Changing date of celebrations will suit churches, Vatican says

A young woman wearing a World Youth Day 2023 t-shirt reads during Pope Francis’ celebration of Mass in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on Sunday (CNS/Stefano Dal Pozzolo, pool)

The decision to move the local celebrations of World Youth Day from Palm Sunday to the feast of Christ the King addresses the pastoral needs of local churches, a Vatican official said. Source: CNS.

“We’re not considering the new date as better than the previous one, but rather as one that nowadays suits best the dynamic of the local church and, at the same time, does not change the intention with which the WYD has been established,” said Fr Joao Chagas, head of the youth section of the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life.

Pope Francis announced at the end of Mass on Sunday that the change was made “after listening to various opinions and consulting” the dicastery.

“The centre of the celebration remains the mystery of Jesus Christ, the redeemer of man, as St. John Paul II, the initiator and patron of WYD, always emphasised,” the Pope said.

Fr Chagas said the dicastery consulted national directors of youth ministry in bishops’ conferences around the world and discovered that many dioceses were already celebrating WYD on days that were “more suited to their pastoral and liturgical contexts than Palm Sunday.”

“This new date, which seems to best correspond to the varied dynamics of local churches nowadays, was chosen as a fruit of listening to the local realities and of searching for best ways to walk together as a family of the Church,” Fr Chagas said.


New date for local WYD suits needs of dioceses, Vatican official says (By Junno Aroho Esteves, CNS

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