Next World Youth Day will be in Madrid, Pope announces

Sydney, Australia, Jul 20, 2008 / 02:36 am (CNA) .- 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.

Spanish pilgrims erupted into excited chants of “Viva el Papa” “Estaes la juventud del Papa” (Long live the Pope, We are the youth of the Pope), waving a sea of yellow and red Spanish flags when the announcement was made.

Antonio, 30 from Madrid, Spain said, “I’m very happy, very well, I’m happy that they chose Spain. We had something in “CuatroVientos ,“  it wasn’t a WYD but it was a gathering of young people, and it had a good response, so I think that it will be good. We will try to do it as well as they did it in Australia, but they set a high standard.”

“It was impressive when the Pope said that the next WYD will be in Madrid, because I think that in Spain we need the young people to be witnesses to Christ, even when it seems that we are a very Catholic country with a lot of faith, we need to revitalize it, and rejuvenate it. We also need it because as Spanish people we want to give to others, the things we already received,” said the 26 year-old Azucena.

“I love that it’s in Spain, firstly because I think that Spanish people are funny and warm. Secondly I think it’s better for me because it’s closer than Australia,” said Flavio Lombardi, 17 from Madrid.

“I love to be here and I love Australia. I think that the World Youth Day here was fantastic,” he said.

“I am very happy because it is needed and I’m really looking forward to being a volunteer. I’m a bit disappointed that it’s not in another place because I will not be able to learn about another country, but I’m very happy that it’s in Spain.”

Later today Cardinal Antonio MaríaRouco Varela will hold a press conference to discuss the announcement that his Archdiocese will host the next World Youth Day.