|Date||July 15, 2008 -|
July 20, 2008
|Theme||You will receive the power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you (Acts 1:8)|
|Organised by||Catholic Church|
|Participants||Pope Benedict XVI|
The 23rd World Youth Day was a Catholic youth festival that started on 15 July and continued until 20 July 2008 in Sydney, Australia. It was the first World Youth Day held in Australia and the first World Youth Day in Oceania. This meeting was decided by Pope Benedict XVI, during the Cologne World Youth Day of 2005. The theme was "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you" (from Acts 1:8).
World Youth Day (WYD) is an event for young people organized by the Catholic Church. The next, World Youth Day 2022, will be held in Portugal.
Pope Benedict XVI is a retired prelate of the Catholic Church who served as head of the Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. Benedict's election as pope occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II. Benedict chose to be known by the title "pope emeritus" upon his resignation.
The 20th World Youth Day was a Catholic youth festival that started on August 16 and continued until August 21, 2005 in Cologne, Germany. It was the first World Youth Day and foreign trip of Pope Benedict XVI, who joined the festival on August 18. This meeting was decided by the previous pope, John Paul II, during the Toronto World Youth Day of 2002. The theme was "We have come to worship Him".
About 500,000 young people from 200 countries attended during the week, and more than 1,000,000 came for the weekend. They were joined by about 600 bishops and cardinals, as well as by 6,600 reporters.
The festivals of WYD began on 1 July 2007, when a large 3.8-meter-high wooden cross and a large 15-kilogram icon of the Virgin Mary arrived in Sydney to travel around the country.The relay-style event, known as the Journey of the Cross and Icon (or JCI for short) saw the cross and icon go on a pilgrimage around the dioceses of Australia, engaging with a variety of Catholic parishes and communities.
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, in the cultures of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Roman Catholic, and certain Eastern Catholic churches. The most common subjects include Christ, Mary, saints and angels. Although especially associated with "portrait" style images concentrating on one or two main figures, the term also covers most religious images in a variety of artistic media produced by Eastern Christianity, including narrative scenes. Icons can represent various scenes in the Bible.
The word diocese is derived from the Greek term dioikesis (διοίκησις) meaning "administration". Today, when used in an ecclesiastical sense, it refers to the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. Sometimes it is also called bishopric.
The WYD Cross was entrusted to the youth of the world by Pope John Paul II in 1984 as a sign of peace and hope.The Pope told the young people of the world to take it around the world as "a symbol of Christ's love for humanity". In 2004, Pope John Paul II commissioned the large icon of the Virgin Mary to accompany the cross' pilgrimage. It is a symbol intended to represent Mary's maternal love for young people. From the announcement of the host World Youth Day, the cross and icon travel ceremonially around the world similar to the Olympic torch relay.
Pope John Paul II was the Pope of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 to 2005.
In the week preceding the main event, many young Catholic pilgrims spent time in different parts of Australia and New Zealand [ citation needed ], staying with a local parish as part of the Days in the Dioceses. After their stay, they travelled to Sydney for the Opening Mass of the week-long main event.
Mass is the main eucharistic liturgical service in many forms of Western Christianity. The term Mass is commonly used in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, as well as in some Lutheran, Methodist, Western Rite Orthodox, and Old Catholic churches.
The Pope arrived at Sydney on 13 July at Richmond Air Force Base in North Western Sydney on a special Alitalia flight. Until 17 July he stayed in the Opus Dei centre, called Kenthurst Study Centre, 30 km from Sydney.
Alitalia – Società Aerea Italiana, operating as Alitalia, is the flag carrier of Italy. The company has its head office in Fiumicino, Rome, Italy. Its main hub is Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport, Rome, and a secondary is Linate Airport, Milan. Other focus airports are Catania–Fontanarossa Airport, Milan Malpensa Airport, Palermo Airport and Naples Airport. In 2018, it was the twelfth-largest airline in Europe. The name "Alitalia" is an Italian portmanteau of the words ali (wings), and Italia (Italy).
