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Pope Francis postpones World Youth Day and Meeting of Families due to coronavirus

Pope Francis has decided to postpone by one year World Youth Day and the World Meeting of Families, according to the Vatican. The events were expected to take place during the summers of 2022 and 2021.

World Youth Day, programmed for Lisbon, Portugal in August 2022, will now take place in August 2023, according to an April 20 statement from Matteo Bruni, Holy See press office director.

The World Meeting of Families, previously scheduled to be held in Rome in June 2021, will now happen in June 2022.

Both events usually include the presence of the pope and gather at least tens of thousands of people.

Bruni said Pope Francis’ decision to move the dates of the global gatherings was “due to the current health situation and its consequences on the movement and aggregation of young people and families.”

The pope made the decision together with the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, which is responsible for organizing the events.

World Youth Day, which is typically held every three years, last took place in Panama in January 2019, drawing an estimated 700,000 young Catholics. The youth gathering was started by St. Pope John Paul II in 1985. At some past World Youth Days attendance has reached into the millions.

The theme of World Youth Day in Lisbon in 2023 is “Mary arose and went with haste.”

Read more at Catholic News Agency

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