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7/22/10

MADRID CHURCH, CIVIL LEADERS PREPARE FOR 2 MILLION

World Youth Day in CologneImage via Wikipedia

Mayor Says It Will Be Best World Youth Day Ever


MADRID, Spain, JULY 22, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of Madrid signed an agreement of collaboration with the city's mayor for the hosting of the next World Youth Day, which 2 million are expected to attend.

Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela signed the agreement Tuesday with Mayor Alberto Ruiz Gallardón to stipulate terms of collaboration for the August 2011 youth day.

Benedict XVI will attend the event, along with an estimated 1,000 prelates. Around 100,000 volunteers are already preparing for those days, the mayor reported.

The cardinal noted that since the registration opened earlier this month, "tens of thousands of young people have already registered from 100 countries and about 400 groups."

Ruiz Gallardón expressed the hope that Madrid will be a "home" for the visitors during those days.

During the signing ceremony, Cardinal Rouco Varela affirmed "the human quality of the young people who are going to come, who are going to conquer the heart of Madrid's inhabitants."

He pointed out that World Youth Day "is an event that expresses the life of the youth of the Church in its liturgical ceremonies" and in living the Word of God.

The prelate expressed the hope that this event "will bring the city peace and goodness, in addition to answers that satisfy young people's heart."

Cardinal Rouco Varela noted that the event will be a celebration of a "happy, beautiful, fine, joyful and festive" youth.

Youth capital

He added that the number that will attend is of a "very great magnitude," which will make Madrid "not only the capital of Spain but the capital of the youth of the world."

For his part, Ruiz Gallardón pointed out that the celebration of World Youth Day is "an event of exceptional transcendence for the city," and that its success "requires an equally extraordinary effort on the part of all."

He expressed his joy over the fact that Madrid was chosen to be the venue for the event, noting that "every time we are chosen to host an international meeting we must be pleased."

The agreement covers different aspects of coordination between the local administration and the youth day organizers. The municipality agreed to cede spaces, such as public schools and many sports venues, to house the visitors. Venues will also be made available for meetings of young people and for cultural events.

Moreover, the municipality guaranteed the support of the police, in coordination with the other government security forces, to ensure protection for the youth attending the events.

The local administration stated that it will install a countdown clock "in a place emblematic of the city."

Ruiz Gallardón affirmed that "not only will Madrid be equal to the task, but it will exceed all expectations to make this the best World Youth Day of those held up to now."

The municipality is not funding the event, though it is participating in the facilitation. The financing of World Youth Day comes from the contributions of the young people attending and from sponsoring businesses. 
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