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Sydney To Host Pope Benedict

22 August 2005

Sydney To Host Pope Benedict And Largest Youth Event In The World

Sydney will welcome Pope Benedict XVI on his first visit to Australia when it hosts the largest youth event in the world - World Youth Day in 2008.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Sandra Nori was in Cologne, Germany today to hear Pope Benedict XVI's announcement.

"I am proud and excited that Sydney has this opportunity to host World Youth Day and His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on his first, history-making visit to Australia. This will be a special occasion not just for Sydney and New South Wales but for the whole of Australia," said Ms Nori.

"As the largest youth event in the world, World Youth Day will again bring tens of thousands of international visitors to Sydney, on a similar scale to the 2000 Olympic Games," she said.

Minister Nori joined Cardinal Pell and a senior delegation from the Sydney Archdiocese as part of a formal observation team at the Cologne World Youth Day event. The observation will be most helpful in finalising operational plans.

"Sydney is a beautiful city and Australia is a great country and I look forward to welcoming Pope Benedict XVI and the youth of the world for World Youth Day in 2008," said Cardinal Pell. "Everyone is welcome."

"Australia's host state of New South Wales has been a proud supporter of the Sydney Catholic Archdiocese with its bid to host World Youth Day and we are extremely excited to be able work in partnership with them in hosting this event," said Ms Nori.

A two minute film promoting Sydney's 2008 World Youth Day was screened to the million-strong crowd and 6500 international media, following the Pope's announcement.

"Appropriately, Sydney Olympic Park has been proposed a centre of the celebrations with the week's events featuring a Papal Mass and a mass "sleep out".

"Sydney is renowned for holding the 'best ever' world events - most recently, the Olympic Games and Rugby World Cup - I'm sure that World Youth Day in 2008 will show that there's no place in the world like Sydney," Ms Nori said.

ENDS

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