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Sydney to host 350,000 Catholics HUNDREDS of thousands of young Catholics will descend on Sydney in 2008 for an international jamboree to mark World Youth Day. I'd love to hear what my Grandad would have said about this. Pope Benedict XVI last night announced Sydney had won its bid to stage the huge event, which is expected to draw more than 350,000 young Catholics to the Homebush Olympic site. The Pope will also attend and The Passion of the Christ director Mel Gibson strike one against will be invited to recreate the Stations of the Cross through the streets of the city. He made the announcement at an open-air Mass in Germany attended by as many as one million Catholics from 193 countries. Cardinal George Pell, in Cologne for the announcement, was thrilled. Strike two against Prime Minister John Howard immediately congratulated Cardinal Pell and his team for securing the event, expected to attract $68 million in tourist dollars. Strike three. Uh Oh! "My Government will work with Cardinal Pell and his team and the NSW Government to make World Youth Day in Sydney a truly memorable event," Mr Howard said. Doesn't that just gladden your tax-paying heart? Tourism Minister Sandra Nori, also in Cologne as a member of the 25 member Sydney observation team for this year's WYD, said a task force, similar to the one for the Rugby World Cup (interesting), would be set up to work out the details of the event. The festival, which will be open to all, is an attempt to allow young people to express their faith. Rumours had been circulating for weeks that Sydney would be the chosen city. As Australian pilgrims at World Youth Day in Cologne handed out stuffed kangaroos and toy crocodiles [Australians expressing their faith], the Vatican was insisting the 2008 venue was a closely guarded secret. Why?


  1. Anonymous Helen 

    And just how literally is Mel Gibson planning on re-enacting the Stations of the Cross? :)

  2. Blogger Emma 

    Exactly! Talk about violence on the streets.

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