YOUTH – THE NOW OF THE CHURCH, WYD LISBON 2023 •
Taking heed of the concerns of families and young people to adjust these events according to changed logistical circumstances and requirements, wanting to promote better organizational and pastoral preparation, taking into account the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic is having and will have on families and young people, these are the reasons behind the postponement of the World Meeting of Families and the next World Youth Day, which deferred to June 2022 and August 2023 respectively.
“The current global health emergency has had a significant impact on the preparatory phases for these international meetings,” explains Father João Chagas, head of the Youth Office of the Dicastery. “Many of the efforts of families and young people, after overcoming this emergency – he continues – will focus on supporting situations of fragility in the various areas of society. The experience of young people in the WYD and the testimonies of how they face the challenges associated with it, allow us to trust in their ability to transform every difficulty into an opportunity, becoming protagonists of reconstruction “, he concludes.
The Undersecretary, Gabriella Gambino, highlights how the effects of the pandemic are making themselves felt very strongly within families, especially in the most peripheral and distressed areas of the world. The Church, she explains, “who is always listening to the needs of families, could not remain indifferent to what will be the most urgent economic, social and psychological needs for many people in the coming months. Let us remember, in this sense, that the World Meeting of Families really wants to be a concrete meeting of families with the Holy Father and families among them”.
For this reason, she adds, “it was decided to postpone an event whose organization, also for logistical reasons due to the lockdown, has been complex in the last two months. The postponement will allow for a better opportunity to adapt our meeting, not only for organizational purposes, but also in terms of content, which will have to take into account the spiritual, educational and pastoral conversion that the Spirit is asking of us in these times of pandemic”.