RIO DE JANEIRO (CNS) — The culminating events of World Youth Day have been moved from their planned location in Guaratiba, 30 miles outside the city, which three days of heavy rain has reduced to a field of mud. The new venue for a prayer vigil and final Mass, scheduled for July 27 and 28 respectively, will be the city’s Copacabana beach.


Rio’s Archbishop Orani Tempesta made the announcement July 25.

As many as 1.5 million people are expected to attend the events, both to be led by Pope Francis.

Organizers had provided bathroom facilities and security for up to 900,000 to camp out at Guaratiba the night of July 28. According to local media reports, church officials will now ask participants to go home for the night rather than camp out on Copacabana beach.