night awaiting the final Mass celebrated this morning. While half of the 500,000 who attended the final Mass traveled into the racecourse via public transport, thousands of pilgrims braved the cold to reserve their space for the Mass, pray before the Blessed Sacrament, receive confession and take part in the night’s festivities.
Jul 20, 2008 - 01:55 am .- World Youth Day celebrations reached their climatic end on Sunday as Pope Benedict XVI concluded the biggest ever gathering of people in Australia. The Holy Father challenged the youth to bring about a “new age” for humanity by being open to the power of the Holy Spirit and to think about the legacy that they will leave for future generations.