indulgences for World Youth Day
BY ANNA ARCO
POPE BENEDICT XVI has granted a plenary indulgence for all those who participate in the upcoming events of next week's World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia.
The Apostolic Penitentiary announced last Saturday that the faithful who take part in the events in Australia "including its solemn conclusion, so that, having received the Sacrament of Reconciliation and being truly repentant, they receive Holy Communion and devoutly pray according to the intentions of His Holiness" will receive a plenary indulgence.
Those unable to take part in Sydney can avail themselves of a partial indulgence wherever they are if they "raise their prayer to God the Holy Spirit so that young people are drawn to charity and given the strength to proclaim the Gospel with their life".
A similar plenary indulgence was granted in 2005 for those who took part in the World Youth Day in Cologne so that thousands of young people could avail themselves of "the spiritual treasures of the Church".
From July 15 to July 20 the streets of Sydney will be filled with young pilgrims who have come from all over to take part in one of the largest youth events in the world. Organisers expect over 225,000 young people who range between the ages of 16 and 35.
The events open with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal George Pell but the highlight of the five-day gathering will be the papal vigil on Saturday night and the papal Mass on Sunday.
In the breaks between the bigger events,. Adoration and Confession will be widely available in different locations around the city. Cardinals and bishops from around the world will be leading catechesis sessions.
During last week's Angelus Pope Benedict called on the whole Church to take part in World Youth Day both physically and spiritually.
He said: "I invite the whole Church to share in this new stage of the great pilgrimage of young people across the world, begun in 1985 by the Servant of God John Paul H.
"I am certain that from all the corners of the Earth Catholics will be united with me and with all the young people gathered, as in the Cenacle, in Sydney, intensely invoking the Holy Spirit so that he will flood hearts with the inner light of love of God and of brothers, and of courageous initiative to introduce Jesus's eternal message in the diversity of languages and cultures."
The Holy Father arrives in Australia on July 13 and will take three days holiday before the official events begin. He is said to be staying at the Opus Dei Study Centre in Kenthurst. According to other reports the Pope will be staying with Cardinal Christopher Schoenborn in Ballina on the north coast of New South Wales. Neither of these has been confirmed by the Church.
He is expected to address the victims of sexual abuse, following a precedent he set during his visit to the United States earlier this year.
Speaking on radio last week Cardinal Pell said that the Pope was likely to make similar expressions of shame and regret over paedophile priests to those he made in the United States. The Australian bishops' conference issued a formal apology to those who suffered from sexual abuse at the hands of priests in 2002.
Cardinal Pell said: "He handled it liery well in the United States and I anticipate he'll do the same here."
Last month the Australian cardinal also said that he was "not proud" of what had happened in the past but that the bishops had "faced up to it pretty well for quite some time now" and that "it would be appropriate for the Pope to say something on that score".
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