Opus Dei, formally known as the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, is an institution of the Catholic Church which teaches that everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity. The majority of its membership are lay people; the remainder are secular priests under the governance of a prelate elected by specific members and appointed by the Pope. Opus Dei is Latin for "Work of God"; hence the organization is often referred to by members and supporters as the Work.
On 15 July, World Youth Day 2008 began with the Opening Mass, celebrated by George Cardinal Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, at Barangaroo. This was followed by a concert.
Each morning from 15 to 17 July, Catechists were held in approximately 300 locations. Pilgrims received teachings from a Bishop and also celebrated Mass. In the afternoons, pilgrims journeyed into the city and attend the Youth Festival consisting of a series of art exhibitions, concerts, seminars, and conferences.
On 17 July 2008, 500,000attendees from around the world were present at Barangaroo to welcome Pope Benedict XVI on a day dubbed Super Thursday by the press. The Pope actually arrived on 14 July, but only appeared in public for the first time on the 17th. The event involved the Pope travelling around Port Jackson in a "boatacade" where pilgrims lined the shores to see him. However, there were many disappointed spectators in places like the Botanic Gardens and Circular Quay who did not actually see the Pope because of where he was sitting on the boat. The Sydney Children's Choir and Gondwana Voices performed at the event. The Pope then spoke extensively to the pilgrims and greeted them in five foreign languages. In order to let the pilgrims see him better the Pope was driven around Barangaroo through the crowds in his Popemobile.
|“||Dear young people, let me now ask you a question... How are you using the gifts you have been given, the “power” which the Holy Spirit is even now prepared to release within you? What legacy will you leave to young people yet to come? What difference will you make?||”|
|— Pope Benedict XVI|
On 18 July, there was a live re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross at major city landmarks with an estimated 270,000 participants. Around 500 million people around the world followed the stations on television.
On 19 July, around 235,000 pilgrims embarked on a 10-kilometre pilgrimage walk, beginning at the Mary MacKillop Chapel in North Sydney, over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and across the city to attend an overnight vigil before the Mass at Randwick Racecourse.
Approximately 250,000 pilgrims slept overnight at Randwick, and about 300,000 to 400,000 participants attended the Final Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday 20 July.
Pope Benedict continued a tradition of Australian Papal Masses at Randwick Racecourse, following in the footsteps of John Paul II and Paul VI. At the conclusion of the final mass the Pope announced that the 2011 World Youth Day would be held in Madrid, Spain.
WYD 2008 was the first World Youth Day to take full advantage of telecommunications, with Pope Benedict sending text messages to the pilgrims during the week. Each pilgrim who registered for WYD had the option of providing a mobile phone number to which the Pontiff's message would be sent at the beginning of each day.
|Young friend, God and his people expect much from you because you have within you the Fathers supreme gift: the Spirit of Jesus –BXVI|
|The Holy Spirit gave the Apostles and gives you the power boldly to proclaim that Christ is risen! –BXVI|
|The Holy Spirit is the principal agent of salvation history: let him write your life history 2! –BXVI|
|The spirit impels us 4ward 2wards others; the fire of his love makes us missionaries of God's charity. See you tomorrow nite –BXVI|
|Dear friend, you must be holy & you must be missionary: never separate holiness from mission –BXVI|
It also saw the launch of a new registration social networking site called xt3.com, with the aim to connect young Catholics before, during and after World Youth Day 2008.
On 8 September, a final message was sent via SMS to WYD2008 pilgrims registered on Xt3.com,marking 50 days after the closing Mass:
Fifty days ago we were together for the celebration of Mass. Today I greet you on the birthday of Mary, Mother of the Church. Empowered by the Spirit and courageous like Mary your pilgrimage of faith fills the Church with life! Soon I am to visit France. I ask you all to join me in praying for the young people of France. May we all be rejuvenated in hope!
