Germany: Preparations for World Youth Day 2005

Source: FSSPX News


The 20th World Youth Day (WYD) will take place from 11 to 21 August 2005 in Cologne. Many initiatives have been taken in France, England and Belgium.

 In France, the Conference of French bishops has recently presented the national logo for the Cologne WJD: 75,000 copies of a poster which represents a large comet heading towards Cologne will be distributed to dioceses. “This symbol, for use on T-shirts, leaflets and everything remotely connected with Cologne 2005, will thus become an instrument in uniting all young people who will be going to Germany,” it says in the communiqué presenting the logo. At Tours, young people have met for a prayer vigil. In Bordeaux, recently, Bishop Ricard met young people during the two days of the Fête des Jeunes. On the agenda: meetings, debates and a theatrical performance, which will also be proposed for WYD in Cologne.

 Music will be on the agenda in Paris with the launch of Compil’inXL6, the first “best of” Christian music for young people, promoted by the website of the French pastoral committee for young people. The biggest French groups performing Christian music lend their support as with Glorious. In this strongly “young” spirit, the first in a series of concerts consecrated to the meeting took place on November 5 in Metz Cathedral – never before seen – of techno music, prayer and dance. According to the witness of a parishioner who accompanied her daughter, the atmosphere was like that in a nightclub.

 In England, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor has invited young English people to be present in Cologne. “Many have returned from WYD enriched in their faith,” he declared to the young people of the diocese of Westminster. “Others yet have discovered their vocation to the priesthood and to family life there.” In order to present the content of WYD in Cologne more clearly, the archbishop of Westminster will meet them again on December 1 in the cathedral.

 On foot, on bicycles, in cars, passing through Liège, Aix-la-Chapelle, Trier and Berlin: young Belgians will also experience WYD, thanks to the hospitality of German family. The Belgian Bishops Conference is proposing five routes leading to the events’ venues. The dioceses are planning meetings, walks and pilgrimages during Advent and Holy Week, in order for the participants to deepen their own faith.

 Asked by Apic, at the beginning of November, about the choice of Germany for the next WYD, Mgr. Renato Boccardo, the organizer of the pope’s voyages and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, replied that this choice was “very significant.” Germany is a country with a strong “ecumenical dimension, with the presence of the Reformed Churches.” If “the pope wanted to go to Switzerland to give encouragement and support” to the Catholic Church in a context where “the inter-ecclesial tensions” are manifest, there is also in his presence in Germany “this dimension of encouragement and support,” he said, specifying that “the Catholic Church has always been present alongside Protestant communities and relations between them have always been very good.”