.- The executive director of World Youth Day Madrid 2011, Yago de la Cierva, recently stated that ânobody should be botheredâ by a group of young people gathering for a festival and paying for it out of their own pockets.
In an interview with Europa Press, De la Cierva said some of the criticism of World Youth Day âhas been based on incomplete or biased information.â âIt shouldnât bother anybody that a group of young people use their own money organize a festival in which they arenât going to be disparaging anyone.â
âEither itâs a lack of information or rancid prejudice,â he stated.
De la Cierva said the event is a âgreat international festivalâ that can help âimprove the situation for young people.â While many people think religion is a ânegative factor,â young people see it as âsomething positive that well help them to be better.â
Regarding protests against the Pope planned to take place the day before his arrival in Madrid, De la Cierva said Spain is âa free and democratic countryâ where freedom of expression is allowed within the limits of âpublic order and respect for persons.â
De la Cierva said the final cost of the event has not yet been determined, but that nearly 5,000 new registration forms are coming in each day. âThis means more television screens, more showers and more food.â âWe are adjusting the expenses according to the number of people who register to attend,â he said.
De la Cierva noted that World Youth Day Madrid has broken all the records of previous World Youth Days for number of registrants with just two weeks to go until activities begin. The president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, said more than 420,000 young people have already signed up.