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A ‘Sense of anticipation and participation’ ahead of WYD 2013: Lombardi

Vatican City, 18 July 2013: Pope Francis’ journey is “particularly significant in his continent, and this naturally lends it a particular sense of anticipation and participation”, said Father Federico Lombardi S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, at a press conference held on Wednesday. He presented information on Pope's imminent apostolic visit to Rio de Janeiro for the 28th World Youth Day.

“As we know”, Fr. Lombardi said, “it was not his decision to make his first trip to Latin America, but rather it was his predecessor Benedict XVI who had confirmed that World Youth Day would be held in Brazil, and had confirmed that 'the Pope' would be present, as at all the World Youth Days. Therefore, Pope Francis is assuming the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI's pontificate in making this trip. You will recall that practically the same thing happened at the last change of pontificate: Benedict XVI's first trip was to Germany, his homeland, to Cologne for the World Youth Day decided by his predecessor John Paul II”.

“The trip had already been decided but the program has also been adapted, we might indeed say intensified and enriched with further events with the change of pontificate. The plan that had been drawn up for Pope Benedict XVI was less demanding, whereas with Pope Francis, some elements have been added, such as the pilgrimage to Aparecida, or the visit to the favelas, to the hospital, the meeting with the Comite de Celam. There are elements which were not scheduled in the first program for the trip, intended for Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Francis has maintained the same days – that is, the trip was expected to take place from 22 to 29 July”.
“Of course, the Holy Father was invited by the bishops who organised and promoted the World Youth Day”, added Fr. Lombardi: Orani Tempesti, archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, and Cardinal Damasceno Assis, president of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, and naturally also by the president Dilma Rousseff, “who came to the Vatican “for the inauguration of the pontificate and who met Francesco the following day, explicitly inviting him to Brazil. The Pope confirmed immediately, just a few days after his election, that he intended to travel to Brazil for World Youth Day, and this helped to speed up preparations”, added Fr. Lombardi.
Source: VIS


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