Pilgrims were served a traditional Australian menu. Over the six-day event, 3.5 million meals were served. To cater for the masses, 210,000 slices of bread, 425,000 chocolate bars, 200,000 meat pies and 300,000 servings of Weet-Bix Crunch were ordered. "We want to provide pilgrims with a good feed and a little bit of an Australian taste," WYD director of services Geoff Morris said; "We have tried to do that by including some of our more iconic items such as Tim Tams, Weet-Bix Crunch, Vegemite, lamingtons and good old baked beans". Organisers also held a "Big Aussie BBQ", which saw 200 barbecues lit up simultaneously across Sydney.
|“||There's nothing immoral with a little commercialism. Our way of life is built on commercialism, on trade, on industry, on finance and people have got a right to make a living out of doing a good thing, which is spreading Christ's message in a modern way.||”|
|— Cardinal George Pell|
Pilgrims and the public were able to buy 470 different products including papal mementos such as special WYD rosary beads, Pope Benedict XVI baseball caps and rugby jerseys. Sydney's Catholic Archbishop Cardinal George Pell said that the Church was not looking to make a profit.
Any remaining merchandise was given to Catholic charities and surplus clothing was sent overseas to developing nations.
World Youth Day organizers revised the expected number of attendees downwards during the lead-up to the event. In October 2007, the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, claimed that "over half a million" people would attend the final mass at Randwick. The World Youth Day site later claimed likely attendance of "up to" half a million. Similarly, the projected number of overseas attendees was 150,000 people in 2006. This was later altered to a projection of "over 125,000" people from overseas. 65,000 visas were granted as of 12 days before the start of the event.
Around 500,000 welcomed the pope to Sydney and 270,000 watched the Stations of the Cross. More than 300,000 pilgrims camped out overnight in preparation for the Final Mass.The final attendance reported by Reuters was up to 300,000, however World Youth Day's Chief Operating Officer Danny Casey and other media reported over 400,000 attendees.
"Receive the Power"is an original song written by Guy Sebastian and Gary Pinto, and chosen in May 2007 as the official anthem for the Roman Catholic Church's XXIII World Youth Day (WYD08).
"Receive the Power" was played extensively throughout the 6 days of World Youth Day in July 2008, and also in the television coverage which went around the world. Guy Sebastian performed at the concert after the Opening Mass which officially welcomed Pope Benedict XVI to Australia. Sebastian and Paulini also performed both the English and international versions at the Final Mass at Randwick Race Course on 20 July.An estimated 400,000 people attended the mass. Sebastian and Paulini were invited to perform "Receive The Power" at the Pope's Farewell and thank you to volunteers on 21 July.
The Pope announced that pilgrims at World Youth Day 2008 and those from around the world who pray for the "spiritual goals of this meeting and for its happy outcome" would be able to receive indulgences. In Roman Catholic teaching an indulgence is believed to erase the temporal punishment (time spent in purgatory) which results from sin.
Two types of indulgences were available:
Some were concerned regarding the NSW state government's public funding of $129 million and the federal government's funding of $55 million. Some described it as a "promotional event" for the Catholic Church.
However the Sydney Chamber of Commerce estimated that World Youth Day would generate $230 million of economic activity and the NSW state government claimed that it would have a direct economic benefit over $150 million. In addition to direct benefits the state government said that the coverage of World Youth Day overseas was worth at least $1 billion. These gains would offset and exceed the government's expenditure on World Youth Day.
The use of the Randwick Racecourse for the event was criticised and legally challenged by the racing industry in Sydney. [ citation needed ] Industry representatives argued that alternative sites, such as the Sydney Olympic Park at Homebush Bay, were more suitable venues.[ citation needed ] However, the NSW and federal governments and the event organisers insisted that Randwick Racecourse was the only location suitable for an event of such scale. [ citation needed ]
The World Youth Day committee initially offered to pay an agreed settlement to the racing industry. [ citation needed ] However, after some complaints, the federal and the New South Wales state government stepped in and jointly pledged $42 million in compensation to the racing industry – more than triple the previously agreed upon amount. [ citation needed ] In exchange, the industry relocated its operations to the Warwick Farm and Rosehill Gardens racecourses, with infrastructure at these sites and at Randwick to be upgraded as part of the compensation package. In addition, the Australian Jockey Club's lease at Randwick was to be extended by 50 years.
