The next edition of the World Youth Day is to be held in Lisbon, in the summer of 2022.
The announcement was made by Cardinal Kevin Farrell, at the end of the closing mass of the 2019 WYD, which took place in Panama and was presided over by Pope Francis.
Both the Patriarch of Lisbon and the President of the Republic were present at the time and reacted with enthusiasm, with both stressing the importance of Portugal’s links and proximity to Africa as having been crucial in the Vatican’s decision.
“This is a victory for the Catholic Church in Portugal, but also for the Portuguese speaking world, because the proximity to Africa was an essential point for the Vatican”, said President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
Cardinal Manuel Clemente, Patriarch of Lisbon, who will be tasked with hosting the event, said that all the bishops were thrilled with the decision and also pointed to the geography and history of Portugal. “We are in a corner of Europe which is very close to Africa, from where Portugal and Africa gaze out across the Atlantic to the Americas”.
The logistics of organising a WYD naturally require the cooperation of civil authorities. Central and local authorities have already pledged their support, with the socialist mayor of Lisbon, António Medina, saying that this will be the “best and largest WYD ever”.
“Lisbon today is a global capital, recognised internationally as being open, tolerant and peaceful. These are our values, the values we are known for. I believe they are part of the reason Pope Francis chose us, and they go together with the values and ideals of WYD. That is why I have no doubt that we are going to have an extraordinary WYD in Lisbon”, said Medina.
The spots chosen for the main events also include parts of the municipality of Loures, which is also in the Patriarchate of Lisbon. The communist mayor of Loures, Bernardino Soares, has also been involved in the preparations and is committed to helping the Church to make sure everything goes smoothly.