Church in Oceania expects Pope’s visit to bring renewal

Vatican City, Feb 26, 2008 / 01:12 pm (CNA) .- Various bishops from the Oceania region say that the faithful in their churches are looking to Pope Benedict XVI’s visit for World Youth Day as “an event of special grace".

"The entire continent is being mobilised - both in the more socially advanced areas and in less developed regions - to prepare" for World Youth Day 2008, which is due to be held in Sydney, Australia, in July. Various economic initiatives have been organised to help young people from the poorest areas of the continent to participate in the event. "The Day", a communiqué from the bishops relates.

The weight that the prelates give to the Pope’s visit is evident in their description of the upcoming event as “one of the most important events in the history of Australia”. They also note that “interest is growing in the visit of Pope Benedict XVI, as an event of special grace".