VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has agreed with a recommendation by the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life to postpone by one year the next gatherings of the World Meeting of Families and World Youth Day.
“Because of the current health situation and its consequences on the movement and gatherings of young people and families,” the World Meeting of Families in Rome will be pushed back until June 2022 and World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal, will be pushed back until August 2023, the Vatican announced.
Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the dicastery, told Catholic News Service April 20 that now is the time his office would be signing contracts with hotels and airlines if the World Meeting of Families were still to be held in 2021, “but no one knows what will happen,” so it seemed prudent to push the meeting back a year.
The dicastery also would not hold two large gatherings during the same summer, so that was one reason World Youth Day was pushed back, he said.
The other reason, Cardinal Farrell said, is that although people are talking about “returning to normal” and government leaders are making plans for phasing out lockdowns and reopening businesses, “we do not believe travel will be that extensive” anytime soon.
The dicastery has canceled all international meetings until January 2021, although it is planning for a few young people from Panama, where World Youth Day was celebrated in 2019, to hand the World Youth Day cross to a few young people from Lisbon Nov. 22, the feast of Christ the King.
The handoff originally was scheduled for April 5, Palm Sunday, but was postponed because of the lockdowns and travel bans in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
If the young representatives from Panama and Portugal are not able to travel to Rome in November, Cardinal Farrell said, Panamanians and Portuguese already living in Rome will participate in the event.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Vatican donates ventilators to hospitals in Syria, sets up emergency fund
NEXT: Amid pandemic, politicians must put country over party, pope says
Share this story