Despite some earlier concerns the final mass left the turf in good condition. The Randwick Project Steering Committee chief Hugh Martin stated that he was "very pleased with the state of the track" and an Australian Jockey Club spokesman noted that the "track seems to have held up well."
The Parliament of New South Wales passed the World Youth Day Act 2006 especially for the event. The regulations made under this act however had been the source of some controversy, mainly in the operation of various provisions of the World Youth Day Regulation 2008 within hundreds of so-called "declared areas" across Sydney.These areas included over 40 city locations, including popular tourist spots the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, as well as at numerous public transport stations and schools.
The most significant and contentious amendments to the regulations were announced by the Deputy Premier John Watkins on 25 June 2008 and came into effect on 1 July 2008. People entering or exiting declared areas would have been subject to being searched, including vehicles or baggage, if so requested.According to The Australian , this may have included either general clothing inspections, partial strip searches, or even arrest. The regulations would have been enforced by police, with the Rural Fire Service and the State Emergency Service having enforcement power over some provisions. These authorisations were especially controversial, as such granted enforcement powers are normally available only to police. The new powers also caused concern to those organisations, which did not consider enforcement to be their role.
Of the most contentious of the regulations, a maximum fine of A$5,500 was able to be imposed for causing 'annoyance or inconvenience' to WYD participants. This was challenged in the Federal Court of Australia on the grounds of violating the implied constitutional freedom of political communication and/or exceeding the regulation making power of the World Youth Day Act 2006 (NSW). The Full Court agreed with the latter argument, declaring Clause 7(1)(b) regarding the specific prohibition of causing "annoyance to participants in a World Youth Day event" invalid.
A number of activist groups protested against the Catholic Church on World Youth Day. Various atheist and secular groups cooperated to form the NoToPope Coalition for WYD. The coalition rallied against the Church's stances on same-sex marriage, abortion, and contraception. Additionally, groups representing some victims of sexual abuse protested prior to WYD. On Saturday, the day of the pilgrimage walk, approximately 100 protesters positioned themselves on a street corner to chant slogans and wave banners at the over 200,000 pilgrims walking to Randwick. A strong police presence controlled the protesters.
Protest organisers had planned to use T-shirts with anti-Catholic slogans such as "Religion harms us by privileging faith over reason", "Badly needed community services were robbed to pay the Pope"and "107 Catholic clergy convicted".
There were very few physical confrontations between the pilgrims and protesters, with some initiated by the protesters throwing condoms at the pilgrims. Police arrested one Australian pilgrim for attacking a protester.A Sydney small business owner alleged that he received an anonymous threat against him and his family for producing "annoying" T-shirts.
WYD coordinator Bishop Fisher told journalists the latest controversy was detracting from the massive Catholic youth festival underway in Sydney. "I think most of Australia was enjoying, delighting in the beauty and goodness of these young people... rather than dwelling crankily, as a few people are doing, on old wounds."
Anthony and Christine Foster spoke out on the Bishop's comments, labelling them "very insensitive". Their daughters Emma and Katherine were raped by priest Kevin O'Donnell leading to Emma's suicide at the age of 26, while her sister Katherine drank heavily before being left disabled when hit by a drunk driver in 1999. Advocates for Survivors of Child Abuse director Michael Salter was outraged by Bishop Anthony Fisher's comments, saying, "The Catholic Church has a lot to learn about the burden of clergy abuse on the lives of victims, and those who care for them."
Bishop Fisher later said he had been misquoted by media representatives, who, according to him, had been the people he had called "cranky" and not the victims.
