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Pope will attend WYD in Rio in 2013, mayor claims

Catholic World News - August 02, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI will travel to Rio de Janeiro in 2013, when World Youth Day (WYD) is held there, the city’s mayor has announced.

The Vatican has not announced any plans for a papal trip to Brazil. And although it has been widely rumored that the next international WYD celebration (after this month’s gathering in Madrid) will be held in Brazil, those rumors are unconfirmed.

“We will make it official in middle August,” Rio’s Mayor Eduardo Paes announced on August 1. Traditionally, as a WYD celebration comes to a close, the Pope announces the site of the next international gathering. WYD in Madrid will end on August 21.

During this pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI has scheduled international WYD celebrations every 3 years—lengthening the 2-year intervals that had prevailed under Blessed John Paul II. Plans for WYD in Brazil were reportedly moved forward, however, to avoid a conflict with the World Cup, which Brazil will host in 2014.

Although the Pope has attended each international WYD celebration, an official Vatican announcement of Pope Benedict’s participation in the Rio celebration would probably be delayed. The Vatican typically does not officially announce any papal trip until several weeks before it takes place.

Pope Benedict, who would be 86 years old at the time of the Rio celebration, has generally avoided long international trips in order to conserve his strength. But he did make a 5-day visit to Brazil in May 2007.

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