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Brazilian World Youth Day organizers head to Vatican
By Rafael Tavares da Silva
Archbishop Orani João Tempesta. Credit: Brazilian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CNBB)
Archbishop Orani João Tempesta. Credit: Brazilian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CNBB)

.- A delegation from the Brazilian organizing committee for World Youth Day Rio will meet in Rome with the Pontifical Council for the Laity to discuss what can be learned from the previous gathering in Madrid and to answer logistical questions.
 
“The meeting in Rome will be first for learning from the experience in Madrid, and second for discussions with representatives of different countries and movements. It will address very practical questions, such as visa permits, vaccinations, hospitality, and the schedule and calendar for World Youth Day,” said World Youth Day Rio’s general coordinator Monsignor Joel Portella Amado.

Nearly 350 representatives of numerous bishops’ conferences, dioceses, communities, and movements from more than 80 countries are expected to attend the meeting, scheduled to take place March 28 to April 1.
 
The delegation from Brazil will arrive in two waves.

The first group, which has already left for Rome, includes, Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta of Rio, president of the committee, Auxiliary Bishops Antonio Augusto Dias Duarte and Paulo Cezar Costa of Rio, and general coordinator Msgr. Portella. The second set of committee members will arrive in Rome for the meeting next week.
 
A week for sharing and reflecting

The upcoming meetings are a part of the next stage in preparing for World Youth Day arriving in Rio in 2013. In statements to the official World Youth Day Rio website, Msgr. Portella said preparations for the event include several key meetings between the organizing committee, the Brazilian bishops’ conference and the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
 
A delegation from the pontifical council, led by Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, met with local World Youth Day officials in Rio Feb. 27 – March 2 to discuss ongoing preparations.
 
“The meeting here showed that the way in which Rio is going to work, and how the event is going to be conceived and carried out is truly in accord with the identity and DNA of World Youth Day,” Msgr. Portella said.
 
On Palm Sunday in Rome, the Rio delegation will attend Mass with Pope Benedict to mark World Youth Day at the diocesan level. Officials from the committee are planning to bring a replica of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue to the celebration.
 
After Palm Sunday, the delegation will remain in Rome for another meeting with the president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, Archbishop Orani and Bishop Eduardo on April 2,” Msgr. Portella said.

Decisions for Rio 2013

In response to the frequent question about where the main events for World Youth Day 2013 will take place in Rio and the schedule for the event, Msgr. Portella said no final decisions have been made.  He explained that the program for the event has already been created but requires the collective approval  of the Rio archdiocese, the bishops’ conference, federal, state and local level Brazilian officials and  Vatican organizers who work closely with the Holy Father.

“The same holds for the venues under consideration,” he said.
 
Msgr. Portella added that officials from the Holy See would be coming to Rio to make the final determination about these and other details.


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