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World Youth Day 2016 in Poland will offer 'Message of Mercy'

Last edited 29th March 2015

World Youth Day 2016 in Poland will offer 'Message of Mercy'

A new airport, improved road and rail links, a fleet of dream buses and "Youth Bible" are among features projected for the Catholic Church's 14th international celebration of World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, in 2016.

"It's still 16 months to go, but the planning is well advanced," said Msgr. Bronislaw Fidelus, a co-organizer of the event scheduled for July 26-Aug. 1.

"There's huge interest abroad, and we've already registered large church groups from the U.S., Europe and Latin America. We're sure the theme of Divine Mercy, chosen specially by the pope, will create a real openness to Christ among young participants," Msgr. Fidelus said.

World Youth Day organizers expect the 13th international event will attract more than 2 million people from around the world.

Msgr. Fidelus said the program was approved March 13 by a Vatican delegation under Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for Laity, adding that the Polish church counted on the five-day event to renew the faith among young Catholics everywhere.

Meanwhile, a Krakow official said work was underway to expand the city's communication and transport network and road and rail links with Europe as well as to renovate local schools to accommodate pilgrims.

"Having hosted several pilgrimages by the late St. John Paul II to his home city, Krakow is well equipped and prepared for large-scale events like this," Filip Szatanik, spokesman for the Krakow City Council, told Catholic News Service.

"It's also a great church city, full of sacral buildings and objects and closely linked to Poland's Christian history. We can count especially on this side of its character to make this a major promotional opportunity," he said.

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