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» 08/22/2005
Sydney 2008: for the evangelisation of Asia

Cologne (AsiaNews) – The choice of Sydney as the setting for the next WYD in 2008 announced yesterday by the Pope in Cologne, has sparked enthusiasm among Catholics and non-Catholics, church and political leaders, young and adult Australians. It is seen as a bid to boost evangelization of Asia and also as a big economic opportunity.

Fr John Usher, Chancellor of the diocese chosen says he is "honoured" by the pope's decision. And he said Benedict XVI's visit to Sydney would strengthen Catholicism in Australia. "This I think is a commitment the Pope is making to the southern hemisphere and particularly to the Asian area of the world, and I think it's a great thing for us that he's coming to this part of the world so early," Fr Usher said.

Cardinal George Pell, the city's archbishop, is the most enthusiastic of all. Speaking in Cologne, he said a visit by Benedict VXI would be only the fourth papal visit to the nation.

"I hope the WYD will strengthen the faith, I hope it will reinforce all those values that make Australian society good, like social justice, solidarity, family life, respect for life," he said. "The event is addressed first of all to Catholics but it will be open to anyone."

Prime Minister John Howard declared himself happy about the pope's decision: "It is a wonderful announcement. My government will work with Cardinal Pell and his team to make World Youth Day in Sydney a truly memorable event."

Enthusiasm is running high among Australian youth who were in Cologne.

"All the young people of the world can come and just see how marvellous we really are," one young man said. And a girl:  "Go Australia! Really excited. Can't wait. It's gonna be a great time."

Among those who are "excited" is Sandra Nori, Tourism Minister of New South Wales (the province where Sydney is). And with good reason: the WYD could draw many more visitors than the 2000 Olympics to Australia. "That of course will bring its own economic benefits. These young people will also in large proportion travel before and afterwards around Australia. They'll be repeat visitors later on in life. A lot of global profile for Sydney because the WYD is a huge event."

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See also
08/21/2005 GERMANY - WYD
Benedict XVI: The 2008 WYD will be in Sydney
08/10/2005 AUSTRALIA – WYD
Mel Gibson's 'Passion' at the next World Youth Day?
08/11/2005 CHINA - WYD
WYD: The first time ever for China's underground Church
by Gao Qingnian
08/12/2005 IRAQ – WYD
Two young Iraqi men stranded in Jordan on their way to Cologne
08/20/2005 GERMANY - WYD
The grand Vigil of Cologne: feasting, prayer, adoration
From Cologne hopes for Church unity in China
The grand Vigil of Cologne: feasting, prayer, adoration
Baghdad youth write to the Pope about WYD
iraq - wyd
Letter from Mosul: the WYD afar from Cologne, near to the Pope's heart
Card. Toppo: "Criticism against the pope swept away by the youths in Cologne"
Two young Uzbeks also attend World Youth Day
Georgian youth at WYD but back home, their situation is deteriorating
Pakistani Catholic youth do not get visas for WYD
Young Thais in Cologne to bear witness to the faith of South-East Asia
Young Indians in Cologne: "We are here to show the vibrancy of our faith".
WYD: 1000 youths from Russia have already reached Germany
En route to Cologne, Cambodian youths pray for Italians: "They have forgotten their faith".
Two young Iraqi men stranded in Jordan on their way to Cologne
Minister Ahmed Fatfat: Lebanon needs its youths to be reborn
WYD 2005: Mexican-Lebanese youths in Cologne and in search of their roots
WYD: The first time ever for China's underground Church
Mel Gibson's 'Passion' at the next World Youth Day?
300 Filipinos leaving for Cologne
Getting visas for six Nepalese youths to attend the WYD proves complicated
Chinese youths visit the pope before heading for World Youth Day
At least 400,000 registered for World Youth Day
The Pope wants to meet Jews and Muslims in Cologne

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