An additional 4,000 train and 3,400 bus services were commissioned for the event. There were 400 road clearways and 300 road closures.Threats to strike on 17 July in the heart of the celebrations, made by disgruntled rail workers, were withdrawn following negotiations with the state government.
Following World Youth Day, the NSW Premier Morris Iemma gave the transport systems' performance a 10-out-of-10 rating. He stated that special events such as WYD proved that decent public transport was possible and was considering implementing some of the strategies used for the event on an ongoing basis.Former Roads and Traffic Authority director Ken Robinson said that the public transport system ran smoothly during World Youth Day due to better coordination between different transport authorities, whilst NSW transport minister John Watkins noted that public transport for the week worked "tremondously well."
On 19 July 2008, in Sydney's St. Mary's Cathedral, Pope Benedict XVI made a historic full apology for child sex abuse by priests and clergymen in Australia. Before a congregation of 3,400, he called for compensation and demanded punishment for those guilty of the "evil": "Here I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country. I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them that, as their pastor, I too share in their suffering." The Pope added: "Victims should receive compassion and care, and those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice. These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation. I ask all of you to support and assist your bishops, and to work together with them in combating this evil. It is an urgent priority to promote a safer and more wholesome environment, especially for young people." On 21 July, before flying out of Australia Pope Benedict met with a group of four victims of sexual abuse at St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, listened to their stories and celebrated mass with them.Broken Rites, the support group representing Australian victims, criticised the meeting as hand-picked: "I'm afraid that what they've done is selected victims who have agreed with what the church's policies are".
Broken Rites said: "Sorry may be a start but we want to see a lot more. We want the victims to be treated fairly, we don't want them to feel that they have been shut out, we don't want them to be re-abused by church authorities." It reported that there were 107 Catholic priests and religious brothers sentenced in Australian courts on sex charges, and that in 2002, Australian bishops had already apologised for past abuses.
The then NSW Premier Morris Iemma said he hoped "it would be a sign of righting the wrongs of the past and of a better future and better treatment by the church of the victims and their families."
The Pontiff departed from Sydney Airport on 21 July 2008. Before boarding a chartered Qantas Boeing 747-400 at Sydney Airport's Hangar 96, he thanked Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Governor General Major General Michael Jeffery, newly appointed Ambassador to the Holy See Tim Fischer, and Cardinal George Pell.The Pontiff left Australia after the farewell message of thanks by Rudd: "Today I announce that for the first time Australia will have a resident Ambassador to the Holy See in Rome. And today I announce that the Government will be recommending to his Excellency the Governor General the appointment of the former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia the Honourable Tim Fischer as Australia’s first resident Ambassador to the Holy See."
The Catholic Church in Australia is part of the worldwide Catholic Church under the spiritual and administrative leadership of the Holy See. From origins as a suppressed, mainly Irish minority in early colonial times, the church has grown to be the largest Christian denomination in Australia, with a culturally diverse membership of around 5,439,268 people, representing about 23% of the overall population of Australia according to the 2016 census.
George Pell is an Australian prelate of the Catholic Church and convicted child sex offender. He served as the inaugural Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy between 2014 and 2019; and was a member of the Council of Cardinal Advisers between 2013 and 2018. He previously served as the eighth Archbishop of Sydney (2001–2014), the seventh Archbishop of Melbourne (1996–2001) and an auxiliary bishop of Melbourne (1987–1996). He was created a cardinal in 2003. Ordained in 1966, he has also been an author, columnist, and public speaker. Since becoming Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996, he has maintained a high public profile on a wide range of issues, while retaining a strict adherence to Catholic orthodoxy. His views on the environment, and global warming in particular, however, are inconsistent with scientific consensus.
Royal Randwick Racecourse is a racecourse for horse racing located in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales. Randwick Racecourse is Crown Land leased to the Australian Turf Club and known to many Sydney racegoers as headquarters. The racecourse is located approximately six kilometres from the Sydney Central Business District in the suburb of Randwick. The course proper has a circumference of 2224m with a home straight of 410m.
