.- The Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro addressed recent comments made by the city's mayor, claiming that the 2013 World Youth Day will be held in Rio.
The press secretary for the archdiocese, Adionel Carlos da Cunha, told CNA that the recent comments by Rio's Mayor Eduard Paes express the wishes of the people in Rio de Janeiro but cannot be interpreted as a Vatican confirmation of Rio as next city to host the World Youth Day.
Mayor Paes recently told the press that the 2013 World Youth Day will be held in Rio de Janeiro. He added that the official announcement would be made later this month.
However, the archdiocesan spokesman told CNA on Aug. 4 that while the city wishes to be selected as the next World Youth Day site, the confirmation will come only on the morning of Aug. 21 when the Pope himself reveals his choice.
He added that the people's expectations in regards to host an event with the Pope are high because the country was recently chosen to host a number of major international events such as the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
This week, Rio's secretary for tourism, Antonio Pedro de Mello told Reuters that other cities such as Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte are also in the running to host World Youth Day in 2013.
“At least 600,000 people will travel to Brazil to attend this event in a Catholic country with millions of followers. It will be important for publicizing the city's image and for obtaining foreign currency, as the event will last approximately 10 days.”
Last June, Almir Franco de Sa Barbuda, appointed by President Dilma Rousseff to be Brazil’s ambassador to the Holy See, stated that the next World Youth Day could take place in the country.