The 17th World Youth Day 2002 (WYD2002) was a Catholic youth festival held July 23-July 28, 2002, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. World Youth Day is a celebration of faith begun by Pope John Paul II held on an international level every two to three years, and WYD2002 was the 10th such event. Although WYD is designed for Catholics, it attracts sizable numbers of youths from other faiths and denominations and was presented as a multi-faith celebration of young people from all over the world.
Anthony Colin FisherOP is an Australian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church and a friar of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans). Since 12 November 2014, he has been the ninth Catholic Archbishop of Sydney. He served as the third Bishop of Parramatta from 4 March 2010 to 12 November 2014, having previously served as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Sydney.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney is a Latin Church metropolitan archdiocese, located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
World Youth Day 2011 was the 2011 occurrence of World Youth Day, a Catholic event held from August 16–21, 2011 in Madrid, Spain focused on youth. Media estimated the event's attendance as over a million or 1.5 million.
Operation Testament was the Australian Defence Force (ADF) contribution to World Youth Day 2008 (WYD08), a Catholic youth festival attended by Pope Benedict XVI held from 15 to 20 July 2008 in Sydney, Australia.
Xt3.com is an award-winning Catholic social online network and news site, established for the 2008 World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia. The name stands for "Christ in the Third Millennium" and is operated by the Archdiocese of Sydney, with the support of Archbishop Cardinal George Pell.
"Receive the Power" is a gospel song written by Guy Sebastian and Gary Pinto, and performed by Sebastian and Paulini. It was chosen in May 2007 as the official anthem for the Roman Catholic Church's XXIII World Youth Day (WYD08) held in Sydney in 2008.
Catholic sexual abuse cases in Australia, like Catholic sexual abuse scandals elsewhere, have involved convictions, trials and ongoing investigations into allegations of sex crimes committed by Catholic priests, members of religious orders and other personnel which have come to light in recent decades, along with the growing awareness of sexual abuse within other religious and secular institutions. Criticisms of the Church have centred both on the nature and extent of abuse, and on historical and contemporary management of allegations by Church officials. Internally, the Church began updating its protocols in the 1990s, and papal apologies for abuse in Australia were made by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. A number of government enquiries have also examined church practices - most notably the 2015-17 Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Royal Commission established that some 4,444 claimants alleged incidents of child sexual abuse in 4,756 reported claims to Catholic Church authorities and at least 1,880 suspected abusers from 1980 to 2015. Most of those suspected of abuse were Catholic priests and religious brothers and 62 percent of the survivors who told the commission they were abused in religious institutions were abused in a Catholic facility.
The visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom was held from 16 to 19 September 2010 and was the first visit by a pope to Britain after Pope John Paul II made a pastoral, rather than state, visit in 1982. The visit included the beatification of Cardinal Newman as a "pastoral highlight".
World Youth Day 2013, stylized WYDRio2013, was the 14th international World Youth Day, an international Catholic event focused on religious faith and youth. The host city of World Youth Day 2013 was Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as announced by Pope Benedict XVI at the end of the closing Mass of World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, Spain. The events were scheduled to be held from 23 July to 28 July 2013.
World Youth Day 2016 was the 15th World Youth Day, an international event organised by the Catholic Church and focused on faith and youth that took place from 26 to 31 July 2016 in Kraków, Poland. It was the third World Youth Day held in Central Europe.
Peter Andrew Comensoli is an Australian prelate of the Catholic Church, who was named the ninth Archbishop of Melbourne on 29 June 2018. He had been serving as the third Bishop of Broken Bay in New South Wales, Australia, since December 2014. From 2011 to 2014 he was an auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.
World Youth Day 2019 was the 16th World Youth Day, an international event organized by the Catholic Church and focused on faith and youth. Taking place 22–27 January in Panama City, Panama, it was the first of its kind celebrated